Soft, fluffy, fragrant Cardamom Cupcakes topped with luscious Coconut Swiss Buttercream and crunchy Coconut bacon.
You know when you haven’t done squats in a million years, then you do 100 at a go only to have stiff legs for a week! And it hurts like hell. But it is also a kind of sweet pain because you know your muscles worked out so hard and your hurting hamstrings are like trophies you can show off while saying that you pulled off a 100 squats!! That’s exactly how I felt the last two weeks after marathon projects and assignments.
After a year of vacationing filled with fun things like exploring Toronto, baking, blogging and occasional assignments from my Digital Marketing Course my brain has become slightly lazy I assume. But now my sabbatical is over (sob-sob) and job hunt has begun (which is not easy). So between, job applications, freelance marketing projects with real deliverables and deadlines and school assignments it feels like my brain is doing 100 squats and it aches!!
My brain had to remember working out once again and tasks that would have taken 1 hour in my previous life, took me 2 hours now. I guess the brain is like any other muscle that needs a bit of warming up before your hurl it ruthlessly into 10-hour work days! But at the end of a challenging day, I felt good and proud for having accomplished it. Cheers!
Last 2 weeks were especially hyper and I ended up missing a blog post. It kind of gave me a sense of how it will be when I actually start a full-time job and the glaring need to manage time more efficiently. A huge applause to all the bloggers who have full time jobs or classes and kids! Please please share your time-management secret…
Does anyone else do this thing where they forget to eat proper meals on time and end up grabbing a cookie or a cupcake or a handful of chocolate chips while furiously punching laptop keys?? These Cardamom Coconut Cupcakes were my stress pals through last week’s frenzy. The basic cupcake recipe is from Sweetest Menu. I have to say, I have finally found my favorite basic vanilla cupcakes recipe with this one. I have tried quite a few, with disappointing results but this one was perfect – fluffy and light. I substituted cardamom for vanilla extract and reduced the sugar slightly because I do that with most recipes. I just prefer a little less sweet especially when combined with buttercream. This is one of my favorite buttercreams ever since I first made it for my Chocolate Chiffon Cake last summer. Cardamom and Coconut are just so perfect together. Hope you love it too!
Cardamom Coconut Cupcakes
Ingredients – Makes 12
1 and ¼ cup plain flour
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
pinch of salt
½ cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup fine granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ cup milk, room temperature
¼ cup sour cream, room temperature (I used regular yoghurt)
For the topping
A handful of unsweetened coconut flakes
pinch of salt
2 – 3 tbsps. maple syrup
Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
¾ cup fine granulated sugar
2 egg whites
¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature but not soft
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut milk, room temperature
Bake the Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 320 F. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder cardamom powder and salt. Set aside
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium till pale and smooth. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and beat till incorporated completely.
Reduce speed to low, add flour and milk in three additions, starting and ending with flour and mix just until combined. Add the sour cream and mix till creamy.
The batter is super thick so you will have to scoop it out in the prepared pan evenly
Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 17- 20 mins. Mine took 17mins. Remove from oven and let cool. Leave the oven on, for the Coconut Bacon.
Let cupcakes cool on wire-rack completely before frosting.
Toast the Topping
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Dump the coconut flakes, salt and maple syrup onto the sheet and mix well to coat the flakes with the syrup. Spread them out on the sheet so they are not touching each other. Bake for 5 mins. Remove – stir. Bake for another 7 mins. Remove. Let cool completely.
Make the Buttercream
In a small metal or glass bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Heat the mixture for 5 – 6 minutes, till it registers 160F on a candy thermometer, or until the mixture is hot and sticky to the touch and the sugar is completely dissolved.
Carefully transfer the mixture into the bowl of a clean, non-greasy stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed till peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
Switch to a paddle attachment, reduce the speed to low and add the butter a couple of pieces at a time. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is incorporated and the frosting is smooth and glossy.
Add the vanilla extract, salt and coconut milk and whip for few more minutes on medium speed till combined.
If it is runny, stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes, then whip again till it stiffens
If it is curdled, take out a small portion, heat it in the microwave for 15seconds, pour it slowly back into the curdled mixture while whipping on slow. Then increase the speed till it stiffens.
Pipe onto the cupcakes. Add a couple of toasted coconut flakes on each. Eat.