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A friend once told me a Southern Lady never returns a dish empty, a rule to which I happily comply.
Our sweet neighbor had brought brownies to a recent gathering at our house, so once her dish was washed, dried and ready to take back, I had to make sure there was something yummy to go on it.
I baked these tiny treats, but was frustrated when it came time to make the frosting – I just couldn’t get the cream to whip. After throwing out one batch and trying again – I realized I was using the paddle attachment rather than the whisk!!
Once the light and fluffy frosting was whipped up, I was able to return the plate, in good conscience filled with splendidly topped coconut cupcakes.


1/4 cup flaked coconut
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup dried coconut
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350F. Fill a mini muffin pan with mini cupcake liners and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with foil, top with flaked coconut. Toast for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, or using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined, then mix in vanilla extract. Add half the dry ingredients, mix, then add half the coconut milk. Repeat with remaining amounts and beat on high for 1 minute. Fold in dried coconut.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in a pan, then turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Next, make the frosting. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in heavy cream. Beat on high until cream holds stiff peaks.
Decorate top of cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Recipe adapted from Shape Magazine, May 2013