Coconut Pineapple Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

From 6 Bittersweets
Adapted from Simply Recipes and The Craving Chronicles
Makes 20 cupcakes

XIAOLU'S NOTES: The pineapple curd recipe makes about twice what you need to fill the cupcakes. But it's so good you should have no trouble gobbling the rest up within 2 weeks. Halve the recipe if you want just enough for the cupcakes.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup canned coconut milk [shake well before opening & measuring]
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pineapple Curd Filling (Recipe below)
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe below)
1/2 to 1 cup coconut flakes, for garnish [you can use sweetened or not]

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with 20 paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

In another larger bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and cream till light and fluffy again, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each to ensure mixing. Be sure to scrape down the sides after each egg to ensure even mixing.

Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed [or by hand] just until blended; do not overbeat.

Fill liners about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 to ensure even baking. Check with a toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean, they're ready. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 1-2 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Transfer pineapple curd to a piping bag fitted with a long pointed tip OR a squeeze bottle. Insert tip into each cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of filling. [One sign when the cupcake is full and to stop is when the filling oozes from the top .] Finally, spread cream cheese frosting on top of the cupcakes, sprinkle with coconut flakes, and enjoy!

Pineapple Curd
Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups

NOTES: The mixture may seem like it’s not thickening as you whisk over heat, but don’t stop – it thickens very quickly right at the end. For a smoother curd, push through a fine mesh strainer before storing. Press plastic wrap against the top of the curd to prevent a film from forming in the fridge.

2 large eggs plus 2 yolks [or 6 yolks for a richer curd]
2 1/4 cups pineapple juice [I used canned]
3/4 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Cream the butter, cream cheese, and salt together, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Slowly add the powdered sugar; taste as you go adding more sugar until you have reached the desired sweetness and consistency.