I wish I could send you one of these nice 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 about a month ago 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 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 on this blog.
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.
March 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm
I wish you could send readers those adorable cupcakes, too! I’ll take a dozen, stat! Besides the luscious sweets, I love the part of this post in which you revel in the self-acceptance that comes with age, wisdom, and experience. I know exactly what you’re saying and, now at 50, I feel the very much the same way. It takes a long time to get there, but it’s so nice when one arrives. 😉
March 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm
At least some good things come with aging. Thank you for reading and for your nice comments.
March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm
I think the best thing any of us can do is live up to our own standards and no one elses. Theres no fulfillment in being someone elses idea of perfection if its not your own anyhow.
Those cupcakes look incredible. I kind of want to live in your kitchen.
March 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm
That’s very true. You are more than welcome to come for a stay in my kitchen Leah! 😛
March 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm
As soon as my kitchen is clean I’m inspired to mess it up again by baking something. If someone drops by un-announced then they get what they get. If they want to visit a clean house then I must know in advance. We’re too busy living here.
Those cupcakes look amazing. I had a gift card for a fancy tea store and was going to buy a tin of matcha powder to bake with and the salesperson talked me out of it because she said it was too expensive to bake with. I wish that I hadn’t allowed myself to be influenced like that. I came home with tea that I don’t really like and wish I had just bought the darn matcha.
March 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm
When I called around for Matcha, it was $40 for an ounce!!! I ended up with a 50% Matcha and50% regular green tea powder for $9.99. Seemed like a bargain, even though normally I would never spend $10 on any ingredient other than protein perhaps. Well…maybe really good chocolate. 😉
March 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Your cupcakes are lovely. I loved the photo of your kitchen — that’s definitely the way I work! Great idea to wake the fainter with a whiff of your baking. How could anyone resist?
March 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Better than smelling salts at least! 🙂 Glad to hear from other messy chefs. It’s the only way I bake.
March 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm
These look great! And Viva la Being One’s Self! I totally agree with you
March 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm
If only we could help the teenage girls to understand and believe in themselves apart from the media.
March 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm
Thank you for stopping by Geni.I cudnt come back soon, was caught up in a lot of things.I hope u try the cookies and love them.I m try these coconut cupcakes for sure coz my hubby adores coconut.
March 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm
Nice to have you stopping by now…have a great week!
March 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm
Everyone of these cupcake was made by your hands and heart, and I heART them! A wonderful post! Inspirations and attitudes of our own are which keep us going and striving! Your kitchen is your creavtive spot and everyone has one of those!
March 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Thank you so much for your sweet words! 🙂
March 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm
You rock. This should go in the post-hall-of-fame. Inspiring and beautifully said…and what an important message. I was hanging on every word you wrote. Love the photo of your kitchen [now I KNOW we are related:)]…and, your cupcakes are gorgeous. There are no words for how much I love coconut…these will defintiely be made in my house. Cheers from the Lonestar State! xo
March 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm
Can you please pass on the fact that I rock? My kids are totally unaware of this plain and simple fact. I try to tell them, but they just don’t seem to believe me. Thank you so much for your very kind words. Glad to hear you are a messy cook as well. Messy cooks (I almost spelled that word with a “c” in place of the second “o”….would have been an utter disaster.) unite!
March 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm
Yum! The cream in the center is a fab idea! but your kitchen is too messy. I personally can’t cook in a messy kitchen and am constantly cleaning as I cook.
I like puppies.
Just wanted to say that.
March 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm
My kitchen is too messy for YOU, but just right for me sweetie. I like puppies too! Just wanted to say that.
March 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm
These look beautiful, and I love your step-by-step pictures! I agree with the last part of your post, I’m happiest when I’m in the kitchen, even if the counter is a mess and I’m covered with flour and other various ingredients!
March 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm
It’s good to know yourself so well already! 🙂
March 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm
Mmm, what a great surprise to find in the middle of a cupcake. This must really be a fantastic flavor combo.
