Is there anything about a baby shower that isn't fun? From the planning to the preparation to the big day to the photos that evoke sweet memories, it is such a good time for all involved.
It all starts with the big announcement. A new baby on the way. In all honesty, my friends and I might have started planning even before an announcement. If we passed a baby store while out on various adventures, we might have stopped in just for a look. Peeks into catalogs from baby boutiques?
The planning! That takes a number of meetings that include lunch. The shower would be in the spring and a cold repast seemed perfect. Especially perfect with a butterfly and lady bug theme.
We all loved the idea of using Ina Garten's recipe for coconut cupcakes. It seems that the lovely butterflies found the choice appetizing as they flitted about before nestling down into the coconut.
I've used Ina's recipe many times and always get rave reviews. The few changes are a bit less sugar and an icing recipe that I've used since I learned how to hold a hand mixer. Ina's recipe allows for a more generous topping than mine.
If, by chance, you have a few cupcakes leftover, they freeze beautifully even iced.
Coconut Cupcakes from Ina with a few changes by me
18 to 20 cupcakes
3 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp each of vanilla and almond extracts
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
14 ounces of shredded coconut (half for the batter and half for the topping)
Preheat oven to 350
1. In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. On low, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the extracts and mix well.
2. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, into the batter in three batches starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in half of the coconut.
3. Line muffin tin with paper liners and fill each about 3/4 full with the batter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.
Cream Cheese Icing
8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound of confectioner's sugar
1. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar and beat until well blended.
2. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.