It’s the first day of spring and that calls for a cupcake! Not only are these cupcakes adorable, they are amazing. You’ll find yourself thinking of ways to hide and hoard a few extras to savor all by yourself, because you believe that you love and appreciate these cupcakes more than others and, therefore, deserve more. Or maybe that’s just me. These are perfect for Easter celebrations, birthdays, and even Wednesdays.
adapted from Ina Garten
3/4 pound (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
8 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
3 cups toasted coconut
speckled jelly beans for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Frost the cupcakes into a nest shape, then roll the edges in the toasted coconut. Place three jelly beans in the center. Makes 24 cupcakes.