Part of the article “NYC: A Holiday Baking Celebration”Print
Coconut Snowball Cupcakes
This is not your ordinary cupcake. It is a cupcake designed specifically for the coconut addict. Our coconut cupcakes are filled with a fresh coconut curd and topped with a flurry of shredded sweet coconut. The overall effect is a nod to the classic pink Hostess Sno Ball treat without being an exact replica (Sno Ball cakes are made with chocolate cake). The cupcakes are a delight for adults and kids alike. You can easily dye the shredded coconut for the tops of these cupcakes. Just place the shredded coconut in a resealable plastic bag, add a few drops of liquid food coloring, and shake the bag until all of the coconut is evenly colored.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup ice water
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
- For pastry cream: 2 cups half-and-half
- For pastry cream: 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- For pastry cream: 6 large egg yolks
- For pastry cream: 1/2 cup sugar
- For pastry cream: 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- For pastry cream: 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For pastry cream: 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- For frosting: 1 1/2 cups sugar
- For frosting: 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- For frosting: 1 1/2 cups milk
- For frosting: 1/3 cup heavy cream
- For frosting: 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
- For frosting: 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- For frosting: /2 cup coconut pastry cream
- For frosting: 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with PaperChef Tulip Cups.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the egg, and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Do not over-beat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Fold the shredded coconut into the batter.
- Fill the Tulip Cups about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on the rack to cool completely.
Coconut Pastry Cream & Frosting
- Coconut pastry cream: Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the half-and-half to a simmer. Add the unsweetened coconut, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes to let the coconut steep. Strain and discard the coconut.
- In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, flour, and salt until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour that mixture into the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the coconut pastry cream for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
- Coconut frosting: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of the freshly made coconut pastry cream and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then mix again until it is the proper consistency.
1. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip with the coconut pastry cream. Puncture the center of a cupcake with the tip and squeeze approximately 1 teaspoon of coconut pastry cream into the cupcake. Repeat for all cupcakes.
2. Frost the top of each cupcake with the coconut frosting and sprinkle with shredded coconut.
Makes 24 cupcakes.