Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tropical Mandarin Cupcakes

There's something about a mandarin orange that makes me think of special occasions. Maybe it's because when I was growing up they were a treat reserved for Christmas. Every year around mid December my mom would buy a box of mandarins - each one cleverly wrapped in light green paper - that she would hand out at the end of the school day, or place in my Christmas stocking with a handful of roasted peanuts, still in their shells.

Those were the good old days when everything wasn't so easily accessible. Days when we'd wait impatiently for a movie to come to the theater, for a favorite song to be played on the radio, or when a cherished TV show like The Wonderful World of Disney came on after roast beef dinner Sunday evenings and the whole family gathered around the TV to watch.

That said, I don't recall ever having mandarin oranges at other times of the year - and most especially, not during summer - which is shame, really, because in all their vibrant, sweet, orange glory, they were really made for the summer!

Especially when baked up in cupcakes!



I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this recipe!

Maybe it's because the cupcakes are so moist and full of flavor, or maybe it's because the butter cream frosting adds just the right touch of sweet to the nutty toasted coconut on top - but mostly, it's because there are juicy mandarin orange segments in every single bite and the 9 year old in me who still believes in Santa likes that!

If you'd like to learn more, pull up a chair in the kitchen witch cottage, watch the step by step video, and you can bake them along with me!




Enjoy the printable recipe here: Tropical Mandarin Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tin mandarin orange slices, drained
Directions
  1.     Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
  2.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  3.  In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar with the eggs and vanilla extract at medium-high speed until smooth and thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and oil and beat until incorporated, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and coconut milk in 3 alternating batches, beating well between additions. Carefully pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about two-thirds full.
  4. Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for 20 to 23 minutes, until springy and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the muffin tin, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost and top the cupcakes with toasted coconut.
Frosting Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut or vanilla extract (I use coconut extract in mine but the recipe is still delicious with vanilla)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 cup toasted coconut
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the softened butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat the mixture at low speed just until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the milk or heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and top as desired.
  2. Sprinkle toasted coconut over all.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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