A few days ago my sweet mailman brought me tres cool cupcake stickers. He and his wife had visited Vancouver B.C. and stumbled across a cupcake store. Apparently he thought I'd like the labels on their boxes so much he requested a few to take home with him. I couldn't think of a better 'thank you' than a box of cupcakes.
I recently came across a recipe for coconut/apricot cake. And, since I recently re-discovered my love for apricots (and a jar of homemade preserves in the pantry), I was naturally excited to try this flavor combination. This recipe is adapted from Real Simple magazine December 2008, and I highly recommend it. It's a very simple, uber delicious recipe. The cake is light and moist. The apricot preserves impart the slightest tang and sweet. The original recipe was for a two layer cake, in between each layer they slathered apricot preserve. I didn't want to loose this effect, but I knew I didn't want to stuff the cupcakes either. So, as you can see above, I added a schmear below each dollop of frosting. The frosting itself can hardly be considered 'frosting' for 1 1/4 cup of whip cream (and a dab or sour cream) there's only 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar, not very sweet at all. However, the sweet cake, sweet preserve and the addition of toasted sweet shredded coconut all but makes up for it. The cake is moist, preserves sticky, frosting like a cloud and the crunch of the toasted coconut creates a bite out of this world! It's a very textural cupcake, which for this cake is over half the pleasure. I've never quite experienced anything like it. It's really, truly, amazing. Just as I was hoping it would be. Surely, this will become a go-to recipe for me.
Posted below is the original 'cake' recipe. To make cupcakes; fill standard cupcake papers 3/4 full, baked for about 18 minutes at 350. Top warm cupcakes with about 1 teaspoon of apricot preserve, then frost and sprinkle with coconut. I think these would be particularly lovely for a wedding or baby shower. A cheery cupcake. . . cheery enough to bring out the sun!
Recipe: Apricot & Coconut Cake
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups apricot preserves
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Heat oven to 350° F. Toast the coconut on a baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and 3/4 cup of the preserves. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely on a rack.
Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, sour cream, and confectioners' sugar to form stiff peaks. Sandwich the cakes with the remaining 1/2 cup of preserves. Frost with the cream mixture and press the coconut onto the sides.
Make-Ahead Tip: Make the cakes, wrap tightly, and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. Make the frosting and frost the cakes up to 4 hours before serving. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.