Friday, May 4, 2012

Caribbean Escape Cupcakes - Bath & Body Works Inspired

I have been a super fan of theirs since the early 90s, when I was still in high school and wet behind the ears. My sister and I would make the 25 minute trek every few weeks to our "local" and spend most of our paltry paychecks there. Anything to smell like a goddess. 
A lot has changed since then, but my visits to the shop have not.

I was in Bath and Body Works this past week, checking out their new spring line. The scents are way intoxicating and will definitely shake away some of the cobwebs leftover from Old Man Winter. In fact, when I walk into their stores, I like to take a moment to enjoy the fragrances around me with some deep cleansing breaths, letting the world go by for a couple minutes. It is so therapeutic and way cheaper than a therapist. I once had an employee come up to me and ask if I was okay. She thought I was having a anxiety attack. For real.

Although common sense stops me from drinking the product right from the bottle, can I tell you how hard it is not to stick a finger in and have a taste, just to see if it tastes like it smells? Then, the proverbial light bulb turned on. What if I were to incorporate these flavors into a cupcake? 

I chose Caribbean Escape scent as my muse. I literally washed my hands raw the other day because I didn't want to leave my little bathroom oasis. The room smelled A-MAZING.

I think these cupcakes would do the scent proud. They certainly helped curb my need to dip a finger into the bottle.

Now if I can only find a gorgeous cabana boy to serve these up to me on the beach with a few Mai-Tai's, we'd be all set. 


Cupcake recipe adapted and modified from Martha Stewart  

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1¼ cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Lychee Custard Filling: 
Please see my Boston Cream Cupcakes for instructions on how to make custard

1½ cups heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup sugar
a pinch of salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into 2 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup lychee fruit, pureed - you can use fresh or from a can. Just be sure to drain all the juice from the can and pat fruit down before pureeing.

Mango Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3½ cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup mango puree - you can use fresh or from a can. Just be sure to drain all the juice from can and pat fruit down before pureeing. 
Orange and yellow food coloring

To make cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2-12 cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

Mix any remaining wet ingredients in a bowl if needed. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers come out clean. Let cool in tins on wire racks.

To make frosting:

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add coconut milk, vanilla, and mango puree and beat until incorporated. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Mix until frosting is fluffy. 

Pipe or spread on cupcakes. Embellish with pineapple, cherries, or any tropical fruit of your choice.

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way from Bath and Body Works to write this post and all views, opinions, and weight gain are all my own. 

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