Wednesday, January 18, 2012


CI coconut cake cupcakes
Swiss buttercream frosting has a bad rap.   Many home cooks are intimidated by its ultra-silky, smooth texture and buttery, creamy taste.  I know.  I was one of the intimidated.  Not anymore – I’m now the #1 fan of Swiss buttercream.  There is no frosting like it.  It just kind of melts in your mouth as you savor its amazing richness without the uber-sweetness of most frostings.  Surprisingly, it’s not hard to make, just more involved than a simple buttercream, because the Swiss version requires you to start the process by cooking egg whites with sugar.  Adding coconut flavor makes this frosting perfect for coconut cake or cupcakes, but it’s also a good complement for vanilla or chocolate cakes/cupcakes. 

CI coconut cake cupcakes (3)
Coconut Swiss Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Rating:  10 out of 10


4 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt (about 1/8 tsp.)
1 lb. unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp. pcs., soft, not mushy, still waxy, not melting in hand
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
1/4 cup cream of coconut

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer placed over hot, simmering water, occasionally whisk egg whites, sugar and salt till sugar is dissolved completely and thermometer registers 120F, about 5-6 minutes.  (Transfer bowl to stand mixer with whisk attachment.  Beat at high speed 7-8 minutes, or till mixture doubles and looks like marshmallow cream with glossy peaks.  Check temperature.  It should be cooled to 80F.  (With mixer turned off, stick your finger in the middle to see if mixture has cooled enough so that butter won’t melt.)  Stop mixer and change whisk attachment to paddle attachment. 

Using low speed, add butter, about 8 Tbsp. at a time, mixing for about 1 minute after each addition.  When all butter is added, gradually increase mixer speed to medium high and beat till smooth, light and fluffy.  (If mixture curdles after butter is added, do not panic, just keep beating till it comes back together and smoothes out. )

Stop the mixer.  Scrape the bowl sides and bottom.  Add vanilla and coconut extracts and cream of coconut and beat briefly (about 1 minute) on low speed,  till mixture is well combined, then increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat for an additional minute.

Yield:  enough frosting to generously cover a 9” cake, including filling.  Leftover frosting may be stored in fridge for about 3 weeks, or in freezer for about 3 months.  Bring to room temperature and rewhip before using.
CI coconut cake cupcakes (2)


Denise said...

Back in the day we used to make a cooked icing, but it didn't have butter in it. This sounds wonderful. The one cup of sugar is nice, but I'm a little worried about a whole pound of butter!! I'm trying to imagine in my mind how many tablespoons I would be eating in a slice of cake . . . maybe I'll just make it, not think about it, and jog an extra mile or 2.

Judy said...

Denise, It's outrageously rich with butter, but that's what makes it so good. You can kind of compensate by not frosting heavily. Once you taste it, though, you'll want to eat the whole bowl.

Pam said...

Your cupcakes look mouthwatering delicious, Judy! I've made a frosting very similar to this but not in years. I'll have to find it and compare. This sounds so decadent and is a perfect way to brighten up these cold days! Thanks for the recipe!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Yes, ma'am! I made this very recipe, and LOVED it. I was surprised how easy Swiss Buttercream is to make, and it's my favorite frosting-- second only to cooked vanilla frosting (made with flour). These cupcakes look lovely.

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

I used to make this a lot in school and it has been entirely too long since I have had it. Pairing it with coconut is genius. I love it! These are amazing cupcakes...

Katy ~ said...

Printed! This looks to good to just put away for "some day." YUM YUM!!!!

teresa said...

oh wow, this is fantastic, i love that toasted coconut on top!

Coleen said...

Toasted coconut is the PERFECT addition, thank you!!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I'm a huge fan of coconut! I've never heard of this particular type of frosting, it looks so smooth! I'll definitely give this a try the next time a make a coconut cake!

Have a great weekend!