Coconut Cupcakes

My oldest turned 11 just a few days ago.  My, how time flies!  She asked for these cupcakes and I happily complied. :)  They are just delicious!  They are light and fluffy and sweet and a bit tangy.  Pure delight!  Make sure you whip up the butter and sugar for the full 5 minutes or you'll get dense cupcakes instead of nice, fluffy ones.  Enjoy!
**this recipe yields 24 cupcakes
Ingredients:
For cupcakes:
-2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
-2 cups sugar
-5 large eggs, at room temperature
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp almond extract
-3 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 cup buttermilk
-7 oz sweetened shredded coconut
For cream cheese frosting:
-2 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
-2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-3 cups powdered sugar
For topping:
-7 oz sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Line two regular size muffin pans with paper liners.  Set aside.
In your mixer's bowl, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes on high.  This will make the whole batter light and fluffy.
Return the mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the vanilla and almond extracts.  Mix well.
Then add in this order: 1 cup flour, the baking powder and baking soda, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 cup flour, the other 1/2 cup buttermilk, then the last cup of flour.  Mix very well.  Gently fold in the coconut.
Fill the prepared pans with the batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to baking rack and cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by creaming the cream cheese, butter and extracts.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes, then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a recipe courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa.

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