Coconut Cupcakes

 The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

makes 18 (or 12)

Can you eat just one? I usually make 2/3 of this recipe and divide it among 12 cupcakes. Amounts in parentheses after item are for this. They’re a bit smaller, but plenty. 


  • 3/4 POUND unsalted butter at room temperature (1/2)
  • 2 cups sugar (1 1/2)
  • 5 extra large eggs at room temperature (3)
  • 1 1/2 TEASPOONS pure vanilla extract (1)
  • 1 1/2 TEASPOONS pure almond extract (1)
  • 3 CUPS all-purpose flour (2)
  • 1 TEASPOON baking powder (2/3)
  • 1/2 TEASPOON baking soda (1/4 heaping)
  • 1/2 TEASPOON salt (1/4 heaping)
  • 1 CUP buttermilk (2/3)
  • 14 OUNCES sweetened, shredded coconut (10)
  • Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows) 


Preheat the oven to 325°F

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. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut. 

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 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

  • 1 POUND cream cheese at room temperature (12 oz)
  • 3/4 POUND unsalted butter at room temperature (1/2)
  • 1 TEASPOON pure vanilla extract (3/4)
  • 1/2 TEASPOON pure almond extract (1/4)
  • 1 1/2 POUNDS confectioners’ sugar, sifted (1)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. 

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