Coconut – Mango Cupcakes

Is the coconut a nut? The answer’s in the name, right? Kind of a no-brainer. So why is it that when I made a batch of coconut-mango cupcakes for my son’s school fête*, I put a big label on them that said ‘Coconut-Mango Cupcakes – No Nuts‘? I mean, I even wrote out the word Coconut and the clue is right there in the last three letters. You’d think.

Luckily for me, a frantic Google session (once I’d realised my mistake) revealed that coconuts are not classified as nuts for allergy purposes, as they do not generally cause the same medical mayhem of which other tree nuts can be guilty. Phew! You’ll be glad to hear that I did correctly label the Triple Layer Bars I’d made. They most decidedly do contain nuts – there’s peanut butter in the top layer. That was easy though – peanut. It’s right there in the name. The last three letters. Who could miss that?

(*A fête, pronounced fate in UK parlance, is what we’d call a fair in the US.)

Coconut – Mango Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Frosting
(makes 24)

What You Need:

For the cupcakes:
1 cup (250g) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh mango (or tinned mango slices in syrup), blended
1 cup coconut milk
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup desiccated coconut

For the frosting:
1/2 cup (125g) butter
4 cups icing sugar
4 Tbsp coconut milk
1 cup desiccated coconut, divided

What You Do:

For the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C.
2. Line muffin tins with paper cases (or prepare silicone molds).
3. Beat the butter and the sugar together until fluffy, then add the other wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, coconut milk and blended mango).
4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
5. Add the desiccated coconut and mix well.
6. Fill each case 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes (when a skewer poked in the middle of one comes out clean). Cool for 15 minutes then remove from baking tin to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
1.  Beat butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add icing sugar, coconut milk and 1/2 cup desiccated coconut. Mix well.
3. Spread with palette knife or pipe with pastry bag onto cooled cupcakes.
4. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Notes for Next Time:

1.  The cakes were fabulous, but I must admit the mango flavour didn’t come through very well. Just gave them a hint of fruitiness. I used it because it’s what I had and you could easily use another fruit instead.
2. When frosting the cakes, don’t worry too much about being artistic or making them look perfect because you’re going to ‘snow’ them with desiccated coconut.
3. Desiccated (dried) coconut works fine in this recipe but, if you can find it, shredded coconut is softer and would probably be nicer for the final sprinkle on top of the frosting. I don’t think it matters at all for the coconut in the cakes and frosting. In any event, I could only find the desiccated here, and it was fine.