Please excuse the cobwebs here at Sweet and Crumby. Life over at my digs is like the spin cycle of my washer, just whirring so fast that it makes me a little dizzy. So…you will have to enjoy this repeat, or you are more than welcome to move on. :) No hard feelings. Truly.
I wish I could send you one of these sweet little mini coconut, cream-filled cupcakes with Matcha frosting. They are soft, with a tender crumb, have a mild dreamy coconut flavor, and the rich, smooth frosting is perfectly offset by earthy green tea.
This cupcake has a really nice flavor combination and one I would never have tried for myself if it weren’t for two inspirations; my niece, Lindsey, who was having a Japanese themed thirteenth birthday party and Elissa, from Seventeen and Baking, who had posted this cupcake earlier, and I have been drooling ever since.
Did I mention hers are stunning, magazine cover worthy? The cupcake wrappers are a beautiful ocean blue, and her cupcakes have been frosted with perfect tiny little peaks. Mine were never going to hold a candle to those little cakes of perfection. I had cupcake envy— bad.
Have you ever pondered over something for ages because you were pretty sure you couldn’t execute it the way it should be done? Or decided not to go somewhere because you didn’t have the perfect outfit? There are lots of reasons we find to determine we are not good enough. Ad campaigns, alone, give us an infinite number of ways to believe that we are just not up to par.
Our weight, our hair, our skin color, the shape of our eyes are just not up to someone else’s standards. Then we, too, fall prey to the “someone else’s standards” mentality and start to believe it about ourselves. We are our worst critics whether it has to do with our looks or the things we do and strive for. It’s a balancing act and tends to make us quite fragile if we are firm believers in the “someone else’s standards” philosophy.
I definitely have had moments, if not decades, of a “someone else’s standards” thought process, but luckily with age has come the freedom from thinking that other people have any right to my opinion of myself. I desperately wish I could impart that to my children and to some of the younger blog followers I have.
Shaking off the need to carry the right bag, wear the right jeans, be the perfect size is huge and it mostly takes a lot of growing up, yet while you are growing up the “other peoples’ standards” mentality seems to have you like a death grip.
I, for the most part, have decided my standards are good enough for me. What a revelation. I don’t have to be pretty enough, thin enough, conservative enough or liberal enough for everyone else. I can have my own standards and be satisfied by living up to those.
See that kitchen there? That is me at my messiest and happiest…when I am baking and conjuring up ingredients from everywhere, dropping bits of flour and powdered sugar all over the place. Other people might faint, pass out that someone’s kitchen could ever look like THAT, and if a friend had stopped by in my younger days, I might have literally had a panic attack that someone saw it. What would she think of me?
Now I just enjoy the process, make a total mess, and clean up a bit later when I find the energy. If someone happens to stop by unannounced and faints from the sight of my kitchen, I will just have to revive them by wafting a fresh, aromatic baked good in front of their nose, offer up a strong cup of coffee and let them take a seat while I start a few dishes.
I will have a smirk on my face that I managed to get quite a reaction and move along my day, quite pleased with myself.
My little cupcakes turned out much better than I had imagined. I am not normally very good with piping tips and bags. It may not look like Elissa’s but they are definitely up to my own standards and beyond! I guess I should not have put them off so long, wanting for perfection. :)
—I hope you get a chance to make these coconut, green tea cupcakes or at least conquer something that you think you are not good enough to do. You might surprise yourself…
from Seventeen and Baking taken from Martha Stewart’s recipe
Makes about 16 normal sized cupcakes or about 32 minis. Have fun baking!
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
Zest of 2 grapefruits
2 large eggs + 2 large egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 T. powdered sugar
1/4 t. coconut extract
Cream Cheese Frosting with Matcha or without
8 0z of cream cheese brought to room temperature
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
3 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
optional 1/2 – 1 t. matcha or powdered green tea (matcha seems very expensive so I found a matcha green tea blend of powdered tea which was more reasonably priced)
Just a dash of green food coloring
For the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Chop your coconut finely into bits.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt and coconut. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together your butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Then add your grapefruit zest and each egg and egg white individually, beating in between to incorporate. Add your vanilla and mix in.
Now add 1/3 of your dry ingredients to the butter mixture and 1/3 of the coconut milk and combine on low speed just until the flour is barely mixed in. Repeat these steps until the flour, coconut milk and butter mixture are all combined. Do not over mix and scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.
I like to use ice cream scoops to ladel batter into cupcakes. It makes it pretty easy. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake. For mini cupcakes, it’s only about 12 minutes until they are done, lightly firm and no batter on the toothpick test. If you are baking normal sized cupcakes, bake them for 20-25 minutes or until done. Let cool completely.
For the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the balloon whisk, whip the cream first on low speed, then working up to a high speed as the cream firms up until stiff peaks form. Then add the powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut extract and mix together on medium speed.
To fill, simply cut out a cone-shaped portion of the cupcake using a pairing knife. Fill the cupcakes using a pastry bag fitten with a long slender tip designed for filling pastries. Otherwise, you can use a Ziploc bag and just cut a tiny triangle out of the bag, fill it with whipped cream, remove excess air, zip the top and pipe the cream into the cupcakes. Put the little lids back on and frost.
For the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sifted powdered sugar (I never sift mine and just beat the frosting into oblivion to make it smooth. Seems to work fine.) and beat until smooth. Finally add the vanilla, salt and optional green tea and a drop or two of the green food coloring. Beat on medium until incorporated. Frost using a spatula or piping bag and tip.