The tropical flavours in these cupcakes make a delectable combination. The super sweet coconut cake gets a tangy punch when you bite into the gooey lime centre. And, depending on your kitchen know-how and free time, you can adapt the recipe to include homemade or store-bought ingredients. The recipe yields about 36 generously iced cupcakes.
- 36 cupcake liners (optional)
- 2 pkgs white cake mix (or 2 batches of your favourite recipe)
- 3 tbsp coconut extract
- 1 tbsp almond extract
- 5 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 1/2 cups lime curd (I used one batch of this recipe: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/fresh-lime-curd/Detail.aspx, but you can buy it if you prefer)
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 pound butter softened
- about 5 cups icing sugar
- piping bag and decorating tip #230 (Wilton)
- 5 limes, sliced
- 1/2 cup toasted, shaved coconut
If you plan to make your own lime curd, do this first. You will want it to cool fully before filling your cupcakes.
Preheat your oven and prepare your cake mixes as directed, adding 2 cups of your shredded coconut, and both extracts. Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full, and bake according to your recipe. When your cupcakes are golden brown, remove them from the oven, and set them aside to cool.
Now, I mentioned earlier that you can substitute store-bought ingredients for parts of this recipe, but I don’t recommend skimping on time with the icing. Real buttercream icing is too good to pass on, and even if you flavour canned frosting, it won’t measure up. Therefore, I suggest that you go for the gusto with the icing, and save time using a cake mix. In my opinion, cake mixes are just as delicious as most homemade cake recipes, and sometimes even better. You can also shave off time by buying your lime curd in a jar. You will find it in some grocery stores, and most specialty shops. Look for an option with lots of real lime for the most flavourful filling.
To make your icing, cream your butter with a hand mixer until it is soft and fluffy. Don’t whip it too much or it will get air bubbles that will ruin the look of your icing. Now, melt your white chocolate, and slowly beat it into the butter. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate, or it will get crumbly, and once again, ruin the look of your icing. Add about 2 cups of icing sugar to the mixture, and cream it in with a wooden spoon. Doing this by hand will prevent over mixing and will give your icing a nice smooth look. Continue adding icing sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, until your icing is a workable consistency. It should be a bit thicker than mashed potatoes. Set aside your icing while you fill your cupcakes with lime curd.
To fill your cupcakes, place your decorating tip into an icing bag, and fill the bag with your curd. Insert the tip about 3/4 of the way into the centre of each cupcake and squeeze out roughly 1 tbsp of curd. If the top of your cupcake cracks, it is probably too full, but don’t worry because you will be covering any imperfections with icing anyway. A bit of filling will probably seep out of the hole in the top of your cupcakes, but will also be hidden under the icing.
Once your cupcakes are filled, frost them generously by either piping or spreading on icing. Scatter your remaining coconut onto a large dish, and roll your iced cupcakes in it to cover them. After coating your cupcakes in shredded coconut, decorate half of the batch with a thin slice of lime, and the other half with a sprinkling of toasted coconut. Add the lime slices just before serving so your icing doesn’t get all slimey from lime juice.
One bite of these cupcakes will transport you straight to the tropics, but enjoy with caution, I accidentally ate five in one day.