Coconut Cupcakes

When I was young, I remember being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother making cupcakes to bring to school for my birthday.  I have such fond memories that I’m always looking for a good cupcake recipe with which to experiment.  One summer while in East Hampton, New York, I discovered The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, and I tasted these cupcakes that she sold in her shop, The Barefoot Contessa.  This is an excellent recipe for cupcakes that is easy to make and a fun activity to do with the whole family.

Coconut Cupcakes

Makes 18 to 20 large and I mean large cupcakes.

å_ POUND unsalted butter at room temperature

2 CUPS of sugar

5 extra-large eggs at room temperature

1 å_ TEASPOONS pure vanilla extract

1 å_ TEASPOONS pure almond extract

3 CUPS all-purpose flour

1 TEASPOON baking powder

å_ TEASPOON baking soda

å_ TEASPOON salt

1 CUP buttermilk

14 OUNCES sweetened, shredded coconut Cream Cheese Icing(see below)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 

With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry.  Mix until just combined. 

Slowing add and fold in 7 ounces of shredded coconut. 

Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  With an Ice cream scooper, fill each cup to the top with batter. 

Bake for 25 “Ò 30 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. 

Frost with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Cream cheese icing


It is vary important that the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature and that the confectioners’ sugar is sifted to ensure no lumps in the icing.

1 POUND cream cheese at room temperature

å_ POUND unsalted butter at room temperature

1 TEASPOON pure vanilla extract

å_ TEASPOON pure almond extract

1 å_ POUNDS confectioners’ sugar, sifted

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. With Ina Garten and The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, you have the perfect recipe for hosting parties that are easy and fun for everyone–including the cook.

Copyright 1999. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

For more information about Ina Garten and other excellent recipes, visit her website at

And there you have it.