lemon cupcakes with coconut & cream-cheese frosting

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Lemon Coconut Cupcake

What? How can you not like lemon? What do you have against coconut? 

I was so full of questions when one too many coworkers turned down these lemon-coconut confections last Friday. I couldn’t comprehend how the same people who literally run at the first sight of sub-par leftover catering, could say no to free dessert made by theirs truly. Lemon, cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut, what’s not to like? I never got a satisfying answer.

Lemon Coconut Cupcake Closeup

I’m as big a fan of chocolate and vanilla as the next guy, but they can be pretty boring and predictable as far as cupcake flavors go. I wanted to make something different, something that said summer, something that properly honored my coworker/birthday girl. I knew for a fact that she, like any sane person, loved coconut, and so I decided on these.

The decision came easy, I based them off of my favorite cupcake from DC’s Red Velvet Cupcakery; the baking not so much. It took two tries and several recipe adjustments before I got it right. The first batch was a complete disaster, and those cupcakes have been omitted from this post. You’re left with these beauties instead. 

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes3

I realize now that people are entitled to their own tastes and opinions. It’s possible that at the time, my sleep-deprived self took the rejection a little too personally. So a few people turned up their noses at the sight of lemon and coconut, it happens. Deep down I knew I was taking a risk when I put coconut on top of every cupcake. It was a risk I was willing to take.

All in all, the naysayers were in the minority. Everyone else including the birthday girl seemed please, and I hope the same goes for you. Recipes below. 

Lemon Cupcakes
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Ingredients
  1. 5 egg whites, room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  3. 2 lemons, zested
  4. 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  5. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  6. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  7. 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  8. 1 Tbsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, but any salt will do
  10. 1-2 drops yellow food coloring
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with liners
  2. In a small bowl, mix egg whites, a 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add in egg white mixture. Beat in remaining buttermilk.
  6. Mix in yellow food coloring to give it a nice lemony yellow color.
  7. Fill liners half full and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Adapted from Shugary Sweets
Adapted from Shugary Sweets
Fortune Goodies http://fortunegoodies.com/
I kinda sorta made up the cream cheese frosting recipe. As far as I’m concerned, as long as you have some combination of cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, you’re good. I like mine really cheesy. I happened to have some leftover heavy cream (bonus!) that I decided to throw in. Recipe below. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  3. 3 cups powdered sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. In bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese and heavy cream at low speed until combined.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, followed by vanilla and salt, beat for 2-3 minutes or until you get the consistency you're looking for.
  3. Frost cupcakes and if you want to do what I did, dip frosted cupcakes into shredded sweetened coconut.
Fortune Goodies http://fortunegoodies.com/

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8 Responses to lemon cupcakes with coconut & cream-cheese frosting

  1. Niharika says:

    Yang – these cupcakes were fabulous! One of the best
    I have ever had. Wish I had been around when
    Others rejected them – I would have had the whole lot:)
    Thank you for baking them. Perfect summer treat!

  2. yang says:

    Thanks, Niharika! Only the best for you.

  3. Ana says:

    Love the combination an it looks beautiful!

  4. Leka Leqa says:

    I think there’s too much flour. I made it and the cake was too hard. :(

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