4.15.2011

Cupcakes for Easter and a Mother's Day Giveaway


Planning an Easter dessert that's new, scrumptious and fun for all ages is pretty simple what with all of you to turn to. So many great ideas!  Have you ever seen so much coconut? Coconut Easter eggs, Easter coconut macaroons, coconut-laden Bunny cakes, coconut pound cakes, regular old fashioned coconut cake and chocolate eggs sitting in coconut nests. Carrots make perfect sense. But coconut? Is it supposed to be bunny fur? Or perhaps it's supposed to be grass, albeit the color is a little off. Maybe both.


Luckily, a slice of coconut cake makes my mouth water any time of year. So I thought for Easter dinner I'd make these little coconut cupcakes and plop my happy bunnies right on top. (Who wouldn't be happy sitting in a pile of frosting?) These little cupcake gems have rum in them and orange juice, which frankly sounds like a good drink to me. And yes, there actually is one: it's called a Cuban Screw or Coconut Cuban Screw. :D Anyway, the rum in these cupcakes really isn't that strong and I suppose you could leave it out if you wanted to. But the little bunny hopes you won't.


Coconut Orange Cupcakes

From The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark



Ingredients for the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
finely grated zest of one orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream

Ingredients for the soaking syrup:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 1/2 tablespoons Malibu rum ( a rum made in Barbados with natural coconut extract, which I didn't have so substituted dark rum)

Ingredients for the coconut buttercream:

3 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 tablespoons cream of coconut
6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
pinch of fine sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated unsweetened coconut, toasted (To toast, I used a dry frying pan on the stove, stirring constantly)

Method for the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325º. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In an electric mixer bowl, cream the butter, granulated sugar, orange zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. (about 5 minutes) Beat the eggs in one at a time. Then alternate the flour and sour cream three times on low speed until just combined. Divide the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on rack.

Method for the soaking syrup:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar and water. Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the orange juice and rum.

Method for the buttercream:

Place the egg yolks in a bowl. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a small saucepan. In the pan, heat the coconut milk and coconut cream until it reaches a simmer. (one bubble is enough) Drizzle the mixture slowly over the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the coconut/yolk mixture to the pan and stir over low heat until slightly thickened. The mixture should be 160º but not go over 180º or it will curdle.
Using a fine mesh sieve, strain into a clean bowl to stop the cooking, stir in the salt and refrigerate covered until thoroughly chilled.

In an electric mixer, beat the butter with the confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the rum and vanilla extract. On low speed, gradually beat in the cold coconut/yolk mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the coconut.

To assemble:

Halve the cupcakes horizontally and brush both side with the soaking syrup. Spread the buttercream on the bottom halves, replace the top halves and spread about 2 tablespoons of buttercream on top. Sprinkle with leftover toasted coconut.



And now for the Mother's Day Giveaway!
I've got 4 cookbooks to give away!
Two of Heidi's Super Natural Cooking:



And two of Kim's Good to the Grain:






To win one of these marvelous cookbooks, all you have to do is leave a comment about how you cook with healthy grains. If you become a follower, you'll get two entries.  (Please leave a separate comment for each.) 
Sorry guys, but U.S. and Canada only, please! And make certain I have your email address. I'll announce the winner April 25th so you don't have much time. After all, I want you to get this in time for Mother's Day!


92 comments:

  1. Your Easter cupcakes are so cute!

    Maria
    x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your giveaways are fantastic and so are the Easter cupcakes. I like coconut desserts a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These look and sound delicious and I love the toppers!

    I've pretty much replaced rice with various grains--quinoa, wheat berries, etc. One of our favorites is a red quinoa chili.

    I'd love either of the cookbooks--to join my huge collection that I love. I'm already a "follower".

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love coconut cake, which leaves me sitting here and wondering why I have never made one. The little bunnies are a lovely finishing touch :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such lovely giveaway! Love both of them and so is your cupcakes. Gosh, just look at those topful shredded coconut. Yummmm..... Have a great day!
    Cheers, Kristy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Easter is coming up next weekend and Mother's Day will be here before we know it!I love to use quinoa in mu salads but I'd have to say that bulgur is my favourite!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been a follower for a while s that I can find some go to recipes like these delicious cupcakes for Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A pity the giveaway is not open to European residents...

