Italian Cream Cupcakes

For small groups each week, we pick a different food theme (some extremely ridiculous). This week’s theme was Italian. So I thought I would make Italian Cream (and cream filled) Cupcakes.

The Cake

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

5 eggs, separated

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 jumbo muffin pans.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in batches alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, and gently fold into the prepared batter. Add the coconut, pecans and vanilla and fold into the batter.

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake on center rack for 20-25 minutes until center is set. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the frosting I use for pretty much anything that calls for cream cheese frosting. I have tried out a lot of different cream cheese frostings, but I eventually scrapped them and came up with this one. It is stiff enough to hold it’s shape and the flavor is amazing. For thinner frosting you can add milk a little at a time.

2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 pounds confectioners sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, add confectioners sugar a little at a time. Once all sugar has been added increase to medium speed until frosting is creamy.

*For these cupcakes, I  reserved 1 cup of frosting added 1 -2 tablespoons of milk, making the frosting thinner. Using a decorators bag and #12 Wilton tip, I piped the cream into the center of each cupcake, making for a little cream filling.

Frost cupcakes and garnish with toasted coconut and finely chopped nuts.

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