We call for using a mixer, but you can stir these together by hand with great results. Because the mixer adds more air to the batter, you'll end up with 17 cakes rather than 24 when you stir them by hand.
Beat first 6 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.
Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter evenly into baking cups, filling each two-thirds full.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pans to wire racks, and cool 1 hour or until completely cool.
Spread cupcakes evenly with Coconut Buttercream, and sprinkle with sweetened flaked coconut.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White Cake Mix.
I followed the icing recipe exactly and it was fantastic .. I found the cream of coconut in the alcohol section of the grocery store. Do not use coconut milk. As for the cake, I wanted a coconut tasting cake also. I substituted 1 teaspoon coconut extract for the almond extract and it tasted like a white, dense cake. Good, but not that good for all of the extra calories, cost, and work. Just use the white cake mix instead.
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