    Those cupcakes are lovely and must have tasted wonderful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm not doing Easter this year so can't have an excuse for a lamb cake (a favorite since childhood) these are perfect... love the rum and orange, Barbara! I can imagine they would make coconut sing!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Those are just so sweet. I idea of orange and coconut together :D
    *kisses* HH

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great looking cupcake! It's perfect, it's delicious and cute :)
    Been trying to introduce healthy grains to my family! We recently tried farro, which I loved. Very nice giveaway, Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love fun Easter confections. Planning one myself for next week! I've made coconut cake, and cupcakes a number of times for spring gatherings, but frankly never thought of the addition of rum. Gives me a reason to try again.

    I'm adding more grains to my cooking. My new favorite is faro wheat, which is a nice cross between a wheat berry and barley.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I crave those... and I'm already a follower.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Second entry... I have a separate "coffee bean" grinder for flax seeds and slip them into everything I can. Shhh... don't tell the Knight!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love making a big batch of steel cut oatmeal and then just heating it up all week for breakfast, adding fruit and nuts as the mood hits me!

    I also use a fair amount of brown rice in my cooking....

    xxoo,

    RMW

    ReplyDelete
  16. I will have to be honest and say I dont make an effort eat more healthy grains. I would love to learn how though.

    I am a follower

    ReplyDelete
  17. These could not be any cuter!!!! I love them!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love that you soak the cupcakes too, Barbara! Wonderful! How do I use whole grains? Oh boy, in everything. :-) Of course in my baking, but I love boiling them up and serving them in cold salads too. Tabouli, of course, but other ones as well. Add good roasted veggies, fresh herbs, a homemade dressing, maybe some shredded chicken, and you're good to go! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. great cupcakes love this time of year and happy Mothers day sweet Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  20. Barbar I love Easter cupcakes and these look amazing and delicious! love the bunny, you know dear, I cannot participate in the giveaway I Know, may I cry??? buaahhhh!! huggs gloria

    ReplyDelete
  21. Coconut does resemble bunny fur doesn't it? I love all of the ingredients in this cupcake! It has a little bit of sunny orange in it, exotic coconut and a bit of sweet darkness from the rum. Very nice!

    ReplyDelete
  22. These are fabulous cookbook giveaways! I'm a follower. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh I love your bunny cakes Barbara!!!
    I don't do it as much as when the children were all home, but I love to make my own homemade whole grain wheat thins and grahm crackers. I would have them ready when the kids got home. They never lasted more than the afternoon.
    sending hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Adorable cupcakes! I love coconut and wish my husband shared my love.

    What a wonderful giveaway, Barbara! One of my favorite recipes is homemade granola. Lots of healthy, whole grain oatmeal and I always throw in lots of different types of seeds too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love these cupcakes! Sooooo cute! I also love the coconut orange combination...yum!

    I'm also really excited about your cookbook giveaway. I love Heidi Swanson. Been reading her for years. My fingers and toes are crossed I win her book :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've been using more quinoa and oats to get more whole grains in. Those little bunny cupcakes look so delicious- adorable too!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Barbara
    Yummy, coconut&orange are wonderful together!! I love the bunny on top!! I hope you and your loved ones have a lovely Easter .
    Xo
    Bunny
    If you have a chance we just posted a really fun homemade French baguette video on our site, Sam did a great job! I'm so proud of him!

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's true that coconut is everywhere right now--if only sweetened coconut flakes were easier to find in France!

    ReplyDelete
  29. oh those cupcakes are adorable!

    One of my favorite simple dishes is some type of healthy grain like barley with a mix of seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello! Did I see Malibu Rum listed as one of the ingredients? YES! I'm in.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Those two books are fantastic gifts Barbara. Wouldn't mind to win both ha ... ha ... ha ...

    Love your festive cupcake too of course.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Cristina, from BA to Paris16/4/11 1:39 PM

    Look at your "innocent" bunnies... I love them!!! Thnks for the booze! ;D

    ReplyDelete
  33. What adorable (and delicious sounding) Easter cupcakes. I always look forward to your posts and this one certainly did not disappoint Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
  34. the cupcakes look wonderful, perfect for easter! great giveaway. we always try to make whole grain bread.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I cook healthy grains whole and serve them like rice, or I add them to bread or crackers. I'd love to get better at adding them to my sweet baking, but it doesn't always work out well.

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  36. Beautiful cupcakes Barbara! I particularly love the bunny on top of them!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Cup Cakes are adorable.. so inviting and moist. love it. I liked the idea of using coconut in them.. i haven't tasted much of coconut on cup cakes.. interesting.. bookmarking this recipe for later :)

    I am a follower already !

