Recipe by Jessie Sheehan
Start to Finish: 1 hour (plus 1 hour for cooling)
Servings: Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour, sifted
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil (not the liquid type), at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups full-fat coconut milk
2 cups (about 6 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups (about 12 oz.) sliced hulled strawberries
5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
A drop or two of red food coloring (optional)
Pink sparkling sugar, for decorating
1. Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat to 350°. Line three 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk both flours, the baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and coconut extract; beat until very fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until blended between each addition.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Starting with the dry ingredients, alternately add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the coconut milk in 2 additions. After the last addition, stop mixing when only a few streaks of flour remain. Fold in the coconut until blended. Spoon about 3 tbsp. of the batter into each muffin cup.
5. Bake the cupcakes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out with a moist crumb or two attached, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
6. For the frosting, in a food processor, puree the strawberries. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids with a spatula to release the juice. (You should have about 3/4 cup juice.)
7. In a large metal bowl, whisk the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.) Whisk until the egg whites are just warm to the touch, about 2 minutes.
8. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until thick and marshmallow-like, 4 to 7 minutes. Add the lemon and strawberry juices; beat on high until blended. (The frosting may loosen.) Continue beating until the frosting is thick, 2 to 3 more minutes. If the color is too pale, whisk in a drop or two of food coloring.
9. Working quickly, spread or pipe about 3 tbsp. of the frosting on each cupcake. Sprinkle with the sparkling sugar. (These cupcakes are best eaten on the same day.)
Tip: If you can find it, use gel food coloring in these recipes. Because the color is concentrated, you don’t have to use as much so there’s less chance that the food coloring will thin out your frosting. It’s available at many supermarkets and online.