King Kong Cupcakes (aka Banana-Macadamia Nut Cupcakes)

King Kong Cupcakes

I seem to be on a cupcake kick lately, huh. I have made these cupcakes twice now in recent months and they are so good! I love that they are moist and flavorful. They have the perfect combination of soft cake  and crunchy macadamia nuts. The only downfall is that the recipe only makes one dozen cupcakes which never seem like quite enough!

This recipe came from a novel. I know, I know. Another book, and another kid’s book to boot, that has a plot that revolves around sweets. I actually saw one of my students reading it and she came up and shared that it was like the other book I read, Pie, that had pie recipes sprinkled throughout the book. As soon as she finished reading it I checked it out from the library, in fact I don’t know that she even took it down to the library. I may have taken it down for her and checked it in and then checked it out in my name. I guess I was a little excited.

This was the first and only recipe I was able to try before I had to check the book back in. I would like to try others because this was very, very good so I’m imagining the others are too. At least I know where I can find the book next school year. Enjoy!

King Kong Cupcakes (Banana-Macadamia Nut Cupcakes with Chocolate-Coconut Frosting)
Source: a novel titled “Confectionally Yours – Taking the Cake”

Cupcakes:
1 medium very ripe banana, mashed well
2/3 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (could use gluten free)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped toasted macadamia nuts
toasted coconut for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together the banana, coconut milk, coconut extract, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little bit at a time; combine using a whisk or handheld mixer, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. Mix until no lumps remain. Add the chopped macadamia nuts (may want to reserve a few of the toasted nuts for garnish) and combine completely.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way and bake for 18-22 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Chocolate-Coconut Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons coconut milk

Cream the butter. Sift in the cocoa powder and mix with the butter until completely combined.

Add the coconut extract and then start beating in the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments, alternating with a little of the coconut milk. Continue beating frosting until light and fluffy, about 3-7 minutes.

Pipe (or spread) onto cupcakes. Garnish with toasted coconut and toasted macadamia nuts, if desired.

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