Dear SOS: Whenever I get out to L.A., I have to stop at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock for a cupcake fix -- specifically, for a coconut cupcake with coconut cream cheese frosting. It's a miracle of a baked good. Do you think you could get the recipe for a Bostonite who's stuck on the East Coast dreaming of this confection?
-- Jenny Sawyer, Boston
Dear Jenny: This billowy coconut cupcake is pretty irresistible. The cake has a hint of almond and a light buttermilk tang. There's tender, shredded coconut baked into the cake too. And the frosting -- it's a cream cheese frosting with butter mixed in, airy and creamy both, finished with a sprinkling of more shredded coconut on top. This one's for you, Bostonites.
Auntie Em's coconut cupcakes
Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time for the cupcakes
Servings: Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes
Note: Adapted from Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock.
FOR THE RECORD:
Cupcake recipe: A recipe for Auntie Em's coconut cupcakes in Wednesday's Food section indicated that 1 3/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut should be divided. Instead, all of it should be used for the batter. —
2 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut, plus extra for decorating the frosted cupcakes
1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Separately, in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, the almond extract and sugar. Using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, on low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until smooth, careful not to overmix. Gently fold in the coconut.
2. Place 18 paper muffin cups into muffin tins. Fill each cup with a generous one-fourth cup of batter, so that it comes three-fourths up the side of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a rack and allow to cool completely.
3. For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the butter and continue mixing on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the bowl again. Add the powdered sugar in three additions at low speed, mixing each addition until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again. Add the remaining teaspoon vanilla and mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Frost each cupcake with 3 tablespoons frosting and sprinkle with extra shredded coconut. The cupcakes will keep for 2 days.
Each serving: 475 calories; 4 grams protein; 55 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 27 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 66 mg. cholesterol; 288 mg. sodium.