Macadamia nuts, pineapple, coconut, and ginger. Island flavours combine in a moist, tasty cupcake that is delicious with frosting or whipped cream, but don’t let that stop you from eating them buck nekkid.
I’ve been working on my luau cake recipe for a while, and this is an excellent version. I use minced ginger in a jar from The Ginger People—one of my favourite pantry items. If you want to use powdered ginger, reduce the amount by half.
This is a small volume recipe. It makes just enough batter for about 12 cupcakes, or 6 cupcakes and two baby cakes. I have two miniature springform pans that I use to make itty bitty cakes for two (since most of the time it’s just me and Ginger Man at the table and a whole cake is really just too much). Sometimes when I bake, I’ll throw part of the batter into my baby-cake pans and then freeze the layers for later. Long after the original goodies are gone, I can whip out these sweeties and voilá! The perfect size layer cake for two!
I love using ground nuts in cakes, cupcakes, and muffins. It adds texture, flavour, and lots of good-for-you nutrients. Grinding works best in a food processor, but you can use a coffee grinder or blender, even a mortar and pestle. Got none of these? Put the nuts in a ziplock bag and whack them with a rolling pin.
Tip #1: Add a teaspoon or so of granulated suagar to the nuts just before grinding. This will help absorb oils and keep nuts from turning into nut butter.
Tip #2: Pulse the food processor on low speed until you get the grind you prefer.
Toasting Nuts & Coconut
If you like using nuts or coconut, you’ll be amazed at the difference toasting makes. Toasting heightens flavour and aroma, and in the case of coconut, pleasantly changes the texture. Coconut toasts more quickly than nuts, so keep an eye on it and be sure to stir for more even browning. You can toast nuts whole, chopped, or ground.
Prepare pan for 12 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°
Mix dry ingredients:
- 1/2 Cup macadamia nuts
(toasted and ground)
- 1/2 Cup coconut flakes
(toasted if you want)
- 1 Cup flour
- 1/3 Cup brown sugar
- 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
Add wet ingredients:
- 1/2 Cup melted butter
- 1/2 Cup crushed pineapple
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 2 Tbs coconut milk (or sub regular milk)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Spoon batter into lined cupcake pan. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely, then frost with Orange Ginger Buttercream frosting OR split the cupcakes with a fork, then fill with vanilla ice cream, and top with a dollop of Pineapple-Ginger Whipped Cream.
Orange Ginger Buttercream Frosting
Whip 2 Tbs softened butter with 1 tsp minced ginger, 1 Tbs orange juice, and the zest of 1 orange. Gradually add 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, blending well after each addition. This frosting is quite rich and sweet, so I don’t use a lot. Double the recipe if you want more.
Pineapple Ginger Whipped Cream
Whip 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream with 2 Tbs powdered sugar and 1 tsp minced ginger and 1 tbs pineapple juice until the mixture is stiff enough to dollop.
2009 Virtual Cupcake Crawl Participant
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