Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Coconut Orange Cupcakes

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Multicultural Inspiration from... Fiji

Ahhh... another day, another cupcake :) Actually, these were made after our Coconut & Lime Poached Fish dinner! I had some left over coconut milk; with coconut being my favourite flavour after chocolate, I don't really want it to go to waste, so I decide that cupcakes are in order. I have a recipe for the most magnificent coconut cupcakes I've ever had, but I don't have all the ingredients I want to make it.

I love the combination of coconut and citrus fruits like orange and limes, as it reminds me of Fiji. I've been to that beautiful, serene country seven times now, and it just gets more and more perfect every time. Their food is so fresh and simple, yet delicious and so different, and you can really taste the difference in their fresh produce as opposed to what we often get here. Especially the coconut! One of Fiji's most traditional dishes is kokoda, which is raw fish marinated in coconut cream, lime, onions and tomato. Although I'm not particularly fond of the raw fish, the sauce is magnificent, and after having tried it for the first time many years ago, it was the coconut/lime flavour combination that stuck with me. That was one of the reasons the previous recipe for the poached fish in coconut and lime jumped out of the book to me so much, and the reason I wanted to try another coconut citrus combo in cupcake form! Unfortunately, I was flat out of limes after dinner, so I try a coconut orange combination instead!

My trusty Cupcakes cook book is pulled back off the shelf, and here's what I did with it...

  • 110g butter, softened
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of half an orange
  • 125g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 120g plain flour, sifted
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut

With all the ingredients ready to go, preheat the oven to 160°C and line 2 12-hole muffin trays with silicon cases.

Pop the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl (or in my case, my Kitchen Aid bowl! I am now in love with the machine!) and cream until pale and smooth, around 3 - 5 minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and orange juice at the end and beat again.

Combine the flours in a small bowl and add a third of it to the creamed mixture and beat well. Once combined, pour in a third of the coconut milk and beat again. Repeat twice more until the flour and milk are all added. Carefully fold in the desiccated coconut and all of the orange zest bar 2 tbsp.

Spoon the mixture into the silicon cupcake cases, filling them about two-thirds of the way. Sprinkle them with the granulated sugar...

...then with the shredded coconut...

... and finally the remaining orange zest.

With the cupcakes ready to go, place them into the oven for around 20 - 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out of the cake cleanly.

Let them sit in their cases for 5 minutes or so to cool, then pop them out and get ready to feast!

They're light and soft, with a slightly crunchy top from the sprinkle of sugar. The orange zest adds a nice little citrusy bite in contrast to the sweetness and softness of the coconut.

Two days later (it's truly a miracle they've lasted so long!!!), they're still moist inside, with the crispy sugar shell on top. I honestly couldn't tell you how long these keep for, as I don't think cupcakes have ever lasted longer than 2 days in our home... but they're great while they last!


  1. I love a good cupcake - and coconut and orange sounds like such a good mix, thanks for the tip!

    Meanwhile, impressive that they lasted that long in your house :)

  2. These look delectable! And we love kokoda too-we ate it quite a lot in Fiji and were so taken by the sauce that we made it at home once we got back! :)