Cakes Desserts Icing + Frosting

mini coconut cupcakes with cardamom-goat cheese frosting

coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog
So here it is! The new site! With cupcakes to celebrate! I am totally overwhelmed by it. Melissa and Erin have outdone themselves, and I’m so lucky to reap the rewards. I am totally in love with my new logo, and must admit when Melissa sent it over to be reviewed I got teary-eyed; it just was so perfect. And, the social media icons are easy to find! I have a search bar! You can follow me on email! I have a super rad recipe section! (And, as I’ve gone through each and every post this weekend, I remembered recipes I  had totally forgotten about, like olive oil ice cream, and creamy carrot orange soup, and beet cake with chocolate, and peach-sausage pizza.)

I really cannot rave enough about Wooden Spoons Kitchen. These ladies went above and beyond for me, answering every.single.question. with fast replies, tweaking things just how I wanted them quickly and happily, and creating a gorgeous site in record time. I highly highly recommend them.

So, now, take a look around! Let me know what you think. (I’m still tweaking some spacing issues on older posts, so just ignore giant paragraphs, and imagine breaks and indentation).  xo
coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog
coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog
coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog
coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog
coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog
Coconut Cupcakes
adapted from Ina Garten
I’ve made a few changes to Ina’s famous coconut cupcake recipe – mostly because I was out of things I needed.  But I was so  happy with the changes, so I’m sharing them with you. If you do not have coconut milk and/or sour cream on hand (I used SILK brand coconut milk, found in the refrigerated section), the original recipe calls for 1 cup buttermilk. I also used flaked coconut here, although I did give it a few pulses in the food processor to make it smaller. Shredded will work, too. The original recipe calls for sweetened coconut, which will add a bit more moisture to the cupcake, as well as a sweeter taste. I thought they were perfect with the unsweetened. Just a warning: making mini-cupcakes is a pain. But I found them to be perfect bite-sized.

3/4 pound unsalted butter (3 sticks), at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream + 3/4 cup coconut milk, mixed together (see note)
7  ounces unsweetened, shredded coconut or flaked coconut (see note)

Preheat the oven to 325 and line a mini muffin pan (this will make A LOT of mini muffins. Almost 50). Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. While the mixer is running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix together.Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the coconut milk mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry, mixing until just combined. Fold in the coconut.Fill each muffin cup to the top with batter. Bake for 11-15 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Move to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting (recipe follows).


coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog
Goat Cheese – Cardamom Frosting
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
This frosting only has a tiny bit of goat cheese in it, but the flavor goes a long way. I found it to even out the sweetness and add just the right amount of tang. It can be omitted. If you decide to add more, be careful! If it’s too soft it can mess with the texture of the frosting.

3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
2 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter, goat cheese, milk, vanilla, cardamom, and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium low, slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until incorporated and smooth, 4-6 minutes.  Increase the mixer speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 5-10 minutes. Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese icing and sprinkle with more coconut.
coconut cupcakes | the vanilla bean blog

  • Reply
    Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I know this isn’t a recent post but these look FABULOUS! I’m trying to find an amazing coconut cupcake because I’m planning on making coconut cupcakes filled with mango curd! So I was wondering if these could be made into regular sized cupcakes and at what temp they should be baked at if so? Thank you and have a great weekend!

    • Reply
      Monday, June 27, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Hi Kasia – the cupcakes should do fine baked in regular-sized cupcake tins. The bake temperature won’t change, but you will have to bake them longer, anywhere from 15-25 minutes, I would think. You can do the toothpick test, and when the tops are brown and the toothpick comes out clean, they are done. Let me know how they turn out!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    These look delicious and I hope to try making them tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 For the cupcakes, do you think I could use all coconut milk (or coconut cream) rather than mixing sour cream with the coconut milk; if not, what would you recommend if I do not want to use milk/sour cream?

  • Reply
    Jessica Robinson
    Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Sarah- these look amazing! Got to try them

  • Reply
    Flore Caers
    Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I’m a big fan of your blog!
    The cupcakes that you make not only look delicious, they also taste fantastic!
    I also love to bake and especially desserts, but they don’t look as good as yours!
    When I bake, I mostly make cakes, muffins but also cupcakes of course!
    When I invite my friends, we often bake, but I think that we still can learn a lot from you and your blog because your desserts look beautiful!
    I also love to eat the things I bake . I really love to eat in general, especially fish and pasta.
    But I wish that I could make desserts like you, and I love your blog because it’s a real inspiration!

  • Reply
    Marina @ Cosmetics & Crumbs
    Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    These look amazing! Wow!
    Two of my best friends who also share a birthday next week have asked me to make them a cardamom cake. Do you think this icing would pair well with a cardamom cake or would it be too much?

    • Reply
      Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I think it would taste good! But, I do really like cardamom. 🙂 Maybe put a little bit less cardamom in the frosting?

  • Reply
    Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    These cupcakes look ah-maz-ing! I don’t own a mini cupcake tray, could I make normal sized cupcakes with this recipe?

  • Reply
    Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Hi! This recipe sounds awesome! I’m especially excited to taste the icing. Before I start, though, I have a question. I have to convert the recipe to metric. When you say 7 ounces of coconut and 2 ounces of goat cheese, are you talking fluid ounces or mass, and are they UK or US ounces? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Saylee! The coconut is mass ounces, and I think the goat cheese is? It doesn’t specify on the package, and I would assume it is, although I’ve seen some recipes refer to goat cheese in fluid ounces. And, US ounces. I hope you like them!

