Coconut Cupcakes with Cardamom Kumquat Compote
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 cup coconut milk (canned)
Candied Kumquats & Compote
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
20 kumquats, sliced & seeded
1 cardamom pod, crushed to release seeds
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/4 tsp fleur de sel
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp coconut milk (canned)
*Note, if you wish to decoratively pipe frosting onto cupcakes instead of spreading, I recommend a 1.5x recipe of this frosting.
Toasted coconut flakes
*Place coconut flakes on a sheet pan in an oven at 325 degrees just until golden, about 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 18 muffin tins with liners. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Separately, beat the room temperature butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until smooth and lighter in color. This will take about 2 minutes. Next add the eggs, alternating with vanilla paste, and beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work. On a low speed, alternate adding half of the flour mixture, then the coconut milk, and finally the remaining flour mixture. After each addition blend until just incorporated – you don’t want to over mix. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cake bounces back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.
Make the candied kumquats:
Pour the water and sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase to a boil. Add the sliced kumquats and cardamom pod and let return to a boil. Reduce and simmer until the kumquats are a bit translucent and the liquid becomes syrupy. Let cool to room temperature. Remove about 18-20 slices of kumquats and reserve for topping cupcakes later. Remove any cardamom seeds from the remaining kumquats. Transfer those remaining kumquats to a small bowl and with an immersion blender purée until creamy, leaving a few chunks. Set purée aside.
Prepare the cream cheese frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla paste and fleur de sel. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat again. Pour in the coconut milk and beat once again until just incorporated. Set aside, but do not put in fridge, or the frosting will be too hard to spread later.
Assemble the cupcakes:
To assemble the cupcakes, start by placing the kumquat puree in a piping bag with a large open tip. Press the tip into the top of the cupcake and push about one inch down. Squeeze the piping bag and let the puree fill the depression while pulling up and away. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Now spread the prepared cream cheese frosting on the top of the cupcakes. Alternatively, you can place the frosting in a piping bag with a decorative tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Top each cupcake decoratively with a slice of candied kumquat and optional toasted coconut flakes.