Monday, August 6, 2012

Aloha! Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes

Last week I posted those Dinosaur  Key Lime Pie cupcakes and promised that there was more coming.  This is what was coming!  These might aesthetically be one of  my favorite cupcakes yet.

I am super proud of these cupcakes, and right off the bat must give credit to my friend Brandon for giving me the idea of an upside down cupcake liner as a hula skirt.  Who knows what I would have come up with if he hadn't suggested this ingenious little idea. 

Taste pretty darn good too!  They are coconut pineapple cupcakes with a light pineapple cream cheese frosting, topped off with toasted coconut and one tiny little flower sprinkle. And the skirts. And the umbrellas.

Coconut Pineapple Cupcakes
Makes 18.  350* for 14 minutes.
Recipe adapted from here.

2 c. flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick  unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup coconut milk + 3/4 cup sugar mixed in
3/4 cup chopped pineapple from a can, strained, no juice (save juice though)

For brushing:
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons pineapple juice 

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar together in stand mixer.  Add in rum and eggs.
3. In additions, add the flour mixture and the coconut milk mixture into the butter/sugar mixture in the stand mixture.  Begin and end with flour.
4. Fold in chopped pineapple into batter.

(*The recipe I found says to chop it up finely. I love pineapple, so I definitely did not do that. A good thing too, since the cupcakes did not taste like coconut very much, but the pineapple chunks more than made up for it. )
5. Scoop batter into liners and bake, then remove from oven.
6. Before cupcakes are completely cool, use the pineapple juice/rum mixture and brush over the tops of the cupcakes.  If they are still warm, the cupcakes will absorb the flavor and the moisture in almost immediately. 

I had found a recipe that called for the use of pineapple preserves.  I was really excited to try it and spent 2.5 weeks looking for it, going to 5 grocery stores... and nothing.  So i had to use pineapple juice instead.  Then literally 3 days after baking it i went to the Mexican grocery store and found it chilling on the shelf next to the Mexican caramel. *Sighs.  Maybe next time.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
1.5 sticks unsalted butter
1.5 bricks of  cream cheese
2 table spoons pineapple juice
3.5 c powdered sugar

Optional: Food coloring 

1. Cream butter and cream cheese together.
2. Add in powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, and beat in mixer. Half way through, add your pineapple juice
3. Beat until fluffy. 
4. Add in pink food coloring if desired. 
5.  Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes.  I used a 1M Wilton tip on these.


Toasted coconut flakes
Cake Mate flower sprinkles
Green Wilton cupcake liners
Hawaiin themed colorful cocktail umbrellas


1. Toast coconut flakes in oven for 4-5 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Once cool, sprinkle on top of cupcakes.
2. Take your green liners and cut out the middle part -- where the cupcake is supposed to conventionally sit.  Cut up the sides of the liners, but not all the way through.  Tape onto the bottom part of each of your baked cupcakes.

3. Put one flower sprinkle on each cupcake.
4. Place one umbrella on each.

All done!

The toasted coconut was just perfect for these, and complimented the pineapple quite well.

And come on, aren't the skirts and umbrellas adorable together?

If this isn't tropical and Hawaiin I don't know what is.  

I also got to use my cupcake stands!  I put both these and the key lime cupcakes on a little table that had its own hula skirt and dinosaur confetti.  Also, a Tiki guy candle for the birthday girl.  

Miami Vice Dinosaurs in Hawaii Cupcakes?  A success!!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dinosaur Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

If you  look up "crazy"  you will clearly find that nowhere in the definition does it desribe a girl who sits at the kitchen table separating out the green dinosaurs from the rest of the purple, orange, and pink dinosaur sprinkles.  

Therefore, I am not crazy because I did that.  I just really wanted to use the green ones is all.  Okay?

