I had no intention of posting this recipe. Actually, I had no intention of making these cupcakes at all. But then something terrible happened. And the only reason I can talk about it is because these cupcakes are the result of this mishap. So in the end, we all win. But what you’re about to read is just plain sad. I wish it were an April Fool’s joke but it’s not.
Last week I made a pie. A banana pudding pie with a meringue topping. The recipe was assigned to me for our cooking club. It looked quick and easy enough but to my own disbelief, I had never made meringue before. So I decided to make the pie a day early just in case I was a meringue making failure. Turns out, meringue is one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. I piled it high onto the pie and made pretty swirls. I was proud. So proud, I sent out a picture of it to some friends captioned “Booya!” Meringue brings out the best in me.
The next morning, Jon was eating his cereal at our counter-top bar while I made toast for breakfast. I put the loaf of bread back in the refrigerator and then this happened.
I heard the splat and then I saw Jon’s face…one of those “I might get served divorce papers if I laugh right now” looks. Followed immediately by “We can fix this.” He knows me too well. I just stood there in shock, staring at it. It wasn’t fixable. Jon broke the silence with “I’m so glad that wasn’t me.” I laughed because I was actually really glad it wasn’t him either.
And so it was banana pudding pie round two.
I now consider myself a Master Meringuer, you know, because I made it twice. And I wanted to share with you just how incredibly simple it is to make, but I also knew I wasn’t making pie for a third time. But a pie cupcake? A coconut cream pie cupcake? A coconut cream pie cupcake with vanilla bean meringue? Yes. Yes. Yes.
A sweet coconut cake is filled with a coconut cream and topped with a vanilla bean meringue. Each part of this cupcake is wonderful on its own. The coconut cake is Ina Garten’s recipe. So without a doubt, it’s outstanding. I used cake flour instead of all-purpose for a lighter cake. I wanted the cake to be as fluffy and light as the white, marshmallowy, vanilla meringue that topped it. The cream uses coconut milk and is a nice surprise in the center of all the fluff.
Trust me when I tell you that you won’t miss the crust of this “pie.” Really, when you get down to it, we’re replacing a crust with cake here. Sort of an upgrade if you ask me. Not that I don’t love a good pie crust, but if you could have a slice of pie crust or a slice of cake…I thought so.
The cupcakes are nothing short of amazing. And the toasted meringue tops not only taste great but look pretty impressive as well. Don’t they?
Coconut Cream Cupcakes (makes 34-36 cupcakes) (recipe adapted from Ina Garten and Southern Living)
For the Cake:
3 sticks butter (I used salted)
2 cups sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
7 ounces shredded, sweetened coconut
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup coconut milk (I used light because that’s what I had)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
½ vanilla bean
Posted on April 1, 2011