Coconut Ice Cupcakes

Ice ice baby.

Well that is what should be falling from the sky tomorrow. Hopefully.

I really should have been doing some research for my next assignment due after the holidays but my brain just couldn't cope. So instead I baked. The only problem with said baking is that most of my friends have gone off home and so finding people to give these fellas a home is proving a challenge. So I decided that because tomorrow was likely to be such a terrible (or wonderful depending which way you look at it) day weather wise that these popping up in the Applied Science tearoom would go down a treat.

Hey we are a food science department, we have a bit of an affinity for food funnily enough.

Blogging about Cupcakes I do believe is a nice change. I haven't made any in a while. In fact I think the last time I made cupcakes was actually the lamington cupcakes that I posted here. Man they were good. Haha and also were covered in coconut.

I took the basic Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe and added a quarter of a cup of desiccated coconut and a few drops of coconut essence to the sponge. I then added more coconut essence as well as some strawberry essence to the icing. Oh then chopped up some coconut ice that I picked up at the supermarket from the bulk bins to place on the top of them.

Here are the flavourings I used. Oh and that's Dad in the background. Hi Dad.

So as you can see, they are not tricky at all!

I am just really liking the effect of the coconut on the top. I used both threaded and desiccated for that.

Also, because they are supposed to look quite rough (come on who has ever seen a perfect piece of coconut ice before?) it doesn't matter what the icing beneath the coconut looks like, in fact I think the rougher the icing the better the effect. It almost gives it that whipped, cloud-like look.

I can't wait for my little cousin Lulu to have big birthday parties. Haha I think I will end up going a little over the top with them!

Remember you can add more or less coconut essence, more or less strawberry essence and more or less pink food colouring to the sponge according to your own preferences.

Coconut Ice Cupcakes
Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook 
Makes 12

40g butter, softened
140g castor sugar
120g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup full fat milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
a few drops coconut essence
1 teaspoon vanilla essece

50g butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
up to a quarter cup of milk (add it gradually until you achieve a fluffy consistency)
a splash of vanilla essence
few drops of coconut and strawberry essence
pink food colouring
threaded and/or desiccated coconut to cover
coconut ice to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

Mix together the butter, sugar, coconut, flour and baking powder until a fine, sandy consistency is reached.

Gradually add in half of the milk and mix until combined. Crack in the egg, beat until combined then mix in the remaining milk plus the coconut and vanilla essences. Mix until combined and smooth.

Spoon into the 12 cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden.

Let the cakes cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, cream together the butter and icing sugar, add small amounts of milk to loosen the mixture up. Add in the essences and pink food colouring until it meets your desired shade of pink. Keep beating until the icing is really voluminous. It should not be runny at all ie it should form stiff peaks.

Spoon this icing onto the cool cupcakes and using a knife or palatte knife, smooth the icing into a swirl. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. Imperfection is the new perfection. Natural looking is far more pleasing to the eye.

Sprinkle (or totally drown) the cupcakes with the coconut and decorate with the coconut ice (I chopped mine into smaller cubes).

Stand back and marvel at how terribly girly everything looks and curse at your previously spotless floor that is now covered in icing sugar and coconut.