For coconut lovers, these cupcakes are a must. They are extra-moist and feature a strong shot of coconut flavor in every bite. RECIPE:

Coconut Cupcakes

 Ingredients:

CAKE:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup softened unsalted butter

1 ¾ cups sugar

6 tablespoons baby food pears

½ cup coconut milk and ¾ cup milk, combined

 BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

1 cup softened unsalted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon coconut milk

 GARNISH:

½ cup toasted coconut

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy, about 30 seconds.  Add sugar, and beat until combined. Add baby food in two additions, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add this dry mixture alternately with the milk mixture. Beat well after each addition. Begin and end with the dry mixture.

Pour the batter into lined muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, to create the buttercream frosting, beat butter until creamy. Add the coconut milk and beat well. Add the powdered sugar in multiple additions.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, top with the buttercream frosting, and sprinkle the tops with toasted coconut. To toast the coconut, place an even layer of shredded coconut on a baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, tossing the coconut throughout baking time.

 

These delicious cupcakes are the creation of  our  very talented MidLife Road Trip intern and budding baker, Jessica Kemper. Jessica is enrolled at USF St. Petersburg, majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications.

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