Moist little coconut cakes are filled with a creamy coconut custard, topped with a fluffy coconut frosting...and topped with flakes of toasted coconut. Now while that's a lot of coconut name calling, these sweet treats are delicately flavored and totally indulgent!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a standard size cupcake/muffin baking tray with cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to blend. Stir in coconut shreds if using.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, oil, vinegar and extracts. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, do not over-mix.
Fill the paper liners about 3/4 full with the cupcake batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few cooked crumbs. Cool the bases in the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer each cupcake to a cooling rack. Let cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
For the Filling:
In a medium sized pot, combine the custard powder and sugar. Whisk in the coconut milk. Turn the heat on to medium and bring the custard to a boil, stirring often to prevent scorching. Once thickened, remove from heat. Do not over cook.
Pour the custard into a bowl, and place a piece of cling wrap directly over the custard so a skin does not form. Set to cool in the fridge for about an hour.
For the Frosting:
In a stand mixer with a balloon whisk (or with a large bowl and beaters), beat the vegan butter and shortening together until fluffy. Add in the confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time. Beat for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally. Add in the extracts and beat another minute. Add the coconut milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until the frosting reaches a pipe-able consistency, slightly too firm is easier to manage than too soft. Beat for 5 minutes more.
To Assemble the Cupcakes:
Using the wide end of a frosting tip, an apple corer or small knife, remove the centers from the cupcakes.
Whip the custard to loosen it up and make it a bit more fluid. Fill the centers of the cupcakes with the custard.
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with toasted coconut.