After last week’s very summery Raspberry Lemon Swiss Roll, I’m continuing on the path of pretending it’s summer in April by giving you the most tropical of all cakes – Coconut Lime Cupcakes.
Summer, come at me.
You might be thinking, Charlotte, those cupcakes look awfully coconutty (and a bit wintery) with their snowy coconut frosting – where’s the lime, and where’s the summer? Well, bite into one of these beautiful babies and you will find a zesty lime curd filling fit for the best summer picnic. I told you I made my homemade lime curd extra green for a reason guys.
Yeah, the photo above isn’t the best, but I just couldn’t get the light right ☹️
On a more positive note, the coconut cupcakes themselves are the fluffiest, moistest, and delicious-est cupcakes around. The base recipe is my new go-to cupcake recipe, and will be starring in some very white vanilla cupcakes heading your way in a week or so. The star ingredient in these phenomenal cupcakes is yogurt. Use plain full-fat yogurt for these, unless you can track down some coconut yogurt – that would be incredible. You need to be a little careful here, as there is enough yogurt in this recipe that you will definitely be able to pick up on the flavour in the cupcakes once their baked.
As I said, you can find out more about my new go-to cupcake batter in a couple of weeks, when I share with you the recipe for the absolute best vanilla cupcakes around.
For now, I’ll tell you a bit more about the buttercream:
It’s soft and fluffy, of course, as you are going to whip the unsalted butter for a good five minutes before you add the powdered sugar. This is going to make the butter super pale (good for white coconut cupcakes) and the perfect icing consistency. No one wants buttercream that is dense and splits your piping bag, right?
The coconut flavour in both the buttercream and the cupcake batter is from coconut extract. Yeah, this may feel a bit like cheating, but after multiple attempts at baking these with coconut butter, shredded coconut, and coconut cream, I can save you the bother and let you know that they really don’t compare to coconut extract for both flavour and texture. While coconut cream may seem like a good idea in theory, in my experience it just resulted in greasy cupcakes. And I can’t think of anything worse.
For the lime curd filling, you’ve got two options. Either track some down in a supermarket – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose all sell it – or you can use my easy Homemade Lime Curd recipe from earlier this month. My lime curd recipe will give you a bit too much for filling these cupcakes, but you can use the rest instead of jam on your morning toast, or just eat it out of the jar with a spoon, like me 😍
- 125g (½ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
- 175g (7/8 cup) caster sugar (US granulated)
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 50ml (1/5 cup) milk
- 150ml (2/3 cup) plain or coconut flavour full fat yogurt
- 150g (1¼ cups) plain or all-purpose flour
- 25g (1/8 cup) cornflour or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 80ml (1/3 cup) lime curd - see post above for recipe link
- 225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 425g (3¼ cups) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 60g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F (160°C fan) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases or liners.
- Place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a medium sized bowl if using an electric hand mixer) and beat for a minute or so until light and creamy. Add the sugar and beat well for at least a minute, scraping down the sides if needed. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating well between each addition, until all the egg whites have been incorporated into the butter. The batter may look a bit slimy, but that's okay.
- Add the vanilla extract, coconut extract, milk, and yogurt to the bowl and beat well for a minute or two, scraping around the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is well mixed. Add the flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt and fold together on a low speed until well combined.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, filling about two thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until springy on top and a light golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcakes should come out clean, without any crumbs on. Leave the cupcakes in the tray to cool for five minutes, and then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once completely cool, use an apple corer or a knife to remove a hole in the centres of the cupcakes, not quite reaching the bottom. Fill the holes most of the way back up with the lime curd, either spooning it in, or using a piping bag. Pop the top of the piece of cupcake you cut out back on top of the curd so that you have a relatively flat surface to pipe your buttercream on to.
- Place the butter in a medium sized bowl, and beat well with an electric whisk for at least five minutes. You can also use your stand mixer - I would advise using the balloon whisk attachment, as you want your butter to be light and fluffy. Once the butter is very pale and has increased in volume, add the icing sugar a little at a time, beating well between additions. Once all the icing sugar has been incorporated, add the coconut extract, one teaspoon at a time, and beat well. Depending on how string you want the coconut flavour, you may only need one teaspoon of extract. Finally, add the milk into the buttercream and beat well. You need the buttercream to be a nice pipe-able consistency, so add more milk if required.
- Spoon the buttercream into a large piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Pipe blobs of the buttercream onto the tops of the cupcakes, making sure to hold the piping bag at a vertical angle at all times. Don't worry if your blob isn't perfectly round, as it will get smoothed out when adding the desiccated coconut in a moment. Once you have frosted all your cupcakes, dip them into a small bowl of desiccated coconut, making sure to completely cover the frosting.
- The cupcakes will stay fresh for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container in a cool place. The cupcakes can be frozen before they are filled with curd and frosted. Place them in an airtight bag or container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight at room temperature, and then fill and decorate.