Sunday, May 1, 2011

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Last night I baked in a kitchen that wasn't my own. In my kitchen I know where everything is---down to the Sharpie that's usually hiding in the third drawer next to the oven. In other kitchens I've got nothing but questions:

"Where's the juicer?"

"Do you have an extra cutting board?"

"Are all of these bowls microwave safe?"

Another thing about travel-baking: Make sure to read ahead and keep the sugar separate from the rest of the dry mix if you're supposed to. Creaming butter into sugarflourbakingsodabakingpowdersalt is much more difficult than creaming butter into sugar. (But if you make this mistake, too, just melt the butter and mix it in. It works out okay.)

In the end, I found the grater I needed and got some delicious key lime cupcakes together. Key lime pie is a traditional Floridian desert that doesn't taste the same anywhere outside of the state. No one's sure who invented key lime pie, but we know it was first created in Key West in the late 19th century. The recipe was recorded at some point in the 1930's and now it's on postcards everywhere.

But today, we're talking about key lime cupcakes. Because they don't require a fork.

Get your juicer ready. Key limes go in the cake and the frosting.

The cupcakes are pretty quick to put together. Buttermilk, key lime zest, key lime juice, butter, vanilla, eggs, dry stuff. Mine came out flat on top, possibly because of the creaming-of-the-butter situation I mentioned earlier. They're also a little firmer than traditional cupcakes, but they're chewy and delicious on the inside.

While the cupcakes bake, make the frosting. I am continually amazed by how much powdered sugar a stick of butter can absorb. Nearly three cups. Woah.

Make these cupcakes. They have coconut and key limes and white chocolate. They mean summer.

Recipe and instructions found at Food Network. I followed them (mostly) exactly. Feel free to use less sugar in the frosting. I used about 2 1/2 cups. Also, don't worry if you don't have an electric mixer. This is entirely do-able by hand. It's exercise...practically like lifting weights.