Buttercream & Frosting, Cupcakes, Desserts, Gluten Free and/or Paleo, Holidays

Coconut Snowball Cupcakes {Gluten Free}

December 15, 2011
Yesterday I told you how my love for nuts has grown.  I used to not really like nuts that much but now I do.  Well my palate has changed in more ways than just that one.  I used to hate {I mean hate, hate, hate} coconut.  I wouldn’t get anywhere near it.  I didn’t like it in my desserts, my drinks, my food, nowhere.  And then, all of sudden, I liked it.  I don’t know what happened.  One day I hated it and the next day I craved it.  
In someway I credit my sudden palate changes to my increase in cooking and baking.  Now that I have this passion for food, I have opened my mind to different types of styles and flavors of food.   I’m re-trying foods that I didn’t like before and am now stating to like them.
Now that I’m starting to like coconut I thought it would be a good time to start baking with it.  I have always thought that coconut looks really good on cupcakes because it looks like snow.  So with Christmas coming up I thought it would be a perfect time to try out these Coconut Snowball Cupcakes.
To make these cupcakes I whipped up a Gluten-Free version of a Coconut Cake.  It’s basically a Gluten-Free sponge cake with shredded coconut folded into the batter.  If you don’t want to make these cupcakes Gluten-Free you can always substitute the Gluten-Free flours for normal, All Purpose Flour.
I topped the cupcakes with my basic vanilla buttercream and then rolled the top of the cupcakes in coconut.
I ended up with cupcakes that resembled wintertime perfectly.  The shredded coconut on top of the cupcakes reminds you of snow falling on a cold, winter, Christmas night.  
Now that it’s colder at night, these are great to make with a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate.  Enjoy!

Coconut Snowball Cupcakes {Gluten Free}
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: About 24 cupcakes
Gluten-Free Coconut Cupcakes
1 ½ cups Tapioca Starch*
2 cups All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour *
1 ½ cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
3 Eggs
½ cup Olive Oil
1 ¾ cups Almond Milk (Normal milk should work fine)
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Shredded Coconut
*If you want to make these as normal, gluten cupcakes, you can substitute in normal All Purpose Flour for both the tapioca starch and gluten-free flour.  The total All Purpose Flour will be 3 ½ cups.
Vanilla Buttercream
1 ½ cups (3 Sticks) Unsalted Butter (Softened)
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Shredded Coconut, for Topping the Cupcakes
To make the cupcakes, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.  Set aside until needed.
In a large bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, gluten-free flour, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the eggs, olive oil, almond milk, and vanilla, and beat until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.  Fold in the shredded coconut.
Using a cookie scoop, divide the batter among the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a few cupcakes comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them sit in the pan for a couple minutes.  Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream.  Cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, about 5 minutes.  Add the confectioners sugar and salt and mix, gradually increasing in speed, until the sugar is fully incorporated.  Add the vanilla and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – you may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. 
To frost the cupcakes, place the cupcakes in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.  Pipe a round “blob” on the top of the cupcakes. 
Place the shredded coconut in a small bowl and press the top of the cupcakes into the coconut.   Gently rock the cupcakes back and froth in the coconut to fully cover the top of the cupcake. 
Serve and enjoy!
These cupcakes last up to 4 days in a sealed container.
Recipe adapted from Gluten Free Goddess.

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  • Julie @ Table for Two December 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    mmm this looks good! haha, you know what’s funny? first thing I thought of was throwing those cupcakes cause they’re “snowballs” lol, i’m really lame 🙁 i love shredded coconut, i’m sure these are just delicious and not worthy of throwing!

  • cwinnick December 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    wow, those look really, really good. I love coconut but I would have never thought to put shredded coconut on cupcakes, especially for christmastime. Now I want those cupcakes!

  • Melissa Maruca December 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I am so not into coconut or gluten free but these do remind me of snow balls and I doooo love the snow which means I’d probs eat one anyways!
    At the end you said they would be good with tea or hot cocoa BUT I think they would be tasty with coffee too! Coffee makes every treat even better!

  • Kiri W. December 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Oh man, with my recent coconut addiction, this would be perfect for me! 🙂 And they look so pretty and delicate, too!

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet December 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Gorgeous as usual and I can’t believe those are gluten-free!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking December 16, 2011 at 12:36 am

    One more incredible dessert!!!! Nicely done..you got two thumbs up from me and a buzz!!!:))

  • Krissy's Creations December 19, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Haha that would be fun!! {wink wink} But I’m sure they would taste as good if we threw them 🙂

  • Krissy's Creations December 19, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Thanks Lauren!  I was so happy with the taste for being gluten free 🙂

  • Krissy's Creations December 19, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Thanks Sandra :)!

  • Krissy's Creations December 19, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Coffee would be a great addition 🙂