1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 large whole eggs plus
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. pure coconut extract
3/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse shredded coconut in a food processor until finely ground, and whisk into flour mixture.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in whole eggs, whites, and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of coconut milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cam tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. remove from oven; turn out cupcakes onto wire racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread a generous amount of frosting onto each cupcake, and if desired, garnish with toasted coconut. Store at room temperature.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp. coconut extract
With an electric mixer, on medium speed beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed on low. Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add vanilla. Mix until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. If thinner frosting is desired, add a little milk.