These Coconut Cupcakes with Fluffy White Frosting are soft, tender and light. The batter is flavored naturally with coconut milk and toasted coconut. Topped with a pillow of meringue frosting! To toast or not to toast is the only question!
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 18 cupcake tins with liners.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the coconut on the sheet in an even layer. Toast in the preheated oven, mixing the coconut frequently to help it brown evenly. Remove and allow to cool.
Sift together cake flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin whisking the egg whites on medium low with the cream of tartar. Once the whites become frothy, begin adding the smaller portion of sugar by the teaspoon.
Turn up the mixer to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over whip or they will be difficult to incorporate into the batter and, thus, defeat the purpose!
Remove meringue from the mixer bowl and transfer to a clean bowl (or switch to a second mixer bowl if you have one! Lucky!)
Don’t stress about any meringue that remains behind. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl. Switch to the paddle attachment and cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take at least 5 minutes depending on your mixer. It will also depend on how soft your butter was before mixing. The softer, the faster.
With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the coconut milk. I never allow the flour mixture to mix in completely before adding the next round. This helps prevent overmixing.
Remove the mixer bowl from the machine, scrape down the paddle attachment. Fold in any remaining dry ingredients.
Take about ¼ of the meringue and aggressively fold it into the batter. This is called “sacrificing” because you are sacrificing the aeration in the meringue to loosen the batter. Fold in the remaining meringue in 2-3 additions; being careful not to over fold.
Once the meringue is completely incorporated into the batter, fold in the toasted coconut. I used sweetened, but you don’t have to.
Portion between the lined cupcake tins. I used a medium ice cream scoop but a spoon works too! They should be about ¾ full. Any more and they will muffin top over the sides! Trust me, I learned that the hard way!
Bake in preheated oven for 14-18 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out from the center with only clinging crumbs.
Remove from tin to cool completely.
Fill, frost and enjoy!
Yield: 18 Cupcakes
Keyword coconut cupcake, coconut cupcake with white frosting, italian meringue frosting
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