Lime and coconut are natural tropical flavor pairs. These tender coconut cupcakes are filled with a citrus lime curd and topped with a lime cream cheese frosting. Heavenly! This recipe is inspired by the book The Kookaburra Creek Cafe, by Sandie Docker. It is May’s read for my online Foodie Book Club. If you are here just for the recipe, use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post.
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In the book the author shares this lime and coconut cupcake recipe along with several other cupcake recipes. Baking cupcakes is a passion of one of the book’s main characters. She becomes lost in her baking. It’s a way to escape and create. As far I’m concerned, you can never have too many cupcake recipes and I also love to get lost in baking.
The tangy lime curd is one of my favorite things about this cupcake. It’s to die for just by itself eaten by the spoonful. I’ve made lemon curd before, so I jumped at the chance to make a similar lime curd. I have to admit, one of my favorite things about cupcakes in general is frosting. This cream cheese frosting has just a hint of lime. It’s a great flavor combination with the coconut cake.
There were only a few things I did differently than what was called for in the recipe in the book. First, I made the lime curd from scratch since no actual recipe for this was actually shared in the book. This was a fun experiment and it turned out fantastic. Store bought lime curd is simply not easily found here. I can’t wait to make just the lime curd again.
Second, I decided to use a cup for cup gluten-free all-purpose flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. I’ve had success in the past using King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for baking. The recipe calls for shredded coconut to be folded into the cake batter. This adds a nice coconut flavor. It also makes the cake quite dense. Next time, I make these I will use less shredded coconut and perhaps use a cake flour. This should help make the cake crumb lighter and more airy. Cake flour includes corn starch which helps make cakes light and airy. I account for my adjustments to the recipe in the recipe card.
Overall, everyone in the family was happy with these lime and coconut cupcakes. They are a special tropical flavored treat that I’m sure I’ll make again.
Come for the recipe, stay for the book discussion
The Kookaburra Creek Café, by Sandie Docker is a heartfelt story about three women (Hattie, Alice and Becca) with difficult and painful pasts seeking refuge and a new life in a small Australian town. The story unfolds and moves back and forth between each woman during different periods of time. As each character’s story is told, we learn how they each came to be at the Kookaburra Creek Café, as well as how each woman has faced tragedy and loss in different ways. Somehow each woman finds hope and strength to build a new life in this small Australian town. They soon gain friends who become family. The events are centered around the Kookaburra Creek Café, which we learn becomes threatened. Our heroin Alice turns to baking to find solace and channel her energy. She creates delicious cupcakes as well as runs the cafe.
This book is full of unexpected surprises and showcases the resiliency and strength women have when faced with extreme challenges like being betrayed by your true love, being abandoned by your only parent, facing an unexpected pregnancy, running from abuse or the tragic loss of a child. These women all come to Kookaburra Creek with emotional heartache and not much else. They work hard and end up with a loving community and a sense of family they always deserved. Their lives would not be the same without the strength and love they show and gain from each other. I enjoyed this book and think it is worthy of a book club discussion because there are many instances where the characters (in particular Alice) make choices that if they had chosen differently, the course of their lives could have been very different. This book showcases the many kinds of difficult choices women often have to make. Too often, there just isn’t a good or right choice. From whether to give up a dream to look after a loved one, to whether to shoulder the sole responsibility of an unexpected pregnancy, to how to escape a dangerous relationship. I leave you with these questions to ponder and answer in the comments below.
*spoiler alert – warning do not read on if you do not want any spoilers*
- Becca reminds Alice of her daughter, but is this the only reason she takes her in? What do you think?
- Alice had a chance to tell Dean the truth about her feelings and her pregnancy more than once. First, before she left Lawson’s Ridge and another time right before she discovered he was getting married. Should Alice have told Dean about Tammy differently or earlier on? Do you think if she had told him, things would have been different?
- Hattie is a mother figure to Alice. She is crushed when she learns about the fate of the cafe. What are your thoughts about Hattie’s story and the predicament she is now in?
- What do you think of Joey’s character? Did you think Alice and Joey were destined for each other?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below about The Kookaburra Creek Cafe or the lime and coconut cupcakes. I hope you love both!
If you’re active on Instagram, please give me a follow at @pineneedlesinmysalad. I’d love to hear from you. If you make any of my recipes, use #pineneedlesinmysalad and share your photo.
Join me next time by reading The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn. This book is a captivating novel of historical fiction about two women. One a spy in France during World War I. The other an American socialite, unwed and pregnant searching for her cousin gone missing during World War II. Their unlikely stories cross and so begins an epic and thrilling journey. You won’t be able to put this book down.
These tender coconut cupcakes are filled with a citrusy lime curd and topped with a lime cream cheese frosting. Heavenly!
- 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour* or cake flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup milk
- zest and juice from 4 small limes
- 1 1/2 cups shredded toasted coconut reserve 1/2 a cup for decoration
- 12 paper cupcake liners
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- scant pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese
- 4 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.
To toast shredded coconut, line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread out the coconut evenly. Bake in the oven just until the coconut begins to brown. Remove and place in a glass bowl to cool.
Beat the butter, sugars and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the milk, zest and lime juice. Fold in the flour a little at a time until combined. Fold in 1 cup of the toasted coconut.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Leave about 1/4 inch from top of the liners. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Move the cupcakes to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.
Use an apple corer to take out the middle of each cupcake (about 1 1/2 cm). Fill each cupcake with lime curd. Frost the cupcakes with lime cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut.
Whisk together sugar, zest and egg yolks in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in lime juice and salt.
Turn on the heat to medium-high. Add the butter and whisk continuously until the butter melts. Continue whisking until the liquid thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (small bubbles will form around the edge of the pan). This takes only about 5 minutes. Do not boil
Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk. Pour the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (against the surface of the curd) and cool in the fridge.
Once cooled, place the lime curd into a piping bag fitted with a small star tip.
Beat all the ingredients until the frosting is light and fluffy. Put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
For the best baking results, bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting.
*A cup for cup gluten free all-purpose flour can be substituted for regular flour.
I’d love to hear about your experience making this recipe. Leave me a comment at https://www.pineneedlesinmysalad.com/lime-and-coconut-cupcakes/