Coco-nutty Cupcakes

Hey everyone!  I hope you are having a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend and a happy Saturday at that.  If you are a Jimmy Buffet fan in the Midwest region than you have another reason to be celebrating as well.  Tickets for Jimmy’s annual Alpine Valley show have finally gone on sale.  WOOOOO!  Thanks to my amazing dad, I already have my seat reserved for August 25th.  You won’t want to miss this one guys.  Wisconsin has the absolute best weather in August and it’s a perfect way to end the summer with family and friends.  Incase I have persuaded you to join us Parrot Heads, here is one of the sites where you can get your tickets: Click Me

The celebration continues in my house with some honorary Jimmy Buffet baking.  Oh yes, we are already gearing up for the infamous Alpine Valley pre-show fiesta!  These Coco-nutty Cupcakes are perfect following a Cheeseburger in Paradise.  They are sure to make Jolly Mon Sing.  You have been forewarned, this recipe contains a little rum, but hey, what Parrot Head doesn’t want to wast away in Margaritaville?  Okay that was the last one I promise, just trying to get everyone in the island spirit!

Now PLEASE bare with me here, I am still trying to perfect this recipe, but I think these are my best batch yet!  One of the reasons I love these cupcakes so much is because they are so incredibly moist.  I’m also a huge Key Lime Pie lover and I used some fresh key limes in this recipe to give the cake a little extra tang.  The crunchy, toasted coconut combined with the  sweet and tangy cake creates a really nice flavor.  I have even turned people who hate coconut into coconut lovers!  So, without any further adieu, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Supermoist Vanilla cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Spiced rum (to taste)

Frosting

  • Betty Crocker vanilla frosting
  • Juice of 1-2 key limes
  • Spiced rum (to taste)
  • Confectioner’s sugar

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the flaked coconut and condensed milk.  In a separate, larger bowl, beat the water, oil and eggs.  Like I said before, I love the tangy key lime flavor, so I added a splash of juice to the cake mixture, about 1 key lime.  Then, slowly mix in the Supermoist Vanilla cake mix.  I like to add the rum last so I know what I’m getting myself in to.  In this last batch I added about 2-3 teaspoons of Meyer’s rum to the mix; however, the key lime flavor definitely overpowered the rum.  I probably would have been safe adding at least 2 more teaspoons.  Be careful, it is VERY easy to overdue it!  Better start with little amounts and add more.

Next, line some muffin tins with baking cups and fill them about half-way, no more than three quarters.  I think muffins are so much prettier without the cups; that way you can see the gorgeous cake color and texture, but this filling tends to sink to the bottom, so you definitely don’t want to go birthday suit style with these treats.  Now add a generous teaspoonful of the coconut and milk mixture to the top of each cup.  Don’t worry, the filling will sink as the cupcakes bake.  You can bake these cupcakes on the middle rack for about 20 minutes.  The top of the cake will be a little moist when they are done, but firm.  Look for a golden-brown coloring around the edges.

While your cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting.  I am still looking for a worthy buttercream recipe, so for now, I just use Betty Crocker’s pre-made vanilla frosting.  Personally, I LOVE it!  I am so one of those people who dip their finger into the frosting can and go to town.  However, I would love any frosting recipe suggestions.  Empty the frosting into an electric mixer along with the juice of about 2 key limes, and about 3-4 teaspoons of rum.  Again, this balance of ingredients is all according to personal preference so do not be afraid to experiment!  Depending on how you want to frost the cupcakes, you may need to stiffen the mixture with some confectioner’s sugar.  However, if you decide not to add confectioner’s sugar, chill the frosting for about twenty minutes before frosting the cupcakes or else you will have a runny, nutty mess.  On another note, the cupcakes must be COMPLETELY cooled before you start frosting!  This is very important.  Take from someone who has learned the hard way many times.

For a final touch, I toasted some leftover flaked coconut in the oven for about 15 minutes or so.  You can sprinkle this right on top of the frosting.  If you want to make these delectable creations even more fun, try adding a sugared fruit slice or maybe an umbrella.  For you Jimmy Buffet fans, my dad suggests turning the fruit slice into a shark fin!  What a great idea, the possibilities are truly endless.  I really hope you all have fun with this recipe, and if you’re feeling courageous enough, come join us at Alpine Valley in August.  It’s sure to get a little nutty!

Fins up Parrot Heads!

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