Fresh Strawberry, Almond, and Coconut Muffins

Susan from Food Blogga

Makes 12 regular size muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup lite coconut milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons orange blossom honey
2 teaspoons pure almond extract**
1/4 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup diced fresh strawberries**

2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a 12 mold regular size muffin pan with cooking spray.

Wash strawberries, remove the hull, and pat dry. Dice and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, melted butter, and egg. Add the orange zest, honey, and almond extract, and whisk until just combined. Add to the flour mixture, and stir quickly until well combined. Fold in the strawberries and toasted coconut. Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 molds.

For the topping, mix 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut and 2 tablespoons sliced almonds in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of muffins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.

**Note: Pure almond extract is deliciously, intensely flavorful. If you want a mild almond flavor, then I'd suggest 1-1 1/2 teaspoons; if, like me, you want a bold almond flavor, then I'd add 2 or even 3 teaspoons. You decide.

Strawberries are often considered "too watery" to used in baked goods such as muffins and breakfast breads. Here are some tips for baking successfully with fresh strawberries:
  • Use only really fresh berries that are firm, not mushy.
  • Don't add too many strawberries to the batter which could make it too wet.
  • Avoid using frozen strawberries, which would be too watery.