I’m one of those people who, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, could basically take it or leave it; unfortunately, I married a man who will always leave it. (Though flowers and a card always seem to arrive with my name on them on Feb. 14th…smart man…) So I’ve never really had an inclination to make anything fun for Valentine’s day but I really wanted to take advantage of Ina’s Coconut Cupcakes that were chosen for the first Barefoot Blogger recipe of the month. I’d been wracking my brain all week as to how to make these cupcakes more Valentine-y…coloring the frosting or dusting some cocoa powder on top in the shape of a heart were two ideas that came to mind but I wasn’t sold.  And then it hit me: the Crumbs cupcakes I sent to my best friend over the summer when she had her first baby (who needs flowers when you can have cupcakes?!) would be my inspiration…she squealed when the box arrived and they were promptly devoured, in case you’re wondering.

I love the look of the Crumbs cupcakes with the short frosting-decorated sides and flat top.  There’s just something so different about this look as opposed to big swirls of frosting or fully covered with coconut as I think these cupcakes were intended to be decorated.  To add a little Valentine’s Day spin, I colored the coconut with some red food coloring (liquid).  I have to admit, the way these cupcakes turned out made me happy!

The cupcake recipe itself is to die for and it’s one that improves over the course of a couple of days.  The coconut adds a great texture and flavor to the cupcakes but in my opinion, the buttermilk plays the real star in this recipe.  Though there is only one cup of buttermilk, it adds such a nice tangy flavor to a cupcake that could otherwise be too sweet.  And with the sweet cream cheese frosting (my favorite cream cheese frosting EVER by the way), you’ll appreciate this tangy cupcake.

My, Kyle’s, and my coworkers’ sincere thanks go out to Jamie of Jamie’s Green Kitchen for choosing this fabulous recipe!!


Coconut Cupcakes

source: Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
  6. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.


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Leave a Comment

  • February 14, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    oh they look great!
    check out my baking blog and tell me what you think:


  • February 14, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    These cupcakes seem amazing. I tried Crumbs cupcakes not so long ago and while I loved the look, I actually decided I liked my version of cream cheese frosting better (and that’s the only reason why I eat cupcakes…for the frosting. And fillings. If there is one.) I really need to try this version if you say it’s your favorite.

    These really are gorgeous by the way!

  • Eva
    February 14, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    I guess I am much more one of those people than you are. I hate valentines day and christmas and any other holiday that ‘requires’ buying random junk with a passion.

  • February 17, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Your cupcakes are gorgeous! I blogged on the Shrimp Scampi first and am making the cupcakes for a party this weekend. I hope they look as pretty as yours. Love the dyed coconut!

  • February 24, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Wow! Your presentation of these cupcakes is amazing! And I agree that they get better with age. I wasn’t aware of the Barefoot Bloggers group when I made these but I also whipped them up for Valentine’s Day.