March 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm
It was a nice surprise…like a Twinkie but way better. 🙂
March 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm
Oh Geni, your cupcakes always amaze me…and this one again…love the idea of filing it…and how you decorated them…so cute. Great pictures as well. Oh! Forgot to tell you that love the coconut flavor 🙂 Hope you have a great week ahead.
March 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm
Your cupcakes look outstanding! I’ve never had matcha, I’d love to try, I love the flavors in those delicious looking little cakes! Great shot of the kitchen 🙂
March 7, 2011 at 10:55 pm
They look gorgeous! Since you don’t deliver, I’ll just have to stop by and pick some up. I certainly don’t mind the state of your kitchen – it looks similar to mine when I’m baking! 🙂
March 8, 2011 at 5:12 am
I have to say, this post almost made me cry. In a good way. So many good vibes coming from it. And good cupcakes. I think they look just divine! I would never have thought to combine matcha with coconut!
March 8, 2011 at 7:15 am
Oh yummy! These cupcakes look so mouth-watering good. I wish you could send me one too 🙂
March 8, 2011 at 8:28 am
Yumm, the frostings sound like heaven…and I love a filling-filled cupcake, it’s always such a pleasant surprise 😀
March 8, 2011 at 9:08 am
Mmm! Looks like breakfast.
I wish you could send me one too… that’d get me through my morning with a smile.
March 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm
Let me just say, I do not like coconut at all. But after reading this recipe, you may have made me into a believer lol. These cupcakes look delicious! I mean you really did a wonderful job with this. Thanks so much for the new recipe
March 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm
It does not have a strong coconut flavor and the coconut, itself gets chopped very finely so it virtually disappears into the batter. Both my husband and daughter are not coconut fans, but they both loved these cupcakes. That treehouse on your post was amazing! I sent the link to your site to a few friends.
March 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm
Those look silly delicious! WOW! Bookmarking this to try soon!
Great blog; happy I found you!
March 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm
wow, nice work! I’ve only made cupcakes a couple times and never anything like this!
March 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm
Thank you to everyone for all the “sweet” compliments. Have a great rest of the week all!
March 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm
I wish you could give me one of these too! They look absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
March 9, 2011 at 1:18 am
I love what you have done with that frosting, green tea flavour in a cupcake might sound weird but I guess it taste really unique and good as well as thats the same reaction to got the first time I ate green tea ice cream.
March 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm
hahahhah…. my kitchen looks like that several days a week! Well,… actually most days…because I bake a few times a week and do cook at home all the time…. we never eat out…so…eh… it looks like that when I’m slicing and dicing and sauteing etc…..
But… like you say…nobody gives a fig if they show up and actually get home made “anything” with their tea or coffee….. we’re still in the minority those of us who do from scratch…well, at least I am ….the only one in my neighbourhood and beyond…. as a matter of fact…I don’t actually know anybody else who bakes …
these look equally as great as the last ones… I’m going to have to begin a “Sweet and Crumby” list….lol……
March 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm
I don’t know too many bakers myself. I like the idea of a Sweet and Crumby list. Thank you!
March 10, 2011 at 11:42 am
Thanks Geni for commenting on my blog..You were the first one after my huge change:))
First let me tell you that those are amazingly tasty cupcakes..would love one right now, and your photos are always stunning and beautiful.
And to answer your Q on my blog..yes I am using mostly natural light, and editing on a Picnik.com, it is free website if you just want to add small things to improve your photo.
Hope that helps, but I don’t think that you need any help when your photos are already amazing:)
March 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm
Those cupcake liners are adorable! And i agree… that wilton tip is the best! i use it too…it has made filling cupcakes a breeze!
Pingback: Cupcake à la noix de coco et au thé matcha | Mellimellow
August 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm
How yummy! Matcha is very expensive…I found asking your local Starbucks or Jamba Juice for a scoop works pretty well! They are usually pretty willing to give up a little for the love of baking. I am defiantly going to have to try this recipe. The grapefruit zest in the cupcake is very interesting..I wonder why it was added.