Coconut cupcakes

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes 24 cupcakes
Coconut cupcakes
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin tins.


Blend together three-fourths cup of the sugar and the nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside.


To make the batter, cream the butter, coconut powder and 1 cup of the remaining sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a flat paddle.


Mix together the coconut milk and almond extract. Alternate additions of the flour and the coconut milk to the butter mixture, beating until smooth.


In a separate bowl, whip 8 egg whites with one-half cup of the remaining sugar until they form soft peaks. Fold a third of the whipped egg whites into the batter. Add the remaining whipped egg whites and fold until thoroughly combined.


Fill the tins three-fourths full with batter. Sprinkle each cupcake with one teaspoon of the sugar-nutmeg mixture.


To make the topping, stir together the remaining 2 egg whites, the shredded coconut, and 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Evenly spread the topping on each cake.


Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the tops are golden. Cool the cupcakes and then remove them from the muffin tins.

From Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery; published in “Cooking from the Heart.” Cream of coconut powder from Thailand is available in Asian markets.

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