  • Reply
    Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I made these with some very minor changes…I made 1/3 the recipe and a regular sized muffin tin. 1/3 the recipe made a dozen muffins. I filled a scant 3/4 full and used a canola-flour spray vs papers. I didn’t have coconut milk but the sour cream/whole milk in the same ratio worked fine and I may try yogurt next time. I also used unsweetened flakes that I processed a bit and agreed that they were plenty sweet.

    The frosting – I have been wanting to try a goat cheese frosting. Again I made 1/3 recipe and texture was wonderful but it was a bit sweet-rich for me. So is buttercream and/or most cream cheese frostings so this is just my preference. A friend who likes buttercream love this. I usually make a flour frosting (flour-milk roux then flavoring whipped in to butter/granulated sugar mix) – it is lighter and less sweet.

    Bottomline, these are beautiful, wonderfully flavored and I love the texture also.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    So pretty! Everything is beautiful.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    One word: Perfect. I was disconnected yesterday and did not get a chance to check it out. This if such a wonderful fit for your blog. Congratulations! Maybe one day, when I have more chops, I’ll take the plunge.

    And the minis are an adorable way to celebrate. I’ve had Ina’s famous cupcakes, but I love the idea of jazzing the frosting up with goat cheese and cardamom. Such a smart trio of flavors. I look forward to returning again and again and again.

  • Reply
    Reem |Simply Reem
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    It’s beautiful! Your site looks so serene and calm. I’m loving it!!!
    And as always I’m loving the delicious recipe for the cupcakes and gorgeous photography 🙂

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 7:39 am

    It looks SO GREAT, Sarah. Nice job to all of yous! Melissa + Erin are such a dream team to have in your corner. The logo is my favourite part–just perfect for all of the lovely work you offer us here. xo

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    beautiful! Melissa and Erin did such a lovely job. Gorgeous recipe as always 🙂

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Sarah, I keep coming back to your redesigned blog to admire it. It’s so beautiful and suits you and what you do here perfectly. I only wish I had one of those mini cupcakes to enjoy while I peruse the pages!

  • Reply
    Courtney @ The Fig Tree
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Your new space is gorgeous! So very lovely. I adore the logo!
    And the cupcakes sound irresistible! 🙂

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Love your new look blog and really intrigued by goat cheese buttercream!

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Oh Sarah, this is just gorgeous! So beautiful, yet understated….and gentle….and just feels lovely. Congratulations to both you and Wooden Spoons on a perfect redesign. Hurrah! Imen xx
    PS Thank you for *hearting* my blog too =) Will be in Mpls all summer so we must meet up with the children as well.

  • Reply
    Emma @ Poires au Chocolat
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Looks gorgeous! I particularly love the logo, it’s awesome. & the cupcakes look amazing too.

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

    It’s perfect Sarah – it’s so you and Melissa and Erin have done a wonderful job.

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I am in LOVE with your new design. Sarah, they have captured you and your style so perfectly here! Congratulations!

    And yes, that logo is so so perfect.

  • Reply
    Laurie @ Relishing It
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

    So, so beautiful, Sarah! Both the new site and the cupcakes. Love everything about it. Nice job. 🙂

  • Reply
    Araya @ Wind and Willow Home
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Yay! The new logo and site are so awesome! Simply perfect!

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

    The site looks great!!! How exciting!

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Hurray! The new layout is beautiful! And the way the display shifts to a drop down menu + posts for smart phones is stellar. (There’s a name for that which I can never remember, despite the fact that my friend/admin has told me several times. It’s funny that these are the things I check, though — at least some of the stuff he tells me is probably sticking in my head, somewhere….)

    And these little cupcakes look so delicious. My word, goat cheese + cardamom frosting. I am imagining how good that combination is, especially with coconut, and I know it’s probably even better than what my mind is dreaming up. 🙂

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

    absolutely gorgeous! i LOVE it! and i agree, the logo is just so perfect and ethereal. and the cupcakes! they look like they came right out of a fairytale!

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

    How fun! Your new site is so lovely! xoxo

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Beautiful redesign, Sarah! And these cupcakes? SWOON.

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Stunning website sweetie, I absolutely love it! It’s is very you xx

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:43 am

    It’s gorgeous here. High fives!

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:04 am

    The site looks fantastic! I knew those ladies did good work, and your new look is no exception. It’s beautiful and clean, and the perfect backdrop for these gorgeous little coconut cupcakes with cardamom(!) and goat cheese(!) frosting. Yes please.

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Sarah, the new site it beautiful! And what a perfect way to celebrate, those little cupcakes are so cute. Congrats on the new design!

  • Reply
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Soft-spoken, creative and inviting- it’s ‘you’. It very much has the touch of WSK on it. They do lovely work.

    And those cupcakes? Beautiful!!

  • Reply
    Nicole | Eat This Poem
    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Love the new look! Those Wooden Spoon girls are AWESOME!

  • Reply
    Amanda Paa
    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Stunning, beautiful, so you. (even though we’ve never met in person 😉 I absolutely love everything from the layout, to the logo, to the font, to the way it helps me find recipes I didn’t know existed. Cheers to a new part of your journey – thank you for all you do for the food and writing community!

  • Reply
    Elise {Buttercream and Roses}
    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    WOW!! The new site is absolutely beautiful! Love the new logo as well, a perfect fit for your blog. The girls at Wooden Spoons Kitchen did an amazing job. I’ve made Ina’s coconut cupcakes before but would love to try them with your changes. The photos are so lovely!

  • Reply
    Michelle DeMerit
    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Sarah – Love the new site! It’s beautiful! Can’t wait to search through some of the old recipes 🙂 Congratulations!

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