Saturday, 1 September 2012

United Bakes of America Round Four... and Coconut Cupcakes filled with Pineapple Curd for the state of Hawaii!


Another month, another round up of delicious American inspired bakes!

Of course it was only going to be a matter of time before I found my way to page 172 in the book - coconut cupcakes! yes, it had to be done!

I'm not sure that coconut cupcakes are an official state dessert of Hawaii, unlike most of the other bakes in Warren's book...but I got the impression he just loves coconut as much as I do and had to squeeze it in to his book somehow! and so coconut got tied to Hawaii for it's tropical links! Warren also talks about how Hawaii is well known for it's natural resources and more than a third of the world's commercial supply of pineapples comes from the Aloha state which got me thinking, and so I took the tropical pairing one step further and filled my coconut cupcakes with homemade pineapple curd (not a step in Warren's book...but he may want to change it to be that way next time around!) because seriously if you ever want to be my best friend, just bring me a bowlful of pineapple curd! It is ridunculously tasty!

It was also my first time baking with coconut oil, I've only used it before in the non edible sense - it is really great for massages! so I was slightly skeptical about adding it to my baked goods but it gave a nice punch of coconut flavour that is slightly sweeter than the usual addition of only coconut milk in cake.

I also like to go all out so not only did I make my pineapple curd with fresh pineapple, but I also made my own shredded coconut from fresh coconut! which was quite a process, but fun to do and not too tricky if you have a helpful husband with a hammer around!

Coconut & Pineapple Curd Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting: 
Makes 12
Adapted from United Bakes of America

3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp potato starch (I used corn flour)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
45g unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake wrappers.

Measure the sugar, flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt into a deep bowl.  Whisk lightly for about 15 seconds to blend.
Place the butter and coconut oil in a medium sized bowl and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until melted.  Whisk into the dry ingredients.  Add the remaining coconut milk, vanilla extract and eggs.

Lightly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, this should take about 15 seconds.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake cases until they are 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 22 minutes or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave them in their pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled cut a small circular hole in the middle of the cupcake using a sharp serrated knife.  Cut off the majority of the cake from the bit you cut out but leave the small circular top part to use as a plug once you fill the hole with pineapple curd.

Pineapple Curd:
From Alaska From Scratch

1 cup fresh pineapple puree
1/3 cup caster sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp corn flour
small pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter

To make fresh pineapple puree, cut the skin off your pineapple and cut half of the pineapple flesh into small chunks.  Put in a blender and blitz until smooth.  Strain the puree through a wire mesh sieve into a bowl, it shouldn't be just juice - you want some bits to it, but you want to get rid of any very large pieces that didn't get blended.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple puree, sugar, egg yolks, corn flour and salt.  Turn heat onto medium and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens (this happens just as it's about to come to the boil, it should take between 5-10mins).  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted.

Transfer to a bowl and leave out to cool.  Once cool to the touch, cover in cling film and put bowl in the fridge to enable the curd to firm up slightly.  In the meantime make your frosting.

Coconut Frosting:
From Baked Perfection

113g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups icing sugar
4 tbsp coconut milk
pinch of salt

Beat butter and vanilla extract until creamy.
Add salt and then add the icing sugar one cup at a time, alternating with the coconut milk and beating until combined.

Remove the pineapple curd from the fridge.  Fill a piping bag and snip off the end.  Pipe the curd into the holes you have made in your cupcakes.  Put the cupcake plungers back in after the curd.  Fill piping bag with frosting and your favourite star nozzle.  Pipe frosting on.

I decorated with shredded toasted coconut.  I made this coconut from a fresh coconut.  You can do it too by poking the 'eyes' of the coconut with a metal skewer or sharp knife.  Then drain the coconut milk inside through the holes.  Bake at 200 degrees C for 25 minutes.  Take out the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.  Using a hammer, crack it open.  Remove all the brown outer edge.  Using a knife cut away the coconut flesh from the skin.  Grate it longways to get long strands.  Put on a baking tray on bake under the grill for 3-5 minutes until toasted.  Wait until cool and then garnish your cupcakes with it.

