I've been a bit inactive on my blog lately, but it just occurred to me that last Saturday was my blog's 4th "birthday"! I can't believe that it has been four years since I've started this site. I've gone through periods of not writing much, but I've at least posted every few months, often much more frequently, since Feb 27, 2012.
I had few expectations when starting the blog, I wasn't sure if anyone other than my mother would ever read it! I would not say it has a lot of traffic, but I do see occasionally people pin a cake idea or a recipe. It's still worth it to me, though, to keep the site active. I enjoy that I can go back and revisit some special moments from my life, and have a one stop shop for all the cakes and recipes I've tried!
One thing I definitely didn't expect, though, was how much the blog could change me. Over the past few years, wanting to post new and exciting recipes and cake designs has caused me to experiment a lot more in the kitchen! I've grown as a decorator, baker, and even cook! When work has been stressful, it has been nice to have the weekend to look forward and a special dinner for my husband and I to cook, or a creative cake design for an upcoming celebration.
This past winter has been a bit rough for me. There wasn't one specific event that happened and I know others are going through things much worse. I have a lot to be thankful for, but I let stress and anxiety get me down and found myself pulling away from my blog and other hobbies I enjoy. I've been working on making a lot of changes in my life, though, and am excited to put a priority back on things that help me relieve stress. Blogging and baking are therapeutic for me!
I have a couple cake projects coming up this Spring and am excited for my husband and I to start trying some new recipes again! One of my favorite things about Spring (besides there being no more snow) is the light and refreshing flavors of the season. As I dream about warmer and brighter days, I wanted to share a cupcake recipe I tried a while back that would be perfect for Easter or Spring get togethers - Lemon Coconut cupcakes!
I realized I shared a lemon cupcake recipe on my blog for its first birthday, so its only fitting I share another one. This is a similar recipe, but kicked up a notch with coconut flavor in the icing. It's fitting because one of the other things that has changed for me in the past four years is trying flavors and foods I always thought I disliked. I've learned to enjoy asparagus, salmon, and zucchini. I've incorporated flavors into sweet desserts that I thought I disliked including key lime and today's supporting star - coconut!
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon-Coconut Buttercream ingredients:
- Lemon cupcakes
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 tbs finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Lemon Coconut Icing
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 8 tsp coconut milk
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Line muffin tin with cupcake wrappers
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking powder, salt)
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely after each addition
- Mix in lemon zest and vanilla
- Add flour mixture alternately with remaining liquids (buttermilk and lemon juice), mixing completely after each addition
- Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake for around 20-25 minutes. To ensure fully cooked, stick a toothpick in as it will come out clean when finished.
- While cooling, mix together butter and shortening in a bowl
- Add coconut milk and lemon juice, mix until completed combined
- Slowly add and mix in powdered sugar
- Finish the icing by folding in shredded coconut
- Top cooled cupcakes and enjoy!