Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lilikoi Cupcakes

I wasn't sure, until it had defrosted, whether that container of deep orange something from the freezer was tangerine or lilikoi (passionfruit), but it was the latter: cupcakes seemed like the perfect thing to make from it. I'm especially happy with the frosting, which is a completely natural (no food coloring needed!) beautiful yellow, with a very intense tart-sweet lilikoi flavor. I might top it someday, but right now I think it's the best frosting I've ever made.

(makes 1 dozen; preheat oven to 350)

1 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 C all purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter (soft)
3/4 C light brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C lilikoi juice

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add half the flour mixture and blend on low (or by hand) just until mixed in. Add the lilikoi juice and vanilla and mix in. Add the rest of the flour and blend just until mixed.

Spoon into prepared muffin tins (I used fluted paper liners) and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until done (tops should be lightly browned).


1/2 C lilikoi juice
1/4 C light brown sugar
1-1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, soft
2 T heavy cream
2-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Mix the lilikoi juice and brown sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring frequently, until syrupy. (I don't have a candy thermometer, so had to guess when it was done enough -- a drop into ice water just held together rather than dissolving, probably not quite to "soft ball" stage.) Set aside to cool to room temp.

In bowl of stand mixer, with paddle attachment, beat butter and 1 C of the confectioner's sugar until well blended. Mix in the cream and another C of the sugar.

Very slowly, just a little bit at a time, pour the lilikoi syrup into the butter/sugar mix, with the mixer running. Take your time with this, especially if the syrup is still a bit warm: you don't want to melt the butter. When all the syrup has been incorporated, add the rest of the confectioner's sugar and blend in.

This frosting will be very soft, but the high butter content means it gets quite stiff when cold. Refrigerate briefly if it seems too runny to work with (mine was fine at room temp), but don't overchill or it will not be spreadable.

BTW: Both the cupcake and frosting recipes use light brown sugar 'cause I don't have any white sugar in the house at the moment. I think it adds a nice richness to the flavor, but you could substitute white sugar if that's what you've got.