Happy Easter friends! I thought these cupcakes would be a beautiful and delicious contribution to an Easter spread, and you can’t go wrong with a recipe from Ina Garten. However, no disrespect to the Barefoot Contessa, but I did alter the recipe (mostly the frosting) quite a bit. Personally, I am not a fan of those saccharine-sweet cupcakes where you can only take one or two bites and then come down with a stomach ache, or feel like you are going to get an instant cavity, so I backed down the powdered sugar from 1 ½ pounds to 1 pound. Also, I decreased the 3 sticks of butter to 2 sticks, because I just can’t bring myself to put 3 sticks of butter in anything. (Though technically I broke that rule on the cupcake recipe.) The cupcakes were amazing as well as the cream cheese frosting, and they had just the perfect amount of sweetness. I used a cute set of Easter cupcake liners and toppers from Sur La Table. They were pretty adorable, and added a nice touch to an otherwise white cupcake. Just a reminder, it is very important to make sure the butter, cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature, and that the confectioner’s sugar as well as the dry mixture is sifted. These steps are especially imperative for the frosting, so that it will remain lump-free.
adapted from: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
makes: approximately 20-24 cupcakes
¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 oz bag sweetened, shredded coconut, divided in half
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioner’s sugar sifted
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. With a rubber spatula fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Fill each cup to the top with batter. (An ice cream scoop comes in handy here.)
Bake for 25-35 minutes (rotating pans and alternating racks halfway through) until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack and cool completely.
For the frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar and mix until smooth.