Saturday, September 09, 2006

lemon raspberry and coconut banana cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for my friend Jenna's birthday. She doesn't like chocolate (and lots of things<3) but she told me that she loves lemon, raspberry, coconut and banana. Knowing that, I tried to come up with something that she would like, but wouldn't be to strange of a flavor combination. Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla cupcakes are amazing, and I figured that they would be the best for this task. The raspberry curd was incredible; maybe the best ever. The banana cream filling was a big hit too, but wasn't too banana-y (I don't know if that was good or not, but I like very banana-y). The frosting was good; I added lots of flaked coconut to the original recipe. I had some problems with the lemon frosting, but I think it was because I didn't beat the original frosting enough, so when I added the lemon juice, it became way too watery to use. I had to start over, gave up, and sunk to the lowest level of baking-dom: storebought icing. Really, I was ashamed, and it actually didn't taste too good (I added lemon juice) because it was too sugary. I liked the cupcakes, but there was a little too much going on. If I had to do it again, I probably would have just made the cupcakes and frosted them with the coconut frosting and filled them with the raspberry curd. I think that combination would have been better. Maybe it's just because I didn't like the lemon frosting I ended up with. Anyhow, the birthday celebration was a success, as were the experimental cupcakes.

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes
(makes about 30 cupcakes)
recipe from
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add egg mixture to flour mixture in three additions, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about half to two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.

Raspberry Curd (makes enough to fill over 15 cupcakes)
recipe from
2 half pint baskets fresh raspberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
Stir 1 basket raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, and salt in medium saucepan over medium heat until thickened and beginning to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Strain raspberry curd into medium bowl, pressing on solids in strainer. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Banana Cream Filling (half recipe makes enough)
recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 large banana, mashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat milk in a heavy bottomed pan until hot but not boiling. Mix the sugar, flour and salt together in a bowl, stir in the hot milk, and beat until well blended. Pour back into pan and continue to stir vigorously over heat for 4-5 more minutes, until thick and smooth. Add the egg yolks and cook for a few more minutes. Cool, stirring from time to time. Add banana and lemon juice.

For filling cupcakes:
Using a small pairing knife, cut off the inside top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Then, cut off the bottom part of the cone. Fill each cupcake with about a teaspoon of filling and replace the tops. Frost the cupcakes with frosting.

Seven-Minute Frosting for Cupcakes (half for each flavor frosting)
adjusted from recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/3 cup water
Mix sugar, cream of tartar, salt, egg whites and water in the top of a double boiler. Beat steadily over medium heat with a hand mixer until (very) soft peaks form, about 5-7 minutes, no more. Remove from heat and continue to beat the frosting until thick enough to spread. Divide frosting in half. Thoroughly mix in following ingredients:
for Lemon frosting:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
few drops yellow food coloring

for Coconut frosting:
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Generously frost cupcakes; coconut frosting on the banana filled, lemon frosting on the raspberry filled. Enjoy!


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