Make, Jane, make!: Naturally Pink Valentines Coconut Cupcakes


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Naturally Pink Valentines Coconut Cupcakes

I'm going to digress from my Cooking with Kids train of thought to squeeze this quick Valentines Day post in...

Red velvet everything is all the rage right now, but I don't like thinking about how much food colouring has to go into one of those creations to achieve that deep red hue. So for Valentines day this year I decided that I would go more pink and natural.

My hubby has only recently discovered the deliciousness that is coconut cake. So I was going to make him some coconut cupcakes with pink frosting. However, upon further consideration pink icing seemed a little too baby girlish and I opted instead to make the cake pink and the frosting white.

I adapted Martha's recipe for coconut cake for this experiment. It's a good tasting coconut cake, but I'm still not convinced that it's the best coconut cake out there... If anyone knows of an incredible coconut cake recipe (with the creamy white frosting of course!), please point me in the proper direction.

To colour the cake pink, I used nature's best red colorant - beets! I have a bunch of frozen roasted beets from my summer farmshare and I used half a small beet blended with the coconut milk to give my cupcakes that Valentine touch.

The batter looked the appropriate shade of pink once all the mixing was done... so I didn't add any more beets into the mix.

They came out of the oven smelling heavenly and with the cutest deep pink tops. The inner part of the cake remained mostly white which suited me just fine, but I guess you could always use more beets or beet juice if you wanted a deeper, more pervasive colour.

Add some fluffy white frosting and you've got a treat fit for all the men/boys of the house.


Naturally Pink Valentines Coconut Cupcakes   Yield: 10 large or 12 medium cupcakes
adapted from Coconut Cake, Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

1-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sweetened coconut, blended/processed until fine
pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 - 1 small beet, roasted/cooked and roughly chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
scant 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare baking pans with butter/spray/muffin cups.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a blender or food processor, blend coconut milk and chopped beet until smooth.
  4. In a mixer (or by hand), cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
  6. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture in two additions, alternating with the pink coconut milk.
  7. Divide the batter into your baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs.
  8. Let cool and frost as desired.

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