Now let's look at what everyone else has been baking this month!

First off, was my blogging friend who loves baking American treats just as much as me! Ros, from The More Than Occasional Baker made these Cherry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies.  Not only are Thumbprint cookies soooo American, but she also did them the authentic way using the real deal Hershey's Kisses.  Ros is such a blogging trooper that even though she doesn't love cherry flavour herself she baked these up in order to enter them into a cherry blogging challenge, she is the queen of blogging challenges, now that's blogication for you! I love how cute they look and also how they can be adapted to suit all kinds of flavours!

Next up, Susie from Fold in the Flour baked up these amazing Blueberry and Cornmeal Mini Bundts! Not only do they contain blueberries, cornmeal and buttermilk but Bundts are SO American too! The Bundt pan was developed in the 1950s in Minnesota.  Susie used these super cute mini Bundt pans, which makes each baked good you produce look like a work of art! I imagine they tasted just as good as they looked!

Closely followed by my newest blogger friend and kindred Yankophile Stuart, from over at Cakeyboi.  Again the over the top levels of American-ness in this monthly challenge continued by Stuart making a Froot Loop Banana Cream Pie! Stuart wasn't sure I'd let him in with this, since only the crust is 'baked' but you can't get more American than Banana Cream Pie and to then top it off with some Fruit Loops and baking them into the crust too is just genius! Stuart also kindly informed us that UK supermarkets are now selling Fruit Loops too - so for anyone needing a fix, you know who to thank! I'm wishing I had a big slice of this pie to tuck into right now - such a yummy fun bake!

Kit from I-Lost in Austen joined in with an actual recipe from Warren's book! and one that I've had my eye on for a while but Kit outdid herself as usual and her picture is far more spectacular than the one found in the pages of the book! She made this Coca Cola Cake for her son's birthday as cola bottles are his favourite sweets and what a show stopper! I'm sure it put a smile on all the partygoers faces! and I just love how she styled her shot too!

Lastly, just in the nick of time my sister Mel from Let's Get Scrappy blogged tonight about all her baking that she did when she put on a farewell Canadian dessert bar for me and my husband last weekend! I know this is an American blogging challenge, but for the amazing Brownie Cake Pops she made she used marshmallow fluff to bind the brownie together so I think that qualifies! They are my new favourite kinds of cake pop, soooo moist and yummy! She also baked up maple cookies, and the A&W was flowing - she knows what makes me happy!

Thanks to all your fantastic entries this month! It's been a really ingenius month, can't wait to see what September brings!


  1. Go, Hawaii! My sister's working there now, so I can only imagine all the great food she gets to eat.

    1. Wow SO lucky, it is my life dream to make it to Hawaii! I'm super jeal of your sister!

  2. Great round up! I'm loving all kinds of curd at the moment. Pineapple sounds delicious.

    1. Me too, I just want to turn everything into curd right now! I can't believe it took me this long to come around to it!

  3. these are just beyond beautiful and SO creative, really lovely. I've never heard of pineapple curd before!! wonderful :))
    Mary x

    1. I hadn't heard of it either Mary but I'm so glad I gave it a try, now I want to turn every fruit I can think of into curd!

  4. Gem, your coconut and pineapple cupcakes look lush! That is one of my favourite flavour combinations. Just love them! You must be so excited (and a bit nervous?) about moving to Vancouver. I'll be watching to see how you get on!

    - Andrea x

    1. Pineapple and coconut is one of my fave flavour combos too, I found some 'iogo' yoghurt in Superstore the other day in pineapple and coconut flavour and snapped it right up! To be honest I wasn't nervous at all about Vancouver because we had been building up to it for so long that I was just insanely excited and ready to be here! and it's lived up to all our expectations that's for sure!

  5. Pineapple curd? I didn't know such wonders could exist! I can only imagine how amazing it tasted in a coconut cupcake.

    1. exactly, I didn't know either Jo but it was completely amazing - you should definitely try and make some too, you will love it!

  6. Yummmmy! I adore coconut especially suited in cupcakes :). Really nice recipe!

  7. I have just blogged for the next round -



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