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Things here in the Taste and Tell household are changing. The baby is not even here yet – still 3 more months – but life is already different.

The company I have been working for for the last almost 4 years has been struggling a bit because of the falling stock market. I won’t get into details because really, food=exciting, stock market=boring, but as of about a week and a half ago, I am officially unemployed. There were some layoffs, and I volunteered myself to be one to go, especially since I was hoping to not return after the baby comes. So while I was excited to become a stay-at-home mom, I am now getting to spend a few months being a stay-at-home wife in preparation for the baby!

So what kind of changes does that mean for my food blog here? Well, I’m not sure yet! I’m cooking more, which is a good thing, and hopefully I’ll be able to try out more of the recipes and techniques I’ve been bookmarking. It might be harder for me to make the rounds on other blogs, but so far I’ve been managing. I was able to sit at a computer for 7 hours a day, and blogging and visiting other blogs was not a problem because I had the time. Now I am busier than I have ever been before! But I’m still making time for blogging, because it’s what I really enjoy.

What does this all have to do with these cupcakes? Well, they were my final “hurrah” at my job. I found out about the layoffs on Thursday, and brought these in on Friday for co-workers birthday. I figured that just because many were getting laid off, it didn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate his birthday!

I took the recipe for Ina’s Coconut Cake, and combined it with the recipe for her Coconut Cupcakes. But there was something else I wanted to try as well. Several weeks ago, I was watching a rerun of Throwdown with Bobby Flay – it was the cupcake throwdown. Bobby’s challenger – I can’t remember who she was now, but she said that she never uses butter in her cupcakes – only oil – because it keeps them moist. Bobby won the challenge, but people did complain that his cupcakes (in which he used butter) were dry. And I really don’t like a dry cupcake. So I thought I’d test it out and use vegetable oil instead of butter.

These cupcakes were anything but dry. And although they may have lost a little bit of a boost of flavor from the butter, the texture of these made up for it. They were absolutetly delicious! One of my favorite cupcakes to date.

Now I’m just going to have to figure out who to pawn my baked goods off to so that I don’t eat them all!!Coconut Cupcakes
adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home

makes about 36 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

For the Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 pound powdered sugar, sifted
3 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted witht he paddle attachement, mix the oil and sugar on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes, until thouroughly combined. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well in between each addition. Scrape the bowl down once during the mixing of the eggs. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

Fill the lined cupcake pans 3/4 full. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For 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 confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

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60 Responses to Coconut Cupcakes

  1. thecoffeesnob says:

    I love coconut and those look amazing. Congratulations on the impending arrival of your baby by the way.

    I stumbled upon your site while looking for reviews on the book Candy Making- i’m definitely getting it now after seeing that gorgeous square of caramel you made- and absolutely love that you have a Cookbook of the Month thing going on :D

  2. Tiffany says:

    I send all my goodies in to work with my husband. Otherwise I’d spend all day “just having a taste”.

  3. kat says:

    What an interesting idea to use oil instead of butter, I'll have to try it.
    I am a stay-at-home wife for a year now & its amazing how busy I am. I wonder how I did it all when I had a full time job!

  4. Maria says:

    I wish I could be a stay at home wife…maybe someday:)
    The cupcakes look amazing! I have made Ina’s before, she uses so much butter and cream cheese though. I will have to try the oil. Thanks!

  5. Cakespy says:

    You’re too cool…these would brighten up any dull work day. :-)

  6. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    So pretty and delightful! Here, it is very difficult to find shredded coconut (only shaved)…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  7. nicole says:

    Ohhh yummy! I love everything coconut.

  8. veron says:

    Our company is not doing that well too – we’re just waiting for the shoe to drop. It’s good that you have more time to do some cooking :)…if anything that is a bright side especially the impending addition to your family. This coconut cupcakes are adorable!

  9. Happy cook says:

    They looks so delicious.
    I am a SAHM and have anjoyed every moment, well that is going a bit to far, let me say there wre times when i was bored, but i woudn’t exchange it for anything .

  10. Ingrid says:

    Your cupcakes look heavenly! I don’t know why I haven’t made coconut cupcakes yet. Everytime I see some I want one or two! Thanks for reminding me I NEED these. I’m also going to try it your way!
    ~ingrid

    Question, how long would you say your Ghost cookies last? Babygirl and I are making them on Wednesday for Friday. THX!

  11. ashley says:

    enjoy being a SAHM earlier and being able to prepare for baby!

    the cupcakes look beautiful!

  12. Sylvie says:

    Just post them to me! I’d be a happy taker. ;)

  13. Courtney says:

    i have made these before and love love love them. the frosting is delish I actually put it on a german chocolate cake and it was great.

    Awesome for staying home. I did that with my first for a few weeks and it was well worth it. Too bad this time around I have a 20 month old running around, could use so peace and quiet these last two months.

  14. Ryley says:

    I wonder if using half oil and half butter would make up for the flavor but still give you the moisture?? Sounds like another experiment!!

    p.s. I TOTALLY volunteer myself for the reciepient of all your baked goods.. however, I dont know that my doctor would be too thrilled about it! :)

  15. RecipeGirl says:

    I see lots of baking in your future! Congrats on your new stay-at-home status. You’ll love it.

    Nice tip on the oil. Will have to try it out!

  16. kamailesfood says:

    I do enjoy coconut and these cupcakes look fantastic! I pawn a lot of stuff on my neighbors.

    Enjoy being at home and get lots of sleep. :) I had about 4 months w/ no job or baby yet and it was great to have all the extra time to get ready.

  17. Kristen says:

    I have no doubt that God plans things like this. You were hoping to be able to stay at home with your little booshka… now, the answer is clear as day for you. You won’t regret that decision one bit, I promise!
    I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding someone to share your baked goods with. If you do, I’d be happy to give you my mailing address :)
    Congratulations on the start of your new life :) Enjoy!

  18. Melanie says:

    Hmmm…too bad I’m not closer, I’d take the baked goods off your hands! Not that my own pregnant belly needs them, but who could resist? These cupcakes look awesome. And congratulations on having time to prepare for your little babe. What a fun time!

  19. Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow says:

    These look SO good. I LOVE coconut!

  20. Kelly-Jane says:

    Ooooooh they looks great!

    I send baking to my hubby’s work too, bit of random feeding :)

  21. Indigo says:

    That’s so interesting about using oil to keep cupcakes moist… I bet melted butter would do the same job for texture as well as keeping the buttery flavour; what d’you reckon?

    Coconut is one of my absolute favourites, these look fantastic. I volunteer to, er, help out with your baking XD.

  22. Erin says:

    These look wonderful! I’ve heard many good things about these cupcakes and I can’t wait for the chance to try them!

  23. Mary says:

    Deb, I think you’ll enjoy your new status. The cupcakes are absolutely beautiful. I’ll bet they taste as good as they look. Happy cooking.

  24. noble pig says:

    OMG you think your busy now, just wait! Really enjoy this time because this is the good ole’ days!

    Beautiful cupcakes!

  25. Aimée says:

    I’m so glad that you can be home now. I’m sure you’ve got some ‘nesting’ to do. These cupcakes look amazing and that first photo should be in a magazine! Nice job!

  26. Dragon says:

    Congratulations on your new life. How exciting! These cupcakes are lovely. Coconut is one of my absolute favourites.

  27. Darius T. Williams says:

    Such a perfect way to end any meal – great job!

    -DTW
    http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

  28. Elle says:

    Love the coconut cupcakes AND love your attitude toward life’s changes…it will make you the BEST mom ever!
    Now that you can’t take your baked good to work, you can always find takers at your local fire department, police station and library. Amazingly many of the people who work at those places don’t feel the least bit appreciated, so that are really touched to recieve your goodies…and they deserve them.

  29. Michelle says:

    Hi! Congratulations on your baby. :) These cupcakes look so delicious and what a nice gesture before you leave your job. Our firm is going through the same. Ugh. What has happened to this economy! I hate that uneasy feeling. I think I am safe though (I just knocked on wood)

    Looking forward to more recipes.

    Michelle

  30. Michelle says:

    I just stumbled upon your site, which is amazing and lovely. I just wanted to say, enjoy every second preparing for your little angel to be born. Sleep as much as possible and cherish the quiet moments. I don’t even know you, but I am so excited for you. Being a mom is the most beautiful, crazy, divine thing in the world! Congratulations.

  31. Peabody says:

    That was the red velvet cake episode. The woman actually uses butter in her other cupcakes, but not red velvet. When I make red velvet I use oil as well.
    Those cupcakes look so very good.

  32. Jenny says:

    Deborah,
    Your cupcakes are just lovely! Ina never fails us that’s for sure! Hope you enjoy being a SAHM a little sooner than you thought!

  33. Mary says:

    Your cupcakes look so yummy! And yeah, I had to stop making so many baked goods without having a place to pawn them off to. It’s kind of a bummer. But hooray for getting to time to prepare for baby!

  34. Linda says:

    I’m always on the hunt for a moister cupcake, and your hint about oil is a good one.

    I’ve spent a pleasant early morning perusing your very interesting blogs! :-)

  35. MacDuff says:

    Oh god, sorry about work! It sounds like it’s put you in a better place, though.

    Have you ever noticed Bobby Flay’s lisp? It’s weird. He’s always like “I’m Bobby Fway…and it’s time fo’ a fwodown.”

