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Friday, April 27, 2012

Put the Lime in the Coconut and Eat 'em All Up...

I'm going to hear poetry readings Saturday at Paragraph's On Padre Blvd.... one of the events in the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.  I went last year and really enjoyed the readings.  The teen and I will be on the island anyway getting him a haircut from Sharla at Venus Nails and Spa...and ordering wrist corsages (yes, that is plural) for his dates to Prom (it's a long story for another time - they're going as friends).  Anyway, he's into poetry, because when he hears or reads poetry...he tends to want to put it to music.  I told him I wanted to go over to Paragraphs for their second session, and he said he wouldn't mind joining me.  Sounds like a nice afternoon.

Now, when I go visit Joni and Griff, the most awesome booksellers on the planet, I feel an unremitting urge to take treats with me.  I've been staying out of the kitchen this week due to my abundant baking last week, so I really wasn't prepared nor in a planning state of mind.  I'd been idly catching up on my food magazines this afternoon after finishing work and I recalled I'd seen an interesting and simple cake called a French Yogurt Cake.  I grabbed the Bon Appetit that I'd been perusing and flipped through until I found it.  It was a recipe with lemon...and I had one lemon....and I had Greek yogurt and I had everything else required...pretty basic cake.  It called for a tablespoon of fine lemon zest and I only had one lemon...but I had a lime.  I figured I could add the two together and that would work.  I, of course, wanted petite bites for the bookstore visitors, so I decided I could do mini cupcakes with this batter.  I wasn't sure what to do for a topping - the cake in the magazine was just a loaf cake - no glaze or anything.  Huh, well, I could figure that out later.  It was 7:30 on a Friday night and I wanted to get these baked off so I headed to the kitchen.

Now, I have to tell you, I have not made a cake by hand in quite a while.  I use a stand mixer most all the time!  This recipe, however, called for hand whisking of the wet stuff and folding in of the dry stuff.  It was rather relaxing I must say.

I also substituted 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste instead of the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract called for...and my Greek yogurt turned out to be fat free, which I didn't notice until I was throwing the container away and the cupcakes were in the oven.  *Shrug* - nothing to be done about it at this point.  Hoped they'd be okay.

Here's the recipe, slightly modified as described.  The article was written by Andrew Knowlton and he said "it was often the first dessert French children learn to prepare".  It sounds delicious so thanks for sharing that recipe Bon Appetit!

French Yogurt Mini Cupcakes
Adapted from Bon Appetit's French Yogurt Cake
May 2012 Issue, Page 30


1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup white granulated sugar
Zest from one lemon and one lime (1 Tbsp approx.)
   using a micro plane for a very fine zest

3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line mini cupcake pans with paper liners (I got about 32 cupcakes from the recipe)

In a 2 cup mixing cup, measure the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt together.
Whisk until well blended.  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and zest from both lemon and lime.  With fingers of both hands, rub the sugar and zest together until sugar is moist and you can see flecks of zest evenly distributed throughout the sugar.

To the sugar mixture, add Greek yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla bean paste.  Manually whisk to blend.

Fold in dry ingredients just to blend.  The batter will be quite thick.

I used a small cookie dough scoop and loaded one scoop into each cupcake liner.
Bake until top of cupcakes are golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean.  This took 21-22 minutes for me.  I started checking at 20 minutes and they were almost perfect - and I let them go just a couple minutes longer to get a bit more golden.  The toothpick came out clean. 

While I typed this I found myself singing Put the Lime in the Coconut and thought - HEY, maybe a lemon/lime fluffy frosting (using the juice from the nekkid lemon and lime) and some coconut added in?  Or on top?  I don't know.  I guess you will have figured out the answer to that question when you looked at the blog because I know there will be a photo on top!

I also sampled a hot-out-of-the-oven cupcake.  Oh MY!  These could indeed be eaten plain.  They are not overly citrusy - but I can taste both the lime and the lemon.  These are awesome!!!  I do believe they would have been even more awesome with whole milk yogurt...but these are none to shabby that's for sure.

Here's what I finally did for the frosting...

Lime in the Coconut Frosting


4 ounces butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
16 ounces powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
2 tablespoons juice from one lime and one lemon squeezed
   into a bowl over a strainer  - there will be leftover juice.
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
1 drop Wilton Leaf Green gel paste


Beat butter and cream cheese until incorporated and fluffy.  Add vanilla bean paste and mix until incorporated.  Add 1/2 of the powdered sugar, mix well, and add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until you have a lumpy mixture.
Add juice one tablespoon at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition.  Frosting will have smoothed out at this point - if not, add juice a tiny bit at a time until "just right".
Add coconut and whip for 30 seconds on medium high.
I added a drop of leaf green gel paste - to get the "lime" concept obvious to the oblivious :-)
Whip to incorporate color evenly.

I chose to pipe the frosting - but it was not easy with the coconut in the frosting.  It was difficult to get the frosting to exit the tip smoothly from start to finish.  I couldn't get the center point to release because the coconut was stringy in the tip...and I was quite off kilter in my piping as I struggled for even coverage.  If I do this again, I'd probably just frost them with an offset spatula.

I did, of course, have one as a quality control check.  Pretty darn delicious I must say.  The slight tartness of the cream cheese and citrus juices balanced out the sweetness of the confectioner's sugar.  The cupcakes themselves were mildly citrus and it really worked nicely together.

Those cupcakes would also be good with a lemon or lime glaze...guess I'll have to make them again sometime and give that a whirl!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!

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  1. Sorry for my first comment intrusion, lol, but we're friends on FoodBuzz and saw your blog post in my feed.

    Wonderful lime/coconut cupcakes. They look so delicious and oh so refreshing with the lime and coconut- two of my favourites.

    Have left you some Buzz-love on this post on FoodBuzz. :)

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking

    1. Lisa - I didn't get a first comment so... pffft, nothing to worry about! I always appreciate comments...but I do moderate because I get spam from time to time (as we all do I'm sure).

      I just finished going through 200 emails on FoodBuzz. I've been in baking recovery after last week's flurry of baking for the Autism Awareness Walk. Happy you buzzed and I always love comments! Thanks for taking the time.

  2. Ya put the lime in the coconut cupcakes and I would be very happy to eat them all up. These are very dainty and with two flavours that go hand in hand like prom dates :)

  3. I do most of my baking from boxes, but between the icing and batter recipes and the great photos, I am definitely going to try making these! Great ingredients - they really must have a wonderful flavor! Allen.

    1. They were quite yummy...but I really recommend the whole milk Greek Yogurt - they would have been even more delicious with a bit more fat in the mouth feel. Sad, but true!

  4. I saw that recipe and I was thinking how well yogurt and citrus do in baked goods. I am glad that you converted this over to mini cupcakes, much better for serving. They do look amazing and I am sure these were a hit at the bookstore. Great post!

  5. Joni and Griff must have been delighted to see you walk into the shop with these little cuties. Love that you used vanilla bean paste :)
    Hope your teen has a super time at the prom with his two dates and that you enjoyed the poetry reading.

  6. Yum Yum!!! I just found your blog on Mrs Foxs Sweets. I'll host a party every month with a different theme and would love you to join! Please visit my blog for more information on "My Sweet Party" post uploaded 2nd of May.



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