Tuesday, 16 September 2014

"Malibu" & Lime Cupcakes

Summery and fresh: A tangy, sweet lime cake topped with a super creamy, sweet coconut buttercream and a lime wedge. My favourite summer cocktail in a cupcake! (NB: no alcohol is actually used in this cupcake!)

Summer is pretty much over now (cry cry) and I am getting back to reality like a slap in the face! I am almost guaranteed to not get another opportunity to sit on a gorgeous beach sipping my favourite summer drink: malibu, lemonade and lime. I was lucky enough to go all inclusive when I went away to Mexico a few weeks ago and that only means two things - getting fat off all the free food and drinking cocktails aaaall day long. Although I did try the other cocktails on offer I always went back to my favourite Malibu. Nothing screams summer like the flavour combination of coconut and lime. Not only it is the perfect amount of sweetness slightly countered by the contrasting sharpness of the lime it is so refreshing. I think the taste will always take me back to summer.

In an attempt to cling onto summer before it leaves us for good and I get to start drinking hot chocolates in bed all the time again, I wanted to share this glorious taste of my summer with you. And what better way to do so than in a cupcake?! Despite it being called "Malibu" and lime cupcakes I did not use any actual Malibu in the recipe (£15 a bottle?! No thanks!) and I did not want to isolate anyone that chooses not to drink alcohol. That is not to say that you couldn't add a drop or two yourself if you wanted to try it?! 

The core flavour of Malibu, for anyone that doesn't know, is coconut and is seriously delicious. So instead of Malibu for the buttercream I used coconut milk in place of some of the butter and some desiccated coconut for a real, authentic coconut taste. The initial sweetness of the buttercream when you first take a bite eventually gives way to a slight tang from the cupcakes: I really feel like it is a flavour combination made in heaven!! The cupcakes themselves were also one of the lightest, fluffiest ones I have ever made, I think because of the extra liquid from the fresh lime juice so I cannot recommend enough that you give these cupcakes a try asap!!
Ingredients: (makes approximately 20 cupcakes, feel free to halve the mixture)

200g self raising flour, sifted
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice of 2 and a half limes
Zest of 2 limes
A few drops of green food colouring (optional - they look more "limey" green!)

150g butter, softened
2 tbsps coconut milk (or to taste)
400-450g icing sugar, sifted (or adjust to achieve desired consistency)
1 tsp vanilla extract
A few tsps of dessicated coconut (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 180c and prepare cupcake tray by lining with cases.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, lime juice and zest then whisk in the eggs 1 at a time.

3.  Fold in the flour and baking powder mixture gradually until a smooth batter is achieved then stir in the food colouring. Taste at this point and add more lime juice or zest if desired but it should be limey enough without being overpowering. 

4. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture into each cupcake case or until about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a knife/toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

5. While the cupcakes are cooling prepare the buttercream. I'm afraid the recipe for the buttercream is pretty vague and just a guideline, I can almost guarantee you'll use different quantities of everything in the end BUT just use my recipe as a starting point for you to tweak accordingly. Add most of the icing sugar to the butter a few tablespoons at a time and cream together until fully combined and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and the coconut milk then add the rest of the icing sugar. Adjust the amounts of icing sugar to achieve the consistency you desire (for example, thicker and stiffer icing sugar for piping will need more icing sugar). I found I needed quite a lot of icing sugar as it would not quite hold it's shape, I actually sent Martin to Sainsbury's at nearly 10pm to get me more icing sugar (With no complaints - he's a keeper!).

6. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, level the tops by cutting away any large domes using a small serrated knife. Then eat them ALL (resistance is pointless...). Pipe on the mixture as desired; I used a Wilton 1M as the desiccated coconut pieces would get stuck in the holes of a 2D (my favourite) and would not pipe properly! Then sprinkle over a tsp of dessicated coconut, pop in a little lime wedge (approximately 1/8 of a half) and a piece of a straw for that real "cocktail" feel!

I hope these cupcakes allow you to put off the autumn months closing in on us and enjoy the summer for a little bit longer! 

Teri x

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