Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lighter Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting

I am not a huge cake fan, but offer me a good cupcake and I am happy. Whether is is the single serving size, the high frosting to cake ratio or just that they are so darn cute, I loves me some cupcakes. I was intrigued with a recipe from this month's Cooking Light, Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting, that lightens up the butter and fat and uses potato starch for a delicate crumb. The fact that they combine two of my favorite flavors didn't hurt either. 

Cooking Light and the recipe developer, Kathleen Kanen say: "Texture suffers when you lighten cakes by using less butter and sugar. Mild-flavored potato starch, available at most grocery stores, is a fine powder that ensures a moist, light result in baked goods. (Make sure you purchase potato starch, however, Kanen says potato flour is heavier and denser)."  

Kanen's further advice: "Employ the creaming method, a technique that starts by beating butter and sugar together to incorporate plenty of air in the batter. Eggs go in next, then the dry flour mixture is added alternatively with liquid to retain the beaten in air."

Cooking Lights also says: "Find potato starch in the supermarket baking aisle. Use lemon rind and fresh lemon juice in place of the lime for a variation." (Note: I looked in every baking aisle in town before finally finding little bags of potato starch in the Asian Foods section of a couple of stores.)

Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting
Cooking Light May 2009
(Makes 12)

Cooking spray
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2/3 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4.75 ounces powdered sugar, sifted (about 1 1/3 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cupcakes, place 2 muffin cup liners in each of 12 muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended (mixture will be the consistency of damp sand). Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in coconut and vanilla.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool in pan 2 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine 3 tablespoons butter and next 3 ingredients (through juice) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating just until smooth. Spread about 2 1/2 teaspoons frosting onto each cupcake.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 cupcake)

CALORIES 196 ; FAT 5.6g (sat 3.4g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.3g); CHOLESTEROL 31mg; CALCIUM 52mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.8g; SODIUM 179mg; PROTEIN 2.5g; FIBER 0.3g; IRON 0.7mg

Notes/Results: Yum! A nice, moist and tender cupcake and the frosting, oh my the frosting, I think I could eat a whole bowl of it! It would be great on cookies or a pound cake too. The nice thing is that you actually don't need to put a lot of frosting on the cupcake to get a good hit of the lime flavor. These are great little cupcakes and don't taste lower in fat. For portion control, I baked all 12 cupcakes and made half the frosting, freezing about half of the cupcakes for another time. I would definitely make these again for an occasional delicious indulgence.


Don't forget, if you have not already entered for this week's giveaway, you have until noon (Hawaii Standard Time), today to do so. You can get all the details here. The winner will be announced tomorrow. 


  1. Yum! Looks like you have enough to share.. with me!
    I love the colourful wrappers, too.

  2. These look delicious.. I love the specks of lime in the frosting, must taste spectacular!

  3. These sound great...I love the speckles of lime, too :)

  4. I was actually looking for a good cupcake recipes yesterday. Coconut and lime are the perfect flavor combo. I am ALL OVER these. Number 1 recipe to make for the family when I go home.

  5. yum, some of my favorite flavors!! love the colorful wrappers!

  6. What a terrific combo. These look delicious. Don't you love the folks at Cooking Light?

  7. OK, now I KNOW my "diet conscience" is talking to me. First I go to Netts Nook web site and she posts watermelon sorbet...then I am tempted again at Judy's Kitchen where she posted these irrisistable chocolate chip cookies...(uh, oh...willpower is slipping)..then you saved me with a sweet alternative = your lighter cupcakes.Whew! Thanks LOL.

  8. Thanks for the tips for lighter cupcakes!

  9. just mention buttercream and I am all ears...these do look and sound great!

  10. They look so yummy! I love sweet and sour together.

  11. coconut and lime is one of my favorite combinations. these look delicious!

  12. They sound delicious and look wonderful. Never heard of using potato starch...very intersting.

  13. I am really sorry that I haven't visited lately but I don't spend too much time blogging any more. Your cupcakes sound delicious.

  14. Nice notes and advice.I've always been partial to the creaming thing even if it gives my forearms quite the workout.

  15. Thank you for your kind comments about the Cooking Light recipe. They were a lot of fun to develop.

    Kathleen Kanen

  16. Kathleen--thank you! I loved them and am craving them again! Great job.


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