Lemon-Filled Coconut Cupcakes


1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
1 (4-serving size) package instant lemon pudding and pie filling mix (recommended: Jell-O)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring
2 (12-ounce) containers whipped cream whipped frosting (recommended: Betty Crocker)
3/4 cup prepared lemon curd
1 teaspoon imitation coconut extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 (2 1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.

Spread 1 cup coconut on a baking sheet. Toast for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, coconut milk, oil, and yellow food coloring; beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the side of bowl. Beat on medium for 2 minutes more. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups and cool completely on wire rack.

For lemon filling:

In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup whipped cream frosting and the lemon curd until combined.

With a sharp knife, make a 1/2-inch slit in the top center of each cooled cupcake. Place lemon filling in a disposable piping bag; snip a small end off one corner of the bag, and pipe filling into cupcakes.

In a medium bowl, stir the coconut extract into the remaining whipped cream frosting and frost the cupcakes.

Toss together the toasted coconut and the remaining 1/2 cup untoasted coconut. Sprinkle the coconut mixture over the frosted cupcakes.

Recipe shared from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/lemon-filled-coconut-cupcakes-recipe/index.html