Even though I'm no longer making cupcakes every week, I still like to go all-out on holidays. So, when I stumbled across this recipe during my search for a fun Easter themed cupcake, I knew I'd found a winner. (Also, for the record, I had all the supplies for this recipe before Emily at Cupcakes & Cashmere posted the same one this week... c'est la vie.)
I usually find Martha Stewart cake recipes to be dry. So, I was surprised to find that these mini cakes were dense and moist (let's be honest, boxed mixes can't compare!)
I topped them off with my go-to fluffy vanilla frosting, toasted coconut, and mini whopper eggs (which I can't seem to keep out of my mouth.)
These cupcakes were good. REALLY good. And they reminded me of why I love making (and eating) cupcakes so much.
This Easter Sunday, Zach and I are celebrating with his sister Kara (and her puppy Enzo, of couse.) Last year, I made lamb for the family, but this year I'm thinking we'll go with a simpler option. Brunch, anyone?
What are you doing this weekend? I hope that whatever your plans, they're filled with love and laughter and that you get the chance to reflect on the reason for this exciting holiday.
Coconut Nest Cupcakes
Makes 40 cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart
For the cake:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the frosting and garnish:
3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 pounds (8 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups shredded coconut, toasted
Pastel-colored candy-coated chocolate eggs for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in the middle of the oven. Line 40 standard-size muffin cups with cupcake liners; set aside.
Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate fully after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk and ending with the flour. Beat in vanilla. The batter should be smooth and very thick.
Fill prepared muffin cups halfway full with batter; transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, scoop buttercream on tops of cooled cupcakes; sprinkle buttercream with coconut, pressing to adhere. Using your thumb, make a well in the center of each scoop of buttercream; fill with chocolate eggs. Serve.