    ReplyDelete
  38. My email id is jabeen.arif@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. The cupcake looks super cute and delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I introduce whole grain like oats along with rice.. use it in equal portions , no one would even know..
    we eat boiled maize, or pop corn .
    i make sweet dish out of oats called payasam.. its an indian sweet ..
    we make breakfast out of oats.. spiced with some seasoning... called upma.

    excited about ur giveaway .. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I was happy to comment on your irresistible coconut buttercream but now you are enticing us with a give away as well:)
    I am a huge fan of healthy grains. I am actually a gluten-free cook and cannot rely on the ease of wheat. So hello quinoa, millet, corn, etc. These ingredients are my cooking friends!
    -E

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yeah now that you mention it, I DO wonder why coconut is such a big Easter flavor. Eh, no matter as it's so delicious! The cupcakes are super cute!

    I always serve a whole grain with dinner, whether it's whole wheat pasta, quinoa, millet, barley, wheat berries. No white grains in this house!

    ReplyDelete
  43. What a generous giveaway! I'm experimenting with using different kinds of flour in my baking.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh, and I'm a follower too!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh my God these cupcakes, the cutest that I've ever seen! Love your creativity Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Barbara, these are just beautiful.They are sure to delight anyone at your table, but I suspect your biggest customers will be the children. What a treat for them. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

    ReplyDelete
  47. Those cupcakes look completely adorable :)

    I cook with healthy grains by using flax seed powder as a substitution for bleached flour.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thats so cute!

    Hurray for the bunny!

    ReplyDelete
  49. So what kind of pie would you recommend for Easter? Coconut cream? :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. The coconut orange cupcakes sound too divine for words! Yum, yum, yum!

    Hugs xx

    Camille @ Paris in Pink

    ReplyDelete
  51. We're on our way to San Francisco to see my youngest, so no holiday cooking for me this year. I'm thrilled, but have already had one family member call to say we should have had our son come home instead, which translates to no one else wanting to cook :(. Oh well! Love these cupcakes -- coconut by itself would be lovely, but the orange makes them extra special!

    ReplyDelete
  52. BARBARA! YOU VISITED MY BEACH BASH! What a kind sista you are!!!! You have been to Greece? I have not YET, but hope to some day. That color of the water is like a fairytale. And you too, BELIEVE.....fabulous; for this world is only the threshold to the real thing, the REAL SHOW!!!

    I LOVE ORANGE CAKE!!!! Have a splendid day dearest, Anita

    ReplyDelete
  53. Barbara, the cupcakes are so cute...indeed perfect for Easter...I like the combination of orange and Malibu...sounds so tropical. Have a great week :-)

    ReplyDelete
  54. These sound delicious and perfect for Easter. And, I would like a cocktail now too! The toasted coconut and bunnies on top are so cute.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Those look sooo tasty. I have only recently started trying to cook a healthier cupcake....I am a noob.
    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Just found your amazing blog & am a new follower!
    -Jessica @http://cajunlicious.com/

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'd hippity hop a mile for one of those cupcakes! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Such yummy tropical cupcakes. They would be perfect for a summer luau with a slice of pineapple on top.
    Mimi

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm a follower ... I've been using quinoa a lot lately.
    Mimi

    ReplyDelete
  60. i love to use barley in salads with beets and arugula. Yum. Also make a lot of salads with the "ancient grain" usually with green beans feta and tomatoes. We make a big funny deal about eating the "ancient grain"--the kids love the idea of it, and they dutifully recite how quinoa has a complete protein! they seem to actually like the salad too.

    BTW can't wait to try these cupcakes Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  61. My kids are drooling over those cupcakes! They look so good!

    I am trying to use whole wheat flour in more of my baked goods and I am buying a lot more whole grains! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I am a follower and an email subscriber! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  63. These cupcakes are so adorable! I will try and see if I have time to make them for Easter. But they might be too cute to eat!

    Hmmmm, do I cook with healthy grains? That's a good question (is it sad that I have to ask myself? Yikes!)

    ReplyDelete
  64. i love easter even more than most holidays simply because coconut is more prevalent! nice cupcakes, barbara. :)
    ah, whole grains--i use them in flour form instead of white flour whenever possible.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Gorgeous Easter cupcakes, Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I would love a new cookbook! I try to use healthy grains all the time - just made bread with Red Fyfle flour. I am also working on some ideas on oat 'rice'.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Lovely cupcakes. Perfect for Easter indeed. Best of luck with your giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Oh my friend...your cupcakes are amazing...you always make me smile with something good over here.

