What are cupcake muffins? Muffins with frosting! Because everything is better with frosting!! That’s right, even beets. Maybe even especially beets. Actually, I’ve never tried frosting with beets. But as soon as I do, I’ll be sure to let you know the verdict.
So what’s the advantage of a cupcake muffin over a muffin or a cupcake, you ask? Like I mentioned earlier with exclamation points, it’s better than a plain muffin because it has frosting (more exclamation points!!!). And it’s easier to make than a cupcake because instead of having to get out your stand mixer and cream together butter and sugar and carefully add the rest of the ingredients at the right time, scraping down the side of the bowl as you go, cleaning up the stand mixer afterwards, etc etc… All that you have to do to make muffins is whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl, and pour the wet over the dry and whisk together until you have a batter. Way easier. But don’t think that just because they’re easy to make that they’re not as fantastic as cupcakes. They’re fantastic. They’re wonderful. They don’t taste like breakfast, they taste like dessert. But go ahead and eat them for both. I sure did.
These have a great flavor combination. They’re tropical and fruity with a nice bit of nuttiness. And the coconut cream frosting is so light and airy. All of us here adored them. We adored them until they were gone. Which is when Husband asked “When can you make another batch?” Here’s the recipe.
Coconut Cream Frosting
- 1 can coconut milk (full-fat)
- powdered sugar to taste
- about 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional), or you can use about 1 teaspoon of coconut flavored rum to boost the coconut quotient
I got this recipe from The Kitchn and it totally changed my life. So easy, so light and delicious, and significantly healthier than a butter-based frosting. If you’re a coconut lover, you have to try this. To start, you need a well-chilled can of coconut milk. Put in in the fridge the day before or morning of making these muffins. Or just leave a can of full-fat coconut milk in your fridge from now on. You’ll be able to whip up frosting in no time on the fly. It’s also great as a whipped cream substitute, like on waffles.
1. Open the can of coconut milk. Scoop out the solid part on top, leaving the liquid for another use (might I suggest replacing the water for making rice with coconut water?). Add vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat coconut and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the level of sweetness you desire. Yes, you have to taste test as you go. I doubt you’ll mind.
Candied Pineapple Rings
- 1 can of pineapple slices
- 1/3 cup sugar
I’ve adapted this recipe from Cupcake Project. The ones there are gorgeous and juicy, such beautiful, succulent inspiration. I slightly dehydrated mine after *mostly* following the recipe because I wanted them to stand up and resemble the sunrise on top of such a bright, sunshiny cupcake muffin. Double the recipe if you want extra. They’d be a chewy, delicious snack. Or you could also coarsely chop up the extra ones and add them to a baked good, like banana bread.
1. Add pineapple rings and their juices to a medium saucepan. Add sugar and enough water to just cover the pineapple slices. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Let simmer until most of the juices have evaporated, about 40 minutes. Swirl the pan occasionally, carefully. Keep an eye on it because you don’t want it all to evaporate on you, because that would burn the bottom ones and the pan.
2. Turn oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully remove pineapple rings from pan and spread them out on the parchment. Bake for 2-6 hours, until they’re dehydrated enough to your liking. Mine took about 3 hours, I still wanted them a little juicy.
I totally understand if you forgo the candied pineapple. They’re the only time and labor intensive part of the dish. And they are after all, a garnish. A delicious garnish, but completely optional. If you just make the muffins and the frosting, you’ll have tropical scrumptiousness to eat no time.
Pineapple Walnut Cupcake Muffins
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose or pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple, drained
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add dry ingredients — flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt — to one bowl, whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients — sugar, egg, sour cream, milk, oil, and vanilla — to another bowl and whisk to combine (sugar goes with the wet ingredients so that it dissolves more in the batter). Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Whisk until *just* combined. Then fold in pineapple and walnuts.
2. Transfer batter into a muffin pan lined with cupcake wrappers. Fill each one about 3/4ths full. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to fully cool before frosting. Then top each one with a candied pineapple ring that has been cut in half. Makes about 12 cupcake muffins.
Easy, sunshiny, tropical, incredible. You want this in your belly.