All birthday parties need cake, just not sheet cake! Especially not Phil’s 80th birthday. It was even her one request: no sheet cake. Even though her sons kept teasing her about sheet cake being the dessert, we had other ideas. In this case, Bailie chose cupcakes. Coconut cupcakes, of course!
We modified our favorite White Chocolate Cake recipe as the basis for these lovely, yummy cupcakes. The best part of the cake is that is it very moist, so we figured the chances of it being dry as cupcakes were limited. And, we were right.
So Bailie started with finding perfect festive paper cups to bake the cupcakes in and lined the pan. Then she pre-heated the oven at the standard 350.
In a large saucepan, bring 11/2 c. butter and 3/4 c. water to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 4 oz. white baking bar, chopped. Once melted, add 11/2 c. buttermilk, 4 slightly beaten eggs and 1/4 tsp. rum extract.
In a seperate workstream, stir together 1/2 c flour and 1 c. chopped toasted pecans. In an extra-large bowl, stift and stir together 3 c. flour, 21/4 c. sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. bakng powder. Then stir in 1/2 c. flaked coconut.
Then combine the egg mixture into your dry mixture. Finally fold in the pecans and flour. (If making a cake, pour into three 9 inch cake pans).
Now the tricky part: how full do we make the cups? We experimented with few and put them in the oven to bake. Our testing paid off as our guess of 3/4 full was way to much creating yucky muffin tops. Just slightly over half was perfect! And we had just keep testing the time – which surprisingly was very close to the full 30 minutes needed for the cake.
Next, we let them cool for 10 minutes and packaged them up to transport to the party location and frost and decorate on site. Much easier than trying to make them perfect now and fixing them on location if you ask us. On locaton, Bailie topped the cool cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (as it was already made instead of the cake recipe white chocolate frosting). Then she sprinkled with toasted coconut and plated for pure enjoyment.
After a fabulous birthday meal by the Bubbly Twins and Meyer brothers, it was dessert time. And our side dish: Molten Lava Cake with raspberry coulis (for either the cupcake or the molten cake).