I often find my mind drifting toward tropical fantasies when I sit at my desk and stare out a grey sky. And it usually turns my mood as grey as the sky. The smell of something coconut and the promise of a tropical paradise it evokes never fails to pull me out of my funk.
This coconut muffins recipe just happened to arrive in my inbox on one of those dark mornings. The simple promise of coconut aromas rising from my oven made me smile. In the back of my mind a Bob Marley track played. And immediately I stared baking. The sweet, vanilla smell of baking muffins combined with that promise of tropical nirvana might be one of the best smells to ever come from my oven. So I’m sharing this recipe for Jamaican coconut muffins. May it pull you out of your next grey mood.
Why you’ll love this muffin recipe made with three kinds of coconut
One of my new favorite muffin recipes, the idea came from Sunset at the Palms, a deliciously luxurious and secluded resort in Negril. (I’ve never been there but I can tell from the photos that it’s where I should be right now.) The recipe is flavored with three kinds of coconut for intensity. In addition to coconut milk, there’s sweetened coconut flakes and coconut extract. When you get ready to make these muffins, be sure the coconut extract you buy does not say imitation coconut. You want pure coconut flavor to intensify the exotic flavor of these fragrant and flavorful muffins.
And being a lazy baker, the thing I like best of all about this coconut muffins recipe that it is low-stress. In fact, you don’t even need to use paper muffin liners, which can sometimes be tricky to fill. As long as you use a clean, non-stick muffin pan and thoroughly grease the muffin cups, they’ll slide right out, no extra step required.
Tips for baking the best tropical muffins
The coconut muffin recipe is easy to follow as written and produces rich, decadent muffins with balanced flavor. But do not expect light, airy muffins. These coconut milk muffins offer a dense, extremely moist texture. I recommend serving them warm.
Make sure the shredded coconut you’re using is sweetened coconut flakes. (Many stores carry both sweetened and unsweetened.) And if your package of coconut flakes has been open for a while, make sure the flakes are still good before you start baking. Coconut flakes last about 4-6 months stored at room temperature.
A quick tip for next time: If you have coconut flakes left over, store them in an airtight container and label the container with the date the package was opened and give them a use-by date. This way, you’ll always know to use them before they go bad.
Chocolate chip coconut muffins
If you’re a chocolate lover like me, you can make a variation on the basic muffin recipe by adding chocolate baking pieces to the batter. (After all, chocolate is probably the world’s most famous aphrodisiac!) I add 1 cup of dark chocolate baking pieces – you can substitute with semi-sweet – for just a touch of chocolate flavor. The chocolate gives the muffins a flavor very similar to an Almond Joy candy bar.
When to serve these tropical muffins
These muffins are definitely best served warm. So pop them in the oven just before guests arrive for brunch. You can also make them for a leisurely family breakfast. You’ll be everyone’s hero. Or, as I mentioned in my introduction, these tropical treats make a great present to yourself. Make a batch just for you and let the aroma of tropical coconut work its magic on your soul.
Why you should serve these muffins to your lover
You can make the batter up to 24 hours in advance. So you can just have it ready to bake a midnight feast with your lover or to surprise them with breakfast in bed. Did you know that coconut is among our 10 Best Foods for Men? Maybe these coconut muffins are more than just a sweet treat! (Sexy muffins, anyone?)
Jamaican Coconut Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes divided
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter and salt.
- In another bowl, combine coconut milk, eggs, oil and extracts.
- Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture just until combined.
- Fold in coconut.
- Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.*
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack. Serve warm.
A note on the provided nutrition informationThe nutrition information provided has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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