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Desserts

Coconut cupcakes

Coconut cupcakes
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Last year around this time as I passed a neighbor's house, a powerful sense of deja vu overwhelmed me and, out of nowhere, I was filled with pleasant memories of island vacations. Hawaii? What was it about this unremarkable stucco ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Makes 24 cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 scant cups sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut powder
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 10 large egg whites, divided
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (thick strips preferred)

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin tins.

Step 2Blend together three-fourths cup of the sugar and the nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside.

Step 3To make the batter, cream the butter, coconut powder and 1 cup of the remaining sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a flat paddle.

Step 4Mix together the coconut milk and almond extract. Alternate additions of the flour and the coconut milk to the butter mixture, beating until smooth.

Step 5In a separate bowl, whip 8 egg whites with one-half cup of the remaining sugar until they form soft peaks. Fold a third of the whipped egg whites into the batter. Add the remaining whipped egg whites and fold until thoroughly combined.

Step 6Fill the tins three-fourths full with batter. Sprinkle each cupcake with one teaspoon of the sugar-nutmeg mixture.

Step 7To make the topping, stir together the remaining 2 egg whites, the shredded coconut, and 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Evenly spread the topping on each cake.

Step 8Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the tops are golden. Cool the cupcakes and then remove them from the muffin tins.

Note: From Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery; published in "Cooking from the Heart." Cream of coconut powder from Thailand is available in Asian markets.

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