Key Lime Macadamia Nut Cupcakes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon zest and ¼ cup juice from Key limes, may substitute regular limes
¾ cup canned coconut milk
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup clover honey
2 large eggs
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a liquid measure, combine Key lime zest and juice, and coconut milk; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy; scraping sides of bowl, as necessary. Add honey; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Add half of the reserved dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. With mixer running on low, slowly add the lime mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in coconut and macadamia nuts.
Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove to wire rack; cool. Frost with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting, if desired.
Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted (optional)
Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream. Beat in the salt, coconut flavoring, and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting, or more cream to thin. Stir in the coconut. If desired, spoon toasted coconut evenly over frosted cake.