3/4 cup unsalted butter
6 large egg whites
3 cups low-protein flour, such as White Lily all purpose flour**, or cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 + 1/8 tsp. Diamond kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp. table salt)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp. coconut extract*** (1-1/4 tsp. if using Spices, etc. brand)
1 cup + 3 Tbsp. lite coconut milk*, divided
1 Tbsp. coconut-flavored rum, plain rum, or amaretto
COCONUT-CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 (8-oz.) package Philadelphia cream cheese****, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/8 tsp. Diamond kosher salt, or pinch of table salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder, or pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. coconut extract*** (3/4-1 tsp. if using Spices, etc. brand)
up to 3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. coconut milk, coconut cream or heavy cream, if needed
GARNISH: 1 to 1-1/2 cups large-flake unsweetened coconut, toasted
*Regular coconut milk will make a denser cupcake.
**Do not use White Lily self-rising flour. Read package carefully.
***Amount of coconut extract will depend on brand. Taste batter/frosting to determine if more should be added.
****Regular cream cheese works better for this frosting.