Image: Joe Kim/Recipes and Styling: Tara Ballantyne
These cupcakes are a delicate confection of sweetness and light with a tangy, tropical twist.
May days in the kitchen always seem to arrive enveloped in a certain easy cheer that’s reminiscent of a scene from a vintage cookbook, and ladylike snowball cupcakes are the perfect dessert to accompany that warm, gentle softness in the air. This version, which mixes the refined flavour of coconut with the tartness of lime, happily marries that sense of mannerly nostalgia with the spirited sophistication of the way we live today, and gives them a polished 21st-century demeanour that’s all their own.
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 heaping tsp grated lime zest
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 140 g white chocolate squares
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 4 tbsp sour cream
- Coconut flakes for garnish
1 Grease muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups and preheat oven to 350°F.
2 Make buttermilk by stirring the lemon juice into the skim milk. Set aside.
3 Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs one at a time. Add in the lime zest, juice and vanilla seeds and mix well.
4 In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the buttermilk, until combined. Fold in the coconut. Scoop the cupcake mix into the muffin tins, filling ²∕³ full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of cupcakes comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
5 Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Carefully melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove from the heat and cool until just warm. Whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner’s sugar slowly, mixing until well combined. Add the lime juice and the sour cream and mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate.
6 Frost the cupcakes when cool, and garnish half with the additional fresh coconut flakes. Serve immediately.
Tip: Use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into the muffin tins to ensure the same size cupcake every time. The unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six weeks. Freeze the frosting separately. When defrosting the cupcakes, keep them in the container so that condensation forms on the outside of the package, not the cupcakes.
Makes: 16 delicious cupcakes.