    Oh my daughter would sooooo love one of these...she is my healthy girl. She makes the most wonderful whole grain rolls...yummmmmm! xooxo hugs

    ReplyDelete
  69. Barbara...I can really appreciate your whimsy with your desserts...these are so cute. I especially took note of the coconut buttercream, yum.

    I've been following you through my blogroll...always a pleasure ;o)

    Ciao, for now,
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thanks for the giveaway...especailly the 'Good to the Grain' book which is already on my wish list.
    In the last few years, my pantry has been fully stocked with different grains which I keep experimenting with. The best way to incorporate a few of them at once is when I make minestrone soup.

    Good luck to everyone ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  71. Barbara, I'm afraid I'm not eligible for your giveaway, but I wanted to stop by to say Happy Easter! Or maybe after this post I should say HOPPY Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  72. What cute cupcakes!!! The books look great - good luck to everyone in the US and Canada :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Look at that cute liddle bunny. Yum, I love coconut, so this are right up my alley. Great giveaway (so sad I'm not eligible). Have a great Easter, Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  74. That must be the tallest Easter cupcake I have seen.....beautiful! Love the coconut buttercream. Thanks very much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Geez..the number of comments here just says it all! Happy Easter Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hmm, good point. Why is coconut so popular around this time? What a fantastic giveaway those are two fabulous books. I've always loved whole grains and I use it as a basis for most of my main meals and I'd like to get more into baking with them as well.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Barbara, Happy Easter to you and your family. No doubt these delightful cupcakes are going to be enjoyed this weekend.

    I recently had the pleasure of winning one of your giveaways. :-)

    Cheers.
    Velva

    ReplyDelete
  78. They are so pretty! An adult's cupcake, for sure. And yes, i do occasionally like to sit on a pile of frosting. :)

    Wowie, great giveaways! I sometimes make whole wheat bread. And when I make rice, I sprinkle in some steel cut oats and let them all cook together.

    Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi Barbara! I'm back from vacation and I'm happy to be catching up on my blog reading -- I've missed you! Your cupcakes are lovely and the flavors really are perfect. Wishing you and yours a very happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  80. These cupcakes are over-the -top! I need to make them for my son who adores cupcakes!
    As far the healthier grains, I guess I was fortunate to grow up in a country that uses grains in its cuisine and became accustomed to them, and love them, like bulgur and freekeh (roasted green wheat) and barley.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Your cupcakes are adorable Barbara. Everything's better with rum, right? Right.

    About cooking with healthy grains, we only use brown rice now. The only time I use white rice is when I have to take a photo of rice. Brown rice just doesn't photograph well. Great give-away. Good luck to all.

    Hope you and your family have a lovely Easter weekend.
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  82. I'm a loyal follower and I would love to win one of those cookbooks.
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hey so cute , super cute, jus what i would love so so so muc on my easter table!
    Will u send me some my dearest pal , topped with love!
    Wish i could some bake some cuppy's like this , but u know i still dont have gas connection in my new home:-(
    I have hopes for tomorw, and hope it comes by :-)
    Then i can bake some yellow love , like urs!
    Till then will make do with easter eggs.
    Happy Easter my fren with love , hope and sunshine!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hey so cute , super cute, jus what i would love so so so muc on my easter table!
    Will u send me some my dearest pal , topped with love!
    Wish i could some bake some cuppy's like this , but u know i still dont have gas connection in my new home:-(
    I have hopes for tomorw, and hope it comes by :-)
    Then i can bake some yellow love , like urs!
    Till then will make do with easter eggs.
    Happy Easter my fren with love , hope and sunshine!

    ReplyDelete
  85. These cupcakes are amazing!! Perfect for the holiday :)

    I LOVE using whole grains any way possible. Tons of quinoa salad, farro risotto, etc. And every morning, a big bowl of oats with flax mixed in :)

    Sues

    ReplyDelete
  86. I am already a follower. I use the same two grains a lot. One is ground flax which I sprinkle in my cereal and the other is Bulgar wheat for tabbouleh. Love both of them. I recently bought wheat berries to make a salad but it didn't come out as I had expected. I will have to look for a different recipe. I don't won't to waste the whole bag. Great give away!!

    ReplyDelete
  87. What a delicious, fun Easter treat. I use whole wheat pastry flour in baking. I don't usually have to change the recipe and it makes me feeling better about baking. Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails