Barabara over at Winos and Foodies is running an official event to help raise cancer awareness called A Taste of Yellow where she's asking all local bloggers to bake using a theme of the color yellow. She, like so many other people, are battling cancer. My mom had a small spout with it, luckily she had a spare can of whoop-ass on hand and beat the crap out of it. Other's however haven't been so fortunate or are still fighting. I had fun and took some pride participating in this event, and I hope all you other food bloggers out there will too.
The coconut cake is surprisingly light and airy for a coconut cake. Very light. We were both quite shocked by its bearable lightness of being cake. But, then again, most coconut cakes use oil and milk. We used butter and coconut milk. It seems like an obvious thing to do, but I've seen few recipes actually use the coconut milk. While the coconut I used came from a can or a bag (I do not have the tools necessary to hack open a fresh one) the pineapple really should be fresh for this cupcake; the cake becomes brighter, a happy sigh on a summer day sort of thing.
This recipe could easily be adapted to make a layer cake and is a crowd pleaser for the many picnics and potlucks that I'm sure you have coming with the warm weather.
Please also use this cake as a reminder to help fight cancer in any way you can. Volunteering at a local cancer center, donating, or even just listening to someone who needs to release are all wonderful steps you can take. So bake on, and live strong. If you would like to donate to the LIVESTRONG Foundation, please donate here.
Update 6/12/07: I adapted the following recipe for another great coconut milk cupcake recipe utilizing fresh herbal mint and honey here.
Coconut Milk Cupcakes
Makes 20 cupcakes / 350F oven
What You'll Need...
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup of sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 - 3/4 cup of sweetened dessicated coconut
What You'll Do...
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and cream till light and fluffy again, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing.
2) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each to ensure mixing. (Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom every once in a while to get all the rogued butter escaping the mixer).
3) Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In another add 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Turn off the mixer once ingredients are just combined.
4) Fold in the coconut Scoop into cupcake papers and bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 to ensure even baking. Be sure to check witha toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean, then they're ready.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting and Pineapple
What You'll Need...
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
1/2-1 cup of powdered
1/4 cup of sweetened dessicated coconut
What You'll Do...
1) Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scraped down the sides and bottom.
2) Slowly add the powdered sugar. Fold in the coconut. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.
3) Cut up a fresh (seriously, take the extra time and use a fresh one, not canned) pineapple. Place small wedges onto the cupcakes and serve. There will be plenty left over. Use it for pineapple salsa, cocktails, salads, or drinks. It's spring outside, there's a ton of fresh uses for pineapple. Go crazy.