Best Buttermilk Cupcakes

from melskitchencafe.com

*Makes 24-28 cupcakes.

Cupcakes:

3 sticks butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

5 extra-large eggs at room temperature (yes, extra-large makes a difference!)

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

Frosting:

**I halved the recipe below and had enough to frost 28 cupcakes plus about 2 cups to spare, so beware, this recipe makes a lot of frosting!**

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature

3 sticks butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about five minutes (of course this would work with a handheld mixer, also). With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in one cup of the coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean (don’t overbake or cupcakes will be dry!). Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut (of course, I didn’t sprinkle the coconut on top of my baby cupcakes, but that would be a delicious alternative to making baby cupcakes).