In my never-ending quest to find tasty and interesting fats for baking, I bought a carton of Earth Balance Coconut Spread and used it in coconut cupcakes.
Not that there’s anything healthy about these guys, but I’m trying to find alternatives to shortening and until I remember to go pick up some leaf lard at the farmer market (did you know lard was in vogue right now?, I have to use what’s available at the grocery store. I spotted the Earth Balance at Whole Foods.
The mainstream grocer, HEB, doesn’t carry it yet, but I suppose they’ll get it in if it catches on. It has a cleaner coconut flavor than coconut oil, is less greasy, and is marketed as a spread that works for, well, “spreading” plus baking, and sautéing. I used it in some chocolate chip cookies and while they tasted good, the soft texture of the spread just made them kind of cakey. But used in cakes, it’s good stuff! If you find another use for the spread, let me know.
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour or White Lily flour (170 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Morton Kosher -- not as coarse as some kosher, but less fine than table)
- 4 ounces/114 grams Smart Balance Coconut Spread, cold right out of the tub
- 3/4 cup (145 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
- Whole Milk as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line 12 to 14 muffin cups with paper liners (I used 12 )
- In a small bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the Earth Balance and sugar at medium high speed until light and creamy. Add room temperature eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk– flour, milk, flour, milk, flour. Scrape the bowl and beat for about 30 seconds or until batter is smooth and velvety. Stir in the coconut.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin cups 12 to 14 muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.