Easter is one of my favorite times of year. I have fond childhood memories of egg hunts, chocolate bunnies and peeping yellow chicks. Alberta, the province where I grew up, has a special connection to Easter. The tiny town of Vegreville boasts the world’s largest Ukrainian Easter egg known as a Pysanka.
This week’s recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s famous coconut cupcakes which are topped with green coconut 'grass' and decorated with chocolate or candy eggs.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
14 ounces shredded coconut
Frosting and Topping
1 pound cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups shredded coconut
6-8 drops green food color
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a muffin pan with foil liners.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar on high speed. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
3. In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and the milk to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add another 1/3 of dry ingredients and coconut milk. Mix well. Add remaining dry ingredients. Fold in coconut.
5. Spoon batter into muffin liners and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes.
6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and remove to baking rack until completely cool.
7. To make frosting, in a large bowl beat cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
8. Using a knife spread frosting on cupcakes.
9. Put shredded coconut in a large Ziplock bag. Add a few drops of food color. Close tightly and shake until the coconut is colored. If you want deeper color, add more food color and repeat.
10. Sprinkle on cupcakes. Gently place two to three eggs on each cupcake. Refrigerate to set the frosting.