This month's Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Club pick was the Father's Day Tee-Time Cupcakes, chosen by Julie of Little Bit of Everything. I was eager to try my hand at something a bit different for this group: a project that focused on the cupcake's appearance, rather than the cupcake's taste or fun flavor. I knew my kids would be on board with this one, too!
For the cupcakes themselves, I tried a recipe that I've really been wanting to make for a long time. I found it a couple years ago in an issue of Cooking Light. It's a Coconut Cupcake with Lime Buttercream; yum! I just thought that sounded so summery and refreshing; plus, anything with lime automatically catches my eye. I tinted the lime buttercream frosting green, and decided to use that shade as my putting green surface, rather than covering the frosting in green sprinkles. I guess I figured my kids and I didn't really need a mouthful of sanding sugar in every bite!
My five year-old actually is frosting-averse, so he opted to decorate his with just some ground-up graham cracker crumbs (for the sand traps), some mini M&Ms (for the golf balls), and just a bit of green sanding sugar (to make some grass). I made my little flags by affixing some trimmed, bright orange Post-It notes to toothpicks; I thought it worked pretty well, although I did have to apply a bit of transparent tape to each to secure it.
This was a great way for me to spend an afternoon with my boys; they enjoyed the decorating, and eating the leftover decorations! As for the cupcakes themselves, it was a mixed bag. My husband and I thought they were delicious; I was so impressed with the texture of the cupcakes in particular. These are a lower fat version of a dessert, but they really don't taste like it. I think my substitution of coconut milk for skim milk in the recipe made the cakes a bit fluffier and lighter. Considering that some of the recipes from Martha's cupcake book have turned out denser and drier than I would have liked, this was a very nice surprise. If you like the lime/coconut flavor combination, I highly recommend these cupcakes. And I recommend the decorating idea if you need a tasty, fun way to spend an afternoon with kids! Thanks, Julie!
Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Cooking Light
makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
4.5 oz. all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp. potato starch (not potato flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2/3 cup light, unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. sweetened, flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
For the frosting:
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. fresh lime zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. light, unsweetened coconut milk
4.75 oz. confectioners' sugar, sifted (about 1 1/3 cups)
Make the cupcakes: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners, then spray the liners with nonstick cooking spray. Set tin aside. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour and the next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
2. Combine the 2/3 sugar and the 2 Tbsp. butter in a large bowl; mix at medium speed until well-blended; mixture should be the consistency of damp sand. Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and the coconut milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in coconut and coconut extract.
3. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched in the center. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; remove from tins onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting: 1. Combine the 3 Tbsp. butter, the lime zest and juice, and the coconut milk in a medium bowl; mix until well-blended and smooth. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, beating just until smooth. Frost each cupcake with about 2 1/2 tsp. frosting.