These cupcakes are INCREDIBLY simple - made from a store-bought cake mix and soda water, filled with a coconut mixture, and iced with coconut lime frosting. It's summer in every bite! I have a serious problem.
I miss Paradox Pastry! Since I got back from vacation I have been über bored, as my routine has returned to a thrilling combination of working out, eating, kayaking, and Netflix (finished a season of Gilmore Girls yesterday!). So it makes sense that, when choosing a recipe this morning, I gravitated to a coconut-lime combination as an homage to my favorite cookie from Paradox.
Except in this case, I don’t have to personally zest and juice an entire case of limes. Holy triceps, batman. By the end of that process I needed a cookie.
I consider this recipe semi-homemade, because I used a store-bought cake mix and frosting, and then doctored them up. I clearly have too many exciting things going on to spend the time making my own... who do you think I am?!
For the cupcakes, I used a classic white cake mix. Instead of adding the oil and eggs as instructed, I mixed in 12 oz of Coconut Pineapple sparkling water. This is my go-to trick for lightening up cake – it significantly reduces fat and calories, while also making the cake incredibly light and fluffy. In this case, it also adds a coconut flavor that saved me from needing to buy coconut extract (dolla billz, y’all).
Into this mixture, I added 1 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut, and then poured the batter into patriotic cupcake liners that I found hiding in the basement (why anyone would want to hide them is beyond me…). I stuck them into the oven, preheated to 350F, for 20 minutes (rotating halfway through), and turned my attention to the coconut cream filling.
The filling is a simple combination of 3T coconut cream, 2 oz cream cheese, and 1 cup powdered sugar. Once those were all combined, I added 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut and stuck the whole mixture in the fridge while I moved onto the frosting.
Of course you could make your own frosting, but I am supremely lazy, so I bought whipped cream cheese frosting and added the zest of two limes, along with the juice of one. I don’t have a microplane, so I zested using a cheese grater (klassy). Whatever works! I mixed them all together into a beautiful, citrus-scented, creamy frosting flaked with green. Magnifique.
Once the cupcakes cooled, i used a small, sharp knife to cut a small cylinder out of each cupcake. I gently spooned in the filling, then prepared the frosting. I scooped my lime frosting into a ziploc bag, cut a medium-sized hole in the corner, and piped a swirl onto each cupcake. To finish off, I dusted each cupcake with a few flakes of sweetened coconut. Voila!
These aren’t patriotic at all but they’re summery and hella good so you should totally make them for the 4th of July! Or just for yourself… it’s not selfish if you made them, right? Right.