Out of My Element

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, the baking bug bites me. Usually, I leave the baking up to my sister who is amazing at her job of being a pastry chef at a top-rated restaurant here in Chicago. Sometimes, when I bake, I end up with shapeless globs of oat-based something that taste good, but don't look so great, like my little tea cakes. Sometimes I stick with breads and make challah like I did last spring break. This year though, my first baking endeavor of spring break featured some of this
and about 15 of these
key limes
and 3 trips to the grocery store, one to a housewares store, and lots of work... and all because I had this inexplicable desire to bake something. I don't get it. Usually I just like cooking, and how I can eyeball my spices and everything comes out fine. Baking is HARD. Things have to be measured no matter what. Too much of one ingredient and not enough of another makes for the wrong texture and there's really no fixing it! After incessantly polling on twitter about what to make, I was referred to a bunch of amazing cake recipes by none other than Ina Garten. BethT, I owe you a thank you! While looking for the carrot cake recipe you referred to yesterday, I found what I ended up making! I bring you Coconut Cupcakes with Key Lime Frosting a.k.a. "Lime on the Coconut Cupcakes"
coconut lime cupcake
Coconut Cupcakes by Ina Garten Makes 18-20 cupcakes (I got 20!) Ingredients * 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature * 2 cups sugar * 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature * 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used one vanilla bean) * 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract * 3 cups flour * 1 teaspoon baking powder * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda * 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt * 1 cup buttermilk * 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut Directions Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
I used this recipe for the icing, based off of the recipe from Hostess with the Mostess. Hers called for lime juice and margarita mix, but I used more lime juice and no margarita mix at all. Key Lime Buttercream Frosting 8 Tbsp butter, softened 8 oz cream cheese, softened 2 Tbsp lime juice (approx 2 fresh limes) 1 tsp lime zest 5 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar cane sugar & fresh limes (for garnish) Directions In a large bowl (or in a mixer), combine butter, cream cheese, lime juice, and lime zest. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and continue beating until smooth. If icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, a couple tablespoons at a time.
I used a pastry bag (from the housewares store) to frost most of them, but I got tired of the mess and ended up using a knife for the last few. You just get to see the pretty ones! I used slices of key limes and rock sugar to decorate them.
coconut lime cupcakes
coconut lime cupcake tray
We got this amazing cake/cupcake caddy for a wedding gift from Heidi, and I'm so excited to have an excuse to use it! It's sitting, full of these amazing cupcakes, in our fridge. I'm using every excuse in the book to get rid of them so they're not lurking in our house... any takers? My hairdresser got one... two friends got a couple... which leaves us with way too many! Oh right. THIS is why I don't bake...
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28 Responses to Out of My Element

  1. Lauren says:

    Oh my Mara, these look so incredible! Coconut and Lime! Fantastic combination and put that in a cupcake and I am sure the results are out of this world delicious.

    Thanks so much for sharing this outstanding baking experience with us all.

    Hope you had a lovely weekend darling.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Kalorik 50 oz. Brushed Stainless Steel Blender Review =-.

  2. Hallie says:

    Yeah I’m discovering the joy of baking (haha) when you have someone or something to bake for…you don’t want to eat too many because they’re not “for you” and you get rid of them pronto! That’s the only way I can do it…those cupcakes look incredible!
    .-= Hallie´s last blog ..I Cannot Enjoy OIAJ =-.

  3. betht says:

    Ooh, those look great! I’ve made the cupcakes before, and pairing them with lime sounds divine!

  4. Mama Pea says:

    So gorgeous! I’m blocking your site from my computer before Pea Daddy sees them and begs me to make them!
    .-= Mama Pea´s last blog ..Lots of Estrogen Up in Here =-.

  5. Ashley says:

    Whoa. Those sound really good and the pics are awesome! Totally adorable! =)
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..the lone graham =-.

  6. Love key lime anything and Ina G is one of the best chefs out there. Even though I cant eat butter, eggs, white flour on account of my food reactions, I respect that woman’s eats and you did a fine job on the cupcakes!

  7. Girl!!! Those look so awesome and totally professional! Not to mention I want to eat my screen. We must be on the same wavelength because I made some cupcakes with lime today, too. They aren’t nearly as pretty as these!!!

  8. Mae says:

    THese sound so gooood! I love that combination. It’s so refreshing.
    .-= Mae´s last blog ..Killer Clam Sauce =-.

  9. My husband would love these! You did a great job…they look beautiful!

  10. oh yum Mara! Lime and coconut pair together perfectly. These cupcakes look delicious! I’m especially crazy for the frosting. Just reading the recipe is making me crave key lime pie! I love the specs of lime throughout.
    .-= Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)´s last blog ..The Great Race of Agoura Hills- Deena Kastor 5k =-.

  11. lisasfoods says:

    Those look lovely! I love lime and lemon flavored desserts, and have never seen lime flavored cupcakes. The slice of lime on top is really cute.

  12. Judy Smith says:

    These look incredible–I’m making them for Easter brunch! I LOVE your blog–it’s inspiring.

  13. Melleah says:

    Those cupcakes look fabulous! I love lime– it’s so refreshing. You went all out on those cupcakes and it seems your effort was rewarded :-)!
    .-= Melleah´s last blog ..Soaked! =-.

  14. jessie says:

    goodness gracious. i dont even LIKE key lime but those look SO damn good.
    .-= jessie´s last blog ..edward vs jacob =-.

  15. kate says:

    That looks like the yummiest baked good I have ever seen! Im such a terrible baker – but I may need to make an exception!
    .-= kate´s last blog ..Autopilot =-.

  16. Jackie says:

    Those look soooo good! I love Ina. But I’m surprised you didn’t make anything from Gale Gand. 😉 I didn’t realize your sister was working at Tru. That’s awesome!! I’ll always remember her as a little kid- but I guess they’re not so young anymore…
    .-= Jackie´s last blog ..Mac ‘n cheese with portobello mushroom =-.

  17. key lime pie is my FAVORITE DESSERT of all time! these cupcakes sound like they were invented for me!!! ahh they loko so good and so beautiful as well!!!!

  18. Coconut AND Key lime?! Two of my all time favorite flavors 🙂
    .-= Heather @ Side of Sneakers´s last blog ..Testing 1,2,3 =-.

  19. Those cupcakes look so fresh and delightful!! Great job! The pictures are excellent, too. 😀

    .-= Jenn (www.j3nn.net)´s last blog ..Ripe and Juicy =-.

  20. Biz says:

    Those turned out really good Mara!! That’s why I don’t bake much either – to tempting to eat it all myself!

  21. Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary says:

    Your cupcakes look devine!

    I’m with you… all about the cooking and not so much baking. I’m not great at being exact.

  22. Karla says:

    Cute! Awesome pictures too!
    I definitely have the same issue with eating too many of my baked goods… however, I choose to bake quite regularly… I’m a baked good eating machine!

  23. I loe poring through cookbooks, but I always then veer off on my own, using them as inspiration. Those cupcakes look AMAZING.
    .-= Meghan@traveleatlove´s last blog ..Afternoon at Venge Vineyards =-.

  24. Christina says:

    Mara these are absolutely beautiful and such a flavor profile I would love! Thanks for sharing with Friday Firsts, sorry I’m a little late in checking them out! 🙂
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Happy Easter & Award =-.

  25. Pingback: Lima Colada Cupcakes

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