Coconut Lime Cupcakes

What happens when you are given a huge bag of limes from a friend’s backyard? You start looking for every lime recipe known to man (or woman, more likely) and you get baking.

You decide on the tropical-sounding Coconut Lime Cupcakes first because it’s a miserable, rainy day and you’d like to imagine you’re on a sunny Caribbean Island soaking up some rays…and then you get that song stuck in your head. You know what I’m talking about, and now it’s stuck in your head, isn’t it!

You put the lime in the coconut,
You drank them both up

You put the lime in the coconut,
You drank them both up…

repeat over and over until you drive everybody crazy, basically. Thank you Harry Nilsson (and The Baha Men, Dannii Minogue and Jimmy Buffet, amongst others who’ve covered it…I think even Kermit the Frog did a version?) for recording such a catchy Calypso number that has stood the test of time.

So you really do put the lime in the coconut in this recipe…let me elaborate:

Coconut Lime Cupcakes – makes 12

Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut

Frosting

  • 125g butter
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 ½ cups coconut flakes
  • sliced or candied limes, to decorate
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted remove from heat but allow to stay warm in saucepan.
  3. In medium bowl, mix together melted coconut oil and sugar, then stir through coconut milk, milk, vanilla and lime zest until combined.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and bicarb soda and salt. Mix until smooth then add coconut and stir until combined.
  5. Distribute amongst cupcake cases, and bake for 23-25 minutes until the top has some springiness. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Beat butter in stand mixer (or by hand) for 6-8 minutes until pale and creamy, then add sifted icing sugar and lime juice and beat for a further 10-15 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir through lime zest.
  7. Spread frosting onto cupcakes, and roll in coconut flakes until covered. Decorate with lime slices or candied lime slices as desired.

I’d recommend not making a double batch like I did today, because even though we each had one for morning and afternoon tea, gave away a plateful to the lime-tree owner as thanks, and squirelled some away for tomorrow, you’ll get to 9pm and realise you’re up to #3 for the day…oops.

This was a seriously delectable way to use up…3 limes. So stay tuned for another 17 lime recipes over the next week…unless I just buy a case of Corona’s and call it a day!

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It’s Cookies & Cream day!

We’re in full swing of Easter school holidays here, and with Mr B. home as well I have lots of hungry mouths to fill! After spending the morning splashing around at the aquatic centre I spent quite a few hours in the kitchen replenishing supplies. Cupcakes were the first order of the day.
I set my sights on the Cookies & Cream cupcakes – my first recipe out of Vegan Cupcakes take over the world.
As we’re not vegan I modified it slightly, so my recipe came out like this:

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes – Makes 12

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
Around 10 chopped Oreo cookies

Frosting
125g butter or marg, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 T milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup cocoa
3 Oreo cookies, finely mashed

1. Preheat oven to 175 °C and line muffin tin with cupcake cases.
2. Whisk together milk & vinegar in a large bowl, set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
3. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla and whisk until foamy.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients and whisk into wet ingredients until no lumps remain.
5. Stir through chopped oreo cookies, then pour into cases until 3/4 full.
6. Bake 18-20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.
7. Frosting – Beat butter for 6-8 minutes, or until a light, creamy consistency. Add milk & vanilla, then sift in icing sugar and cocoa. Beat until combined. Fold in mashed cookies.
8. Spread cooled cupcakes with frosting, then top with extra oreo cookies if desired.

These were to die for!! Absolutely heaven, and they’ve given me a renewed confidence for the success of other recipes in this book (and more cupcakey goodness in my tummy!)
The only reason the whole batch hasn’t been devoured yet it because whilst I was whipping up the frosting for those babies, I had the food processor working away on some other sweet morsels…
Apricot Coconut Balls
1 cup crushed weetbix
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
250g dried apricots.

Mix together in food processor until sticky & dough-like (great description huh?). Roll into balls, coat in extra coconut then chill until set. So quick & simple, and delicious with your afternoon cuppa!
I’m sure these are served up at every Christmas ‘do’ in my extended family, so they do seem like a special treat, but I was desperate to use up some of the weet-bix crumbs in the bottom of the cereal container (good enough reason, don’t you think?!).
After the dishes were washed the bench reappeared so out came the Zoku. I’m really enjoying experimenting with it and uh, eating the results of course!
After opening the box of Oreo cookies for the cupcakes, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they were found by the little people, so I used my magic skills to make them disappear…into ice-blocks. I used the Cookies & Cream recipe in the Zoku recipe book, but modified it slightly using Lorraine’s suggestion of using custard instead of ‘vanilla pudding’ – these pops turned out so much creamier than any I have made so far, so I’ll definitely stick with the custard. Really nice flavour, creamy texture and the biscuit pieces were a nice ‘treat’ in the middle. This recipe is a keeper!


In the beginning…

…there were patty cakes.

When I was a child my mum, nan, grandma and everyone else I knew who baked made patty cakes – they were just little vanilla cakes baked in white patty cases, with a simple runny icing and some 100’s & 1000’s on top. If mum was feeling adventurous we got pink icing or maybe chocolate icing with desiccated coconut on top. 

So what happened to the patty cake?
I can’t say I’m particularly organised yet as I haven’t even googled it yet, but my theory is it became Americanised with lots of other simple Aussie foods. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different.

In my mind, Becoming Americanised is synonymous with being bigger & better, and certainly the CUPCAKE is bigger (and probably better. Okay. It’s better.) than the humble patty cake.
CUPCAKES are not only lovely little cakes in a myriad of flavours and pretty ‘frostings’, they are also a multi-million dollar industry. Probably. Haven’t done my research on that either.

There are now cupcake stands and cupcake carriers (guilty to owning several of both), and my nan would be horrified to learn a packet of polka-dot cupcake wrappers might cost around the same as Sunday’s Roast Leg of Lamb.

All this whinging aside (get used to it, there’s lots more where that came from), I’m a big fan of the cupcake, and usually find myself making a few different batches a week to feed my hungry horde.

My most recent cupcake cookbook purchase (my fourth cupcake cookbook actually) is Vegan Cupcakes take over the world, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.
I jumped on The Book Depository and ordered it immediately after returning a tatty copy to my library, following the Rules of Cookbook Purchasing (more on that later), as I was literally frothing at the mouth reading it.

I’m not a Vegan (I am a vegetarian but that’s entirely irrelevant here), but I’d seen great reviews on this book and in print everything looked delectable….BUT…

I live in Australia.
Contrary to popular belief, Skippy the Kangaroo doesn’t hop down my main street. I’m in a decent sized metropolitan centre and have access to quite a lot of large supermarkets and a few decent health-food and speciality food stores. However, the frosting recipes really had me stumped. Frosting to me is what happens in Winter to the car windscreens of those poor unfortunate souls who live in Canberra.

Most Australians make ‘icing’ for cakes using icing sugar or icing mixture (very common) and either butter or marg (maybe milk too, that’s getting kinda fancy though). Contemporary Aussie cookbookrepeneurs like Donna Hay still call it icing, but ‘frosting’ is widely known to those who bake.
So how do I make that lovely frosting without non-hydrogenated shortening? Ain’t none of that down under folks! I solved my own dilemma by substituting butter, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Most of my cookbook collection were written by US or UK authors, and my poor hubby is sick of me screaming from the kitchen mid-recipe “honey, google me a substitute for graham crackers, STAT”. So even though there are a gazillion cookbook-review blogs floating around the web these days, I’m adding another one – with a distinctly Australian flavour.