Coconut Cupcakes

June 20, 2007 at 7:11 pm | Posted in cupcakes, sweet things | 23 Comments

coconut cupcakes

Every week, in my efforts to perfect a second language, I take a Spanish class through The University of Sydney’s continuing ed program.  Yesterday was the last class of the level, so I volunteered to bake up a batch up of something to bring in for fiesta-time.  And I was really in the mood for cake.

I’ve had Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook for years, and for years the picture on page 174 of a snowy white coconut cupcake has been taunting me. Just to show that picture who’s boss, I’ve refused to make them– until yesterday, when I finally gave in to it’s seductive stare.

My class was small, so I halved her recipe (seems as though I halve every recipe I make). My half-batch gave me 15 regular-sized cupcakes, and I have enough frosting left over to probably frost another eight!  In the cake itself, I used regular coconut flakes, but I found coconut chips at the health food store to use for garnish.  I lightly toasted them in the oven before sprinkling them over the cupcakes.

coconut cupcakes

While I do like to eat some cakes cold (I love cake with chooclate frosting straight out of the fridge), these are best at room temperature. The cream cheese frosting is gooey and soft. And the cakes have a delicate almond flavor. No wonder so many other people have posted about these cupcakes.  If you want to make them, too, but don’t have the book, the recipe is here on Food Network’s site.

coconut cupcakes

So….¿Cómo se dice ‘cupcake’ en español?  Since cupcakes aren’t really part of Spanish/Latin food cultures, it seem as thought there is no definitive translation.  In fact, I read on a couple of sites that in many Hispanic countries people initially mistake cupcakes for muffins, since they have they same shape!


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  1. Steph, you don’t play nice at all. Such wicked treats and I am reading this at 9.36 a.m. It’s too early to want to go make and eat cup cakes. (lol) As usual, the pics are stunning.

  2. These close ups are mean! 😀

    The cupcakes are adorable and look delicious. What a nice gesture to bake them for your colleagues.

    We don’t have a specific word for them in Portuguese either. 🙂

  3. Hi, Came here thru the foodie blogroll…. Your cupcakes look abs delicious!!!! Lovely pics,, btw….

  4. OMGosh! These cupcakes look divine and I looooooove coconut! You should never be jealous of anyone’s food photography; yours is incredible.

  5. I really, really want to eat that cupcake. If only you could email it to me?

    Divine photos.

  6. Thanks everyone for the photographic encouragement! And Cynthia, cupcakes are great for breakfast!

  7. Wow. My mouth is watering. These pictures are incredible! And I’m bookmarking this now 🙂

  8. I will simply say…wow…………thanks for making my mouthwater….

  9. I sure hope you don’t mind my listing your blog on my new blog’s “Yummo” list. A friend sent me this post, & I about jumped through my computer screen! LOL. OMGosh ~ for a coconut lover, to be shown such scrumptuous looking photos could cause heart palpitations! Thanks much ~ for the recipe, & the delicious looking photos. Have a great week-end! 🙂

  10. These looks so delicate and just scrumptious! Such gorgeous photos too 🙂

  11. Thank you Brianna, Dilip and Truffle! Carolyn, I am honored to be on your “Yummo” list!

  12. I think ,cupcake in Spanish is so similar a magdalena’s recipe,not the french madeleines. But ,here, in Argentina they are filled with red fruits confiture or milk confiture (dulce the leche). And the muffins are muffin with no over bating pastry and no frosting top.. But any way …your cupcakes looks amazing,and I been try with frosting on the top

  13. Can’t help with the Spanish, can’t help with the Fench either come to think of it…oh well…All I know is that they are calling my name!!

  14. I have just dropped down to your blog and found these wonderfull cupcakes or “magdalenas” in spanish ( Spain ). Look moist and tender….. I’m so so hungry….

    Kisses from Spain

    P.D. La mejor forma de aprender un idioma, es practicarlo con otros.
    “The best way of learning a language, is practising with others”

  15. Thanks Sylvia, Tartlette and Pilar for the translation help! Necesito preparar magdalenas un dia. Voy a buscar una receta ahora.

  16. Everyone raves about this recipe. For heaven sakes they have it as a boxed mix for people. I am still avoiding it until it makes me give in.

  17. Oh a household favorite. My husband absolutely loves Ina’s coconut cupcakes. In fact I am making them tomorrow for him.

  18. How funny! I do Spanish at Eastern Suburbs Community College (thinking of going to Sydney Uni for the next level – do you recommend it?) and was thinking of bringing in cupcakes for our last class since I outed myself as the class foodie. I think you’ve extra-inspired me!

  19. Julia–Definitely make cupcakes for your class…they will love you for it! The Sydney Uni classes are pretty good. I really hope to not sound mean, but with any foreign language classes I’ve taken, there are always a few people who will just never get it, and there’s no exception here. I’ve taken levels 2 and 3 and had the same teacher for both. She’s quite good, will give me extra stuff to do and am thinking of taking level 4 in Oct (which she is also teaching) as well.

  20. hiya, looks like you had great success halving this recipe. do you remember how many eggs you used since the recipe calls for 3?


    • audrey- I often do halve eggs when I’m making half recipes, and I probably did that here. I just crack one into a small bowl, beat it gently and pour out half for the recipe. The other half will keep just fine overnight and can be added to scrambled eggs the next morning, or used for eggwash, etc. If you don’t want to be bothered, common advice is that rounding up is OK.

  21. We call cupcakes “mantecadas” in Spanish / Mexico. Also I want to make your German Chocolate cake but don’t want to make too much frosting since I’m not making cupcakes. What do you suggest?

    • Gracias, Christina! About the German Chocolate…if you are making an 8-inch cake, then probably try about 1/3 of the recipe of coconut cupcake frosting to just frost a thin coat around outside of the cake.

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