Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

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This past week has been full of travel. I was in Los Angeles for a bachelorette party, where I visited Disney Land for the first time. Now I’m on Cape Cod with my cousin who is just twenty-eight hours older than me. (She was a bridesmaid at the wedding.) To see some recent travel images, take a look at Instagram.

For now, here are a few themed haikus and limericks constructed with my cousin this morning:

There is much debate
about which lobster roll reigns;
I like Sir Cricket.

Here I am on beautiful Cape Cod
Where there is an abundance of scrod
I like the catch of the day
But oysters would make me sway
I think I have lost my hot bod

I hear ice cream truck,
but I prefer Sundae School;
I hope there’s still fudge

On the Cape there is much entertainment
To play mini golf I am hell-bent
Let’s hop in the car
I’m hoping for par
Will I beat the Frenchman, probablement

Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingStrawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is soft and tender and studded with strawberries. I could eat it on its own, sans frosting, any time of the day.

The recipe is adapted from The Flourishing Foodie‘s Coconut Cake. I’ve made Heather’s Coconut Cake several times; it’s delicious, and especially impressive for birthdays. I sometimes fill the layers with jam or citrus curd instead of the frosting, and I’ve poured cajeta over the top of the cake, or covered it with fruit. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingStrawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

  • the cake 
  • 1.5 cups (230 grams) strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup (200 grams) + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons/113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (135 grams) flour
  • 1 scant teaspoon (3 grams) baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (100 grams) coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • .
  • the frosting
  • 1/3 cup (5.5 tablespoons/70 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces (75 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5 cups (205 grams) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk

  • the cake: 
  •      Heat the oven to 350F/176C. Line a 12-cupcake tin with paper baking cups.
  •      In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  •      Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs and stir to combine. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, followed by the coconut milk, vanilla and zest. Blend on low speed, until the batter is smooth.
  •      By now, the strawberries should have softened under the sugar. Using the back of a fork, smush the strawberries into a rough puree. Stir the strawberry mix into the batter. [*Note: the strawberry puree should equal 1 scant cup, or 215 grams.] Divide the batter evenly between the baking cups. Bake the cupcakes for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a knife comes out clean. Out of the oven, allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes before moving them to a rack to finish cooling, another 30 minutes.
  • .
  • the frosting 
  •      Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter with the cream cheese, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, and beat another 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, coconut milk and lemon zest; mix just until combined. (You can make the frosting up to 4 days ahead and store it, covered, in the fridge.)
  •      When the cupcakes are cool, top each each with frosting. If desired, decorate the top of each cupcake with extra strawberries, shredded coconut, or lemon zest.

Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting Strawberry-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

8 Comments

  1. These cupcakes look lovely. They look so fresh and light and fluffy! Perfect to make to bring to summer parties.

  2. Angela

    Just made these and my batter looked way more pink than your pictures, and the middle of the cupcake sank in. Any ideas what I could have done wrong?

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Angela, my thought is that maybe you ended up using more strawberries than I did, or that your macerating process yielded more liquid than mine did. I will try to re-test these using metric measurements soon.

      • Vrinda

        I had the same issue. The cupcakes tasted great, but the middle sank in and inside was mushy. I definitely cooked them long enough – they were in the oven for 35+mins, and the outside was definitely on the darker golden side.

        • CristinaSciarra

          Hi Vrinda, I’m working on an answer! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Elsie

    These look wonderful! I want to try making them but I’m worried since I live at a high altitude (2600 ft), that I will have the same problem. Any suggestions before I start?

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Elise. I don’t know too much about high altitude cooking. I suggest asking on Food52 in the Hotline!

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