During the fall, one of my favorite recipes to make is for my Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes. They’re pumpkin pie in a unique single-serving format that is perfect for pumpkin lovers who don’t want to make a traditional pie every single time they want a pumpkin dessert. The cupcakes also don’t need a crust, so they’re quicker and easier to make than that traditional pie. Pumpkin isn’t the only flavor that I’ve turned into one of these treats, however. Coconut fans might want to try my Impossible Coconut Custard Pie Cupcakes instead.
The idea behind an “impossible pie” is that the pies bake their own crust while they’re in the oven. This trick is achieved by adding a little bit of a flour mixture to what would otherwise be a pretty standard pie filling. It doesn’t bake into a flaky pastry crust, but it does give the “pie” a firm, crust-like outer layer around a softer filling that is strong enough to allow you to pick up the pie and eat it easily without needing a knife and fork. It’s a great, easy twist on a favorite pie!
This particular impossible pie is packed with shredded coconut and you get lots of coconut flavor in every bite. The exterior of the cake is reminiscent of a vanilla or coconut cake, while the very moist center is custardy and rich. They seem lighter than traditional custard pies and they take about a third of the time to bake, though they are best when chilled so you’ll want to bake them in advance of when you want to serve them.
You’ll get the best results from these cupcakes by using nonstick cupcake wrappers. They are very common these days because they are marketed as wrappers that keep their color during baking. Silicone wrappers will also work well. If you’re not using a nonstick wrapper, you can either give the wrappers a little spritz with nonstick spray or simply chill your cupcakes well before unwrapping them, as will make them firmer and make it easier to peel off the wrapper without losing any bits of cupcake before serving. Serve these garnished with some lightly sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of coconut, just as you might serve a traditional coconut custard pie!
Impossible Coconut Custard Pie Cupcakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup milk (pref. whole)
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick paper or silicone liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract (mixture may look broken or soupy – don’t worry). Whisk in the flour mixture, followed by the milk and shredded coconut. Mix until batter is well combined and smooth.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan. They will sink in the center as they cool.
When cupcakes have cooled, store in an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream before serving.