Cupcakes are the trendy, easy to transport, colorful, flavorsome and self contained dessert and treat! I am in to cupcakes because there’s so much room for creativity without losing the scrumptious flavors of decadent chocolate, citrusy lime, fruity strawberry, warm vanilla and coconut , and the comfortable vanilla flavor.
At a recent family luau, I wanted to create cupcake with a “Hawaiian” theme. I happened to find these tiny, three dimensional palm trees at a party store. I used one of my favorite things to eat-malted milk balls as the coconuts and trimmed the cupcakes with tinted, sweetened coconut. Here’s a quick how to-
Yellow or white cupcake mix worked best for the light colored cupcake paper liners. If you use a chocolate cake mix, use a dark cupcake liner so it won’t disrupt the color of your cupcake liner. Place liners in cupcake pans and fill with batter just over half of each cupcake. You won’t want a rounded mound of a cupcake because it will be hard to put your paper coconut tree and malt balls on it, so a flatter surface seems more “natural” for the tree and coconuts.
After baking, I lightly tinted any white frosting of your choice with a Kelly green. I prefer to use the color paste. I dipped the tip of a toothpick into the color paste and blended the color into the frosting. You will use less than you think you will need. The color pastes are very concentrated. Once you put too much coloring, you cannot undo the color, so it’s best to start with less coloring and work your way to your desired tint. Also, the color of your frosting will darken just a bit as it sits so best to go lighter than you want.
Simply frost the cupcakes, stick your tree and place any number of malted milk balls. Uneven numbers look more appealing. Here’s an additional idea-my granddaughter loves those richly colored red, coconut balls! I thought of using 1 red coconut ball and 2 chocolate malted milk balls. Up to you!
Okay-to frost the coconut. Place the amount of coconut you think you will need in a glass bowl. Whether you use the colored paste or liquid food coloring, I find it works best if you dilute your tiny, really tiny amount of coloring with a drop of two of water as you mix this coloring into your coconut. Again, you will need less coloring than you think, so go light. Then, you will get the lighter green coconut, instead of a concentrated, dark green. You have to mix the coconut lightly and quite a bit to get the color evenly distributed. Gently roll the edges of your cupcake into the coconut. Pat lightly.
That’s it! It’s a really simple, yet creative looking style of Hawaiian cupcake. Some options you have would be to add a half teaspoon of coconut extract into your cupcake mix or into your frosting. Yum! If you think out of the box and do some variations, share them with us!