Jan 17, 2014

Coconut Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Curd

Let's bring a little sunshine to our lives, shall we? Coconut, lemon and passion fruit curd will do that. It's the yellow color I guess, it simply screams joy.
While many of you are cuddled under a blanket, here we can be found in one of three places: inside a pool, under the a/c or melting in the street. So hot, my oven hasn't been used in weeks. Unbelievable. And I call myself a baker with a food blog. Ha.

So we're talking coconut cupcakes with passion fruit curd today, and the mandatory cream cheese frosting, at least for me, because it's so easy to make, and tastes so good! I'm not a frosting person – or a cupcake one for that matter – but if you look at the birthday carrot cake there's a ton of it. Or topping these sweeties too. Yeah, cream cheese frosting is the king of frostingland.

And what about the curd? Are you a passion fruit lover like me? Does it make you happy to inhale that fresh lemony scent? It's the same I used for the no-bake passion fruit lemon cheesecake, and that was a total hit. 

Does it show how excited I am to be writing a post after what seems like a sabbatical year? I might even start with the exclamation points too. No, not really. I draw the line at white and yellow cupcakes. Because they’re the kind that you eat and don’t feel like your teeth are falling off from all the sugar.

There’s a superb coconut batter, a passion fruit lemon curd center, and a creamy frosting with toasted coconut. And each part of this recipe can be made in advance. Yay.
And believe what I say, because I’m not into cupcakes, at all. So they must be good. That good.

That’s all folks, all good stuff.

cupcakes adapted from Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten
curd adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess, by Nigella Lawson

For the passion fruit puree, scoop the pulp into a bowl and mash it with a fork, to dissolve as many large pieces as you can. It will be chunky and with seeds.
If you want the smooth puree, strain it and then pick out the seeds to use later. Or not. Whatever you like.
To toast the coconut, put it in a 325º oven for about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn it!

Makes 12 cupcakes


For the coconut cupcakes:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Large pinch of salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, room tº
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¾ cup buttermilk or coconut milk

Coconut scales, toasted, to decorate

For the passion fruit curd:
3 egg yolks
¾ cup passion fruit puree
¼ cup lemon juice
Scant ½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar

For the cream cheese frosting:
1/3 cup cream cheese, room tº
3 Tbs unsalted butter, room tº
1 to 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, or as needed


For the passion fruit curd:
In a bowl, beat yolks and sugar for 1 minute. Add passion fruit and reserve.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Before it boils, add yolk mixture and cook over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until the mix thickens, but without letting it boil.
Pour into sterilized jars if you plan to keep it for a few weeks, and not use it within the next 5 days.
Keep refrigerated.

For the coconut cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Fill a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter for 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly at medium/high speed.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Add coconut and vanilla and mix to combine.
Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 parts. Don’t over mix at this point, or the cupcakes will be tough.
Fill liners to ¾ of their capacity, and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden, springy to the touch and a tester comes out clean.
Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Scoop a small teaspoon from each cupcake. Fill with the curd carefully.
Pipe or spoon the frosting on top and top with toasted coconut to decorate.

For the cream cheese frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter until very smooth.
Add sugar, gradually, until you have a thick batter that can be piped.

Keep covered, in the fridge.

Today's 5 related posts worth looking at:

COCONUT ICE CREAM from Tastes Spicy


  1. I love the sound of these cupcakes and the passion fruit curd!

  2. It has been pretty warm here too :) but it's never too warm for such lovely cupcakes. Coconut cupcakes, passion fruit lemon curd filling and a cream cheese frosting sounds so good and so much work :)

  3. This cupcake lover loves your Nigella and Ina inspired coconut passion fruit cupcake! Looks like the pretty treats are perfect for Argentina temps. And strange Southern California which has been high 70s near the beaches =) P.s. Great photos, too, Paula =)

  4. So beutiful, Paula! And very delicious, too.
    See you.

  5. Such pretty and tasty cupcakes Paula! It's so nice to see you posting again. No more sabbaticals okay?

  6. I will take some ac or melting! This cold weather is killing me. These cupcakes are just the ting to cheer me up. I love coconut cake as well as passion fruit though I haven't had it in forever.

  7. I love the intense aroma of passionfruit. These cupcakes look splendid, Paula.

  8. I've tried to quit cupcakes but what's not to like? They are little cakes after all and the wrappers are just too darn cute! I've made Ina's coconut cake/cupcakes many times and find it to be a wonderful recipe. But the creative pairing with passion fruit curd is just sensational!