  36. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I think you’ll end up starting your own business, as a caterer or something! :)
    These cupcakes would make me glad right now, I’ll say!

  37. Grace says:

    i’ve often wondered why some recipes call for oil. now i know, and now i shall use it in all my cupcakes. :)
    meanwhile, coconut makes me happy. this is good stuff. :)

  38. Mansi says:

    These look absolutely ravishing! sorry about your job, but I’m happy coz that means more goodies for us at your blog, at least for the time being!:)

    the cupcakes look great, I’ll be making these soon!:)

  39. Katerina says:

    I have always wanted to make this recipe from Ina’s book – and yours looks so good.

  40. Esi says:

    I have been wanting to try these too! I really think that everything Ina makes is just amazing. I definitely agree that using oil makes a really moist, delicious cupcake. These are beautiful.

  41. Dawn says:

    I love the throwdown with Bobby Flay!
    Ina’s recipes are so perfect.
    Really great cupckaes here!

  42. PheMom says:

    I think your cupcakes look great and I’m sure they were appreciated especially in hard times! I’m sorry to hear that your office is in trouble. I keep waiting for something like this to happen at our office too (and if it does, I’m in big trouble!!). I’m glad you will get to enjoy being home though – congratulations!

  43. Alyce says:

    ooooh…they look yummy. I LOVE cocounut cake, I know these would be good. You could pawn them off on me anytime! Your pics are beautiful. What’s your camera?

  44. Leonor de Sousa Bastos says:

    Your cupcakes look so beautiful!!

    They look like small snowy hills…

    Loved it!

  45. hot garlic says:

    Wow! Congrats / Condolences on your ‘Retirement’ / Layoff. I would have thought you’d have had oodles of time for blogging, but I guess it’s true, it is amazing how the time gets immediately sucked up!

    These cupcakes are so cute, I can’t refuse coconut!

  46. Andrea says:

    Hi Deborah, I’ve given you an award. Go here to see it: http://cooking-books.blogspot.com/2008/10/she-likes-me.html

  47. Emiline says:

    Sorry about the layoffs. I guess it’s nothing to be sorry about, but, you know…

    Now you can have some fun, relax, and blog even more!

    The cupcakes sound great. I know what you’re talking about with the Throwdown episode. I wonder how they’d be with coconut oil?

  48. Debbie says:

    They look delicious and I will give these a try. Thanks for the tip regarding oil. I always learn something new from fellow bloggers!!!

  49. Rosie says:

    The cupcakes look amazing!!

    I haven’t tried Ina’s recipe for these yet but they do look SO good!

    Rosie x

  50. Veronica says:

    Love coconut cupcakes! Yours look tasty. Hope you like being a SAHM-I think you will!

  51. kellypea says:

    I’m truly glad that you have some time at home before the baby arrives. You’ve got it exactly right that you’ll have to find people to take your goodies. I’m sure you’ll have no problems with yummy cupcakes like this! I love coconut.

  52. bbaking says:

    mmmmm yes please!

  53. Mrs. says:

    Raising hand to be one of those that you could pawn your baked goods off on!
    Having been a victim of layoffs a few times, I’m always amazed at how busy I seemed when I didn’t have a job. I’m glad everything worked out and you are getting some time before the baby comes.

  54. Rico says:

    Wow more cupcakes and this time they have coconut too yum yum…keep e’m coming..

    http://ricocoffeeshop.blogspot.com

  55. Maria says:

    Wow these cupcakes look so delish, I love the fluffy toppings!

    Maria
    x

  56. Amanda at Little Foodies says:

    Sorry about your job but it’s probably what was meant to happen.

    I left my job and a few weeks later found out I was pregnant. I decided to do a bit of consultancy work to see me through (I only did the odd day here and there). I’m glad it worked out that way but I did worry at the time.

    Enjoy yourself and definitely give all the baked stuff away. I think that’s where I went wrong. I’m a good 40lbs heavier than before I had the kids… euk! when I write it like that. ;)

  57. Eunice says:

    those look sooo tempting! i wrote you a little something on my blog about american coconut shavings and ours in kuala lumpur. what do you think!

  58. Shayne says:

    enjoy this time before the baby comes!

    I was thiking about making coconut cream pie but these sound so much better.

  59. Elizabeth says:

    My dh loves coconut.I am bookmarking this recipe! And on another note,I have been a stay at home mom for almost 8 years and I love it! Congratulations.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I think the recipe you posted for the coconut cupcakes was incorrect. You don't list baking soda in the ingredients but in the directions you mention baking soda. I wasn't sure what to do but I checked the original recipe and it included baking sode. I am baking now so I hope they turn out. Hope this helps for anyone making this recipe. Thanks!

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