Now why are there cute little green Wilton green dinosaur sprinkles on these cupcakes?  These, key lime cupcakes to be exact.  With a graham cracker crust, key lime cake, tart key lime curd topping and whipped cream frosting what else could they be? Well that's because my dear friend Katie had her annual themed birthday party.  This year's theme was Miami Vice Dinosaurs in Hawaii.  The Hawaii part will be covered in next week's post.  This week's covers the Miami part (key lime!) and the dinosaur part.  And yes, i made two kinds. And no, I will not be doing that again. Way too much cupcaking.

I adapted the recipe from here.

Key Lime Cupcakes 
Makes 16, Bake at 350* for about 18 minutes 

Crust3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs1/8 c. sugar1 tablespoon melted, unsalted butter Cupcakes1.5 c cake flour1/2 tbsp. baking powder1/4 tsp. salt1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature1 cups sugarZest of 2 key limes2 tablespoon fresh key lime juice3 large eggs,  room temperature1 cup buttermilk, room temperature1 tsp. vanilla extract Directions: For the crust - 1. Crush up graham crackers and melt butter.2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter and mix together.3. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mix into the bottom of each cupcakes liner and press down. 5. Bake at 350% for 5 minutes.  6. Remove from oven and set aside.  For the cupcakes -1. In one bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.2. Beat butter on medium speed in your stand mixer until light and fluffy  (3 minutes).  3. Beat in lime zest. 4. Beat in sugar, ¼ cup at a time.5. Beat in eggs, one at time.6. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla.7. In 5 additions, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture in your stand mixer. Start and end with flour.   Beat until fully incorporated. 6. Scoop out batter on top of the graham cracker baked crust.7. Bake in oven, set aside to cool completely.  

They didn't come out exactly how I wanted truth be told.  I was initially going to core them and fill them with the lime curd, but they were a little... concaved?  This actually ended up working perfect though.  You will see in a second.  I DID like how you could see the little pieces of zest though! 

Key Lime Curd

4 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 tbl spoons key lime zest 1/3 c. fresh key lime juice1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

Directions:1. Put a heat proof glass bowl over saucepan filled with 2 inches of water.
2. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar and eggs over low-medium heat. 3. Stir constantly with spoon for approximately 10 minutes.  It took mine almost 15 because I had the heat pretty low. Stop stirring when the mixture can coat the back of your spoon.4. Remove from heat and mix in cubed butter until smooth.5. Use a seive to remove pieces of zest and any cooked egg.6. Cover with plastic wrap (directly over the mixture) and refrigerate. 

The mixture will thicken up within a few hours.  You can make this ahead of time and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
I used the same technique and basic recipe as I did for the lemon curd for my blueberry lemon curd filled cupcakes.  The lime is much much more tart though.  I have tons left over, actually.  Need a scone!

But for the cupcakes, I actually just ended up putting the curd directly over the cupcake.  Not filled, just on top. The concave tops worked perfect for this. 

And on top of the lime curd, you put the frosting!

Whipped Cream Frosting

1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Chill your paddle attachment and your bowl in the freezer.  Totally dig how it always looks so frosty!

2. Combine all ingredients in the mixing bowl and beat on high for five to seven minutes until cream can form stiff peaks.

Now, just pipe (I used a Wilton 2M tip for these) the frosting on top of the lime curd topped cupcakes.

Almost done!  Then garnish as you please.  If at all.  You can do lime zest but I wanted to put those dinosaur sprinkles to good use!  

I love the look of the lime curd poking out.  My only real grievance with them was that the curd was yellow and not green, haha.  And that's a pretty lame complain.

I started to do some orange dinosaurs too, but for the party only used the green ones.  It was more Key Lime-y in my opinion.

And as you can see, I also got to use my stands for the first time!  Not bad, eh?  I forgot to take picture of what they looked like on the inside though.  :(  Sorry.  I was too busy drinking Jungle Juice.  

These are just 1 of 2.  Next week you'll get to see the full display as well as the Hawaiian themed cupcakes.  I'm so proud of those!