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I came up with this cupcake recipe out of my pure wicked craving for three sweet things- sweetened flaked coconut, YEMA (a rich, chewy and decadent milk candy made of sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and flavored with either lime zest or mixed in with nuts such as peanuts, pili nuts or cashews. This confection was introduced in the Philippines by the Spanish during the colonial era and was later modified by the Filipinos incorporating sweetened condensed milk to the original recipe which was basically just egg yolks and sugar-yema) and moist golden cake.


Coconut Macaroon

4 cups sweetened flaked coconut

2 cups crushed butter cookies/ shortbread cookies

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

zest of 1 lemon

Procedure: Coconut Macaroon

1. In a food processor, blitz butter cookies until finely crushed.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine crushed cookies, sweetened flaked coconut, and lemon zest. Mix well.

3. Stir vanilla into the condensed milk and pour over the dry ingredients.

4. Mix well and set aside.

Buttermilk Cake Batter

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*

4 egg whites

* (If you can’t find buttermilk, you can add the juice of half a small lemon into evaporated milk to equal 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes and stir.)

Procedure: Buttermilk Cake Batter

1. Let egg whites stand at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350’F.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat on low speed the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and buttermilk.

4. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture by still beating on low for 1 minute or until well combined, scrape bowl and beat 30 seconds more.

5. Add egg whites; beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.

6. Line medium-size muffin tins with cupcake liners.

7. Using a small ice cream scooper (approx. equivalent to 1 1/2 tablespoons), place a scoop of coconut macaroon mixture onto each cupcake liner until all mixture is scooped out.

8. Using a medium-size ice cream scooper (approx. equivalent to 2 1/2 tablespoons), top each mound of macaroon with the cake batter.

9. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted on center comes out clean and tops spring back when lightly touched.

10. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 28-29 medium-size cupcakes