raspberry coconut cupcakes
Even though I don’t eat raspberries often, I love having a bag of them in the freezer. They are fab in pancakes (I’m quite partial to raspberry pancakes with bacon, drenched with syrup) and in little cakes just like these. When baked for a short time, the berries become jammy and the most attractive splodge of red, like a smear of lipstick. Also, the acidity of the fruit breaks up the cupcake’s sweetness just nicely.
This cupcake recipe is a one bowl affair, or if you’re super keen on washing super sharp blades it can be whizzed all at once in a food processor. The Swiss meringue icing however, is a little bit more work. But when you taste this strangely not sweet, super smooth frosting, you’ll be won over. It’s worth the extra effort and the crunchy bits of coconut almost melt into the icing. Yum.
(Totally in love with these new sprinkles! They make everything look like birthday cake.)
My icing looks funny because I overbeat the meringue. It’s supposed to be smoother.
Raspberry Coconut Cupcakes
These are a low(er) fat, raspberried version of ‘love buns’ from my bible – the best cookbook ever – Nigella Lawson’s Feast.
Makes 12 cupcakes
100g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
2 tsp baking powder
50g shredded coconut, plus extra for decoration
3 tbsp milk, plus an extra tablespoon to even out the batter
100g raspberries, frozen
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12 cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, mix the butter with your favourite spoon or spatula until the texture is even and soft. Add the caster sugar and beat to combine. Add the two eggs and vanilla extract and beat well. Don’t worry if the mixture curdles.
Add to the butter mixture the flour, bicarb, baking powder and shredded coconut. Fold the mixture together. When it’s halfway combined, add the three tablespoons of milk. Continue to mix and if the batter seems a little dry – it should be dropping consistency – add the extra tablespoon of milk.
When it’s all combined, gently fold in the raspberries. Spoon into the lined muffin tin and slide into the oven for 20 minutes. The cupcakes are ready when light golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin.
Meanwhile, let’s get to work on the frosting!
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Do not be tempted to reduce the amount of butter, otherwise the buttercream will not achieve that really beautiful, thick texture.
Makes plenty to generously cover 12 cupcakes
160g egg whites
170g caster sugar
190g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes
1 tsp vanilla extract
sprinkles and silver cachous to decorate
Make a bain marie by filling a medium saucepan a third of the way and bringing to the simmer.
Put the sugar and egg whites into a stand mixer bowl and set over the simmering water. Ensure the water does not boil – and be really careful with the escaping steam (or wear oven gloves like I do). Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is 65°C.
Remove the bowl from the heat and immediately place on the stand mixer with the whisk attached. Whisk on high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes (or sooner if you have a Kitchenaid).
Switch to the paddle attachment. Beating on medium speed, add 2 or 3 pieces of butter at a time, being sure to incorporate each batch. If the buttercream separates, stop adding butter and increase the beating speed to bring it back together. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
If the buttercream is too thin, beat it for a few minutes more to thicken.
When the cupcakes are cool, do the best bit – ice them! You can go crazy with the frosting as the buttercream is not that sweet. Dab the frosting on (a little palette knife does the job) and shower with coloured sprinkles, silver cachous and snow on some shredded coconut.
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