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Coconut Cupcakes and a Christmas Dessert Buffet

red and white christmas dessert bar

Christmas Dessert Bar

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I spent it with my family. That evening we went with my niece and nephew to see Tangled, continuing our Thanksgiving night movie tradition. What a cute movie.

This weekend I worked on a Christmas Dessert Buffet to showcase a variety of baked good and treats. Dessert buffets have become quite the trend. It is a fun way to add a sparkle to your parties. First, pick a theme and a color scheme. I chose a red and white theme and created desserts that would go with that theme. I designed labels incorporating those colors. There are many great printables that you can buy to jazz up your table. TomKat Studios and Paper & Cake are two that I am familiar with.

I borrowed my aunt Donna’s apothecary jars and fell in love with the look of them. I will be adding a few to my collection. I filled them up with candy from Party City but there are several online places that are great. You can enter in the color and they pull up options for you.
coconut cupcakes
One of the recipes I tried were the Coconut Cupcakes based on  a recipe by Ina Garten. This recipes makes 3 to 4 dozen cupcakes so you might want to cut the recipe in half. I have boxes of cupcakes to deliver to my work tomorrow. Look for more recipes this week.

Coconut Cupcakes
adapted from Ina Garten

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut – set aside half for the frosting

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted 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 F.
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 5 minutes. 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 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 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.

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