Vanilla Cupcake Quest for the Best Continues . . . and some Limoncello & Coconut Cupakes

It’s a twofer type of post with a review and recipe. As many of you know I’m still on the hunt for a new vanilla cupcake. This week I tested Cooks Illustrated Vanilla Cupcake recipe. Along the way I decided to also make a cupcake treat using that base. Let’s start with the cupcake ensemble first.

Limoncello Coconut Cupcakes Bakers Royale1

Limoncello & Coconut Cupcakes

I adapted the cupcake base with some zest. Then I took the traditional lemon curd and turned it boozy with some limoncello and then stuffed it inside the cupcake. To finish things off I crowned the limoncello cupcake with a tall stacking of coconut buttercream frosting and pressed some sweetened coconut into it for added richness.

Limoncello Coconut Cupcakes  Group  Bakers Royale1

Limoncello & Coconut Cupcakes

If you are a fan of these two flavors you may find this one pretty damntastic. The limoncello adds a nice contast to the tartness in the lemon curd. The coconut flavor gives the lemon a sweet counterpoint. For the coconut frosting, let me say the cream of coconut makes it. Don’t use coconut extract-that stuff taste like sunblock. Ack.

Now for the vanilla cupcake review. I should mention I’m a huge Cooks Illustrated fan, but this recipe, as is-not so much.

Here’s what I did like: Great texture. Nice tight crumb. Dense but not pound cake dense, just dense enough to provide a substantial body to the frosting. I’m personally not a fan of super light crumb textures like those found in box cake mix – too light and airy for me. So here’s the thing that knocks it out of the running for me: flavor. The flavor was too sour cream rich. That’s all I could taste.

So for this cupcake ensemble, I decided to even out the sour cream flavor with some lemon zest and limoncello curd and pair it with coconut. The end result was delicious and I couldn’t taste the sour cream.

Limoncello Coconut Cupcake  Bakers Royale1

Hit the jump over to Endless Simmer for this Limoncello & Coconut Cupcake recipe.

Grateful Ad: Below Post BTF 728×90


  1. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBecca says

    Another beautifully delicious recipe from you. Where did you get those cupcake liners?

  2. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBrian @ A Thought For Food says

    Again… pure torture! I’m not even a big cupcake fan, but when I see your creations, I start to salivate.

  3. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAverie @ Averie Cooks says

    The food styling & photography is just…fantastic!

    The blue/teal wood…is that a DIY project or did you find that somewhere? If so, I need to shop where you’re shopping.

    And that big lemon blob pouring out from the center…I want to devour that!

  4. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Mmmmmm… Limoncello! I am so lucky to have a local distillery that makes Limoncello. Such a wonderful addition to cupcakes!

  5. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    A very good vanilla cake to try is Absolutely the best Yellow Cake by Carole Walter in her book Great Cakes. I know the name is a bit much but it really IS a great base cake. Cake with lemoncello is worth trying. I love it. I do it myself.