Coconut Cupcakes

With a name like Mile-High, this delectable treat does not imply a lack of generosity. The toasted coconut cupcake will rise to any occasion — perfect for entertaining with its delightful display of crisped coconut embellishment. Whoever says too much is a bad thing clearly has not experienced the Mile-High Coconut Cupcake!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 7 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 large egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring coconut milk, 1/4 cup coconut, and vanilla bean to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 20 minutes. Discard bean.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 3

Place remaining 3 tablespoons coconut on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring after 4 minutes.

Step 4

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); stir with a whisk. Place 3/4 cup sugar, butter, and oil in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Stir in cooled milk mixture. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until combined.

Step 5

Place 3 egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar in a large bowl. Using clean, dry beaters, beat at medium speed until foamy; beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of beaten egg whites into batter; gently fold in remaining beaten egg whites. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups lined with cupcake liners. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on rack.

Step 6

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and dash of salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, to 230°. Place 3 egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar in a large bowl; beat with clean, dry beaters at medium speed until foamy. Beat at high speed until medium peaks form. With mixer at low speed, pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl. Gradually increase speed to high; beat 3 minutes or until thickened. Beat in extract. Mound about 2 tablespoons icing onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.