  9. My family in Brazil has been complaining non stop about the heat, apparently it's been real hot lately in Sao Paulo….. Can you tell I am a bit jealous?

    I love passion fruit, and coconut - so these cupcakes are winners in my book! Beautiful and delicious, I am sure!

  10. wow amazing love passionfruit these are so tropical

  11. These cupcakes are calling me my friend, passionfruit and coconut are perfect together :D


  12. Hey Paula! these cupcakes look great! coconut batter, a passion fruit lemon curd center, and a creamy frosting with toasted coconut? Damn, winning combination! And congrats on firing up the oven! Now, there's no stopping you right?! :) I need all the sunshine I can get right now. So nice to see a post from you, friend!

  13. You sure know how to make a gorgeous cupcake!

  14. I love this! Passion fruit has such wonderful flavor. Really good stuff - thanks.

  15. I'm not a cupcake person either, but I would make an exception for something with passion fruit curd and cream cheese frosting. Divine!

  16. A beautiful bake I must say, got to be delicious with all those exotic ingredients added:)

  17. So sorry you're suffering under all that heat. Makes baking so difficult, but these look totally worth the effort! I love passionfruit, it's not something widely available here so when I find it I devour it! Looks so delicious Paula!

  18. Wow! That's really impressive. Well done!

  19. There is so much to love about this post! The coconut, passion fruit... those two things alone make me swoon! But I also love the polka-dot cupcake liners! So cheerful! I probably cannot find the passion fruit, so will be making these with lemon or lime curd! Glad to see you back online! How's the new job?

  20. too hot to bake here too, paula ... but these look so refreshing. i love nigella's curd recipe - it's my 'go to'. and passionfruit curd is sooooo delicious!

  21. Super sneaky passionfruit curd centres - these look fantastic.

  22. I heard they sold passion fruit puree at the Asian market in the frozen section. I will really have to check on this! These look great!

  23. Yum you had me at passionfruit :) I actually like a good cupcake, and I love a cupcake that has a secret filling in the middle. Great recipe Paula

  24. Love lemon, love coconut but never tasted passion fruit. They must taste great together. I am so tempted to pick up one and lick off and taste that passion fruit curd!

  25. I love every warm, sunny, tropical flavour you've used in these gorgeous cupcakes, Paula! Just reading this post and savouring your beautiful photos is putting me in a summery frame of mind. I don't blame you for not turning on your oven - I stubbornly insisted on baking last summer and I was dying from the heat. I hope everything's going good with you and that 2014 has been fabulous so far!

  26. Creo que es una combinación más que perfecta. Y bueno, ya que estamos en verano este cupcake tropical nos viene perfecto...!!!

  27. These look beautiful Paula and as it is cold and wet here we need no excuse to tuck into some treats!

  28. I love the combination of flavors and they are so pretty. I actually have a can of passionfruit purée in my cupboard and had no idea what to do with it!

  29. Oh so pretty, Paula!! And they sound luscious with the passion fruit curd! I would really enjoy one right now with my cup of tea!

  30. Thanks for sharing some sunshine with us! Do you have a spare bedroom???? LOL. Your cupcakes look fantastic!

  31. Yeah, Stranger, you have been missing for some time but that only means to me that things are busy and happy. Right? These cupcakes make the wait worthwhile. I am not a huge chocolate lover, heavily frosted cupcakes with chocolate frosting galore are not for me. But everything about this cutie pie looks like something I would enjoy. I don't make cupcakes either. But it's so much easier for me to make cupcakes, throw them in the freezer unfrosted and take out a few at a time. If I make a cake for myself, I end up throwing most of it in the garbage. The only leaf I've turned over this year is all about NOT wasting food. So, my friend, this is a cupcake I will try with ingredients I've never used before and a taste that must be yummy.

  32. I have to say I normally choose chocolate cupcakes, but if I saw these I would choose them over chocolate. They look scrumptious!

  33. It's hot here too Paula! I keep reading about all of the northern hemisphere bloggers and their snow whilst we've been having days around 42-45 degrees C. Argh. I've avoided putting my oven on too. Anyway, regardless of sweating it up in the kitchen, these cupcakes look absolutely beautiful. Moist, pretty and delicious. Hope that you guys get relief from those hot days soon. Hugs xx

  34. Cupcake it its best! Look wise and taste wise :) Especially the passion fruit curt recipe took my breath away.
    Many thanks for those cute pictures...made my morning :)

  35. Did someone tell you that your cupcakes and holders are like soul mates?! They look so good together! Thanks for the recipe :).

    Gourmet Getaways


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