“Where’s your wicking layer?”

That was the first thing that Alan, my running partner, said to me when I met up with him on Sunday morning to go for a long run.

I stood there. Hands on my hips. Staring at him. For probably a full minute.

In the meantime, I had this internal monologue going through my head.

Wicking? Layer? Wicking…as in candle? Is he trying to say that I should cover myself in wax? Is this some kind of weird innuendo that I’ve never heard of before? Where’s Donna when you need her? Should I be backing away right now, slowly? I mean, you think you know a person and then they come up to you and say something like this and it just goes to show you that you can never really know someone and-

At this point, Alan is circling me, looking me up and down in disbelief.

Kind of like a vulture, circling his prey.

He is not helping his case.

I get ready to run for it. Just in case he pounces.

“You don’t have a windbreaking layer either. OR a thermal layer. And you’re wearing a cotton sweatshirt.”
Finally it occurs to me that perhaps he is not insane and that maybe, just maybe, the miscommunication is actually due to my inability to be coherent at 8AM.

“Okay Alan, so you’re saying all of these words right now. And I’m not really sure how they apply to me. At this moment.”

He looks at me, exasperated.

“Where’s your winter running gear?”

So then I looked around. And noticed that everyone in the park was wearing gloves. And a hat. And a jacket. Some people were even in parkas. Tourists, I thought, mentally shaking my head in disbelief.

And there I was, wearing my spandex. And a sweatshirt. Obviously rejecting the notion that we might not be in Kansas anymore. And it might not be 70 degrees and sunny again. For a long, long time.

So we went for the run and it ended up warming up to about 52 degrees, which was fine. I managed to escape without any frostbitten fingers and toes, which was really all I could ask for. But I was shaken. I will concede.

When I got home, I called my mother and informed her that I was severely lacking in the wicking layer department. This got her very nervous.

“I also need a thermal layer and a windbreaking layer”, I added, trying to sound authoritative and knowledgeable.

The more technical terms, the better.

“Plus I hear it’s going to be really cold this winter. Starting sometime after Christmas. Probably December 26th to be exact. And boy, that winter running gear would really come in handy then…”
I can see her now as she ran to my father after getting off the phone with me. “Your daughter is hypothermic. We are going to Modell’s. Now.”

I have learned that all I have to do is plant a pretty innocuous seed in her head and she somehow manages to blow it entirely out of proportion. I fully expect that when I go home for Thanksgiving, she will have found some way to associate my lack of winter running gear with the imminent threat of nuclear war.

In the meantime, I am not ready to give into winter just yet. I don’t want layers. Layer cake, maybe. But layers of long underwear followed by underarmour followed by a windbreaker? That’s just unappealing.

So I will perpetuate my own denial for a while. And these coconut cupcakes with their coconut cream cheese frosting were just enough to send visions of palm trees and tropical islands through my head. So thank god for Have the Cake, the theme of which for this month was Coconut Cake. And whoever had the foresight to know that this little bit of summer was just what I would need to get me out of my early winter slump.
Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 2 dozen, adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook (the recipe was originally for Coconut Layer Cake but cupcakes are much easier to bring to class and share with my friends)

3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut extract
14 oz coconut milk, divided
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (or more to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat unti light and fluffy. Add in applesauce. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each. Mix in vanilla and coconut extracts. Reserve 1/4 cup of coconut milk for frosting. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with remaining coconut milk. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl until medium-firm peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whites into cake batter to lighten, then fold in remaining whites.

2. Pour batter into cupcake tins. Bake about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

3. Make frosting – beat cream cheese and butte rin a large bowl until smooth. Gradually sift powdered sugar over, mixing until well combined. Gradually add enough of the reserved 1/4 cup of coconut milk to make frosting spreadable. Chill for 1 hour.

4. Ice cupcakes. Eat.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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40 Responses to Have the Cake – Coconut Cupcakes

  1. Ty'sMommy says:

    OMG Joanne, you crack me up! Typical Northerner, not willing to give in to the cold so easily. I’m with you, they are talking about snow showers here tomorrow, and even though that is not unusual for late November, I’m just not ready for it!

    Great cupcakes! Love coconut.

  2. I have a daughter that lives out of state (to me). She just made a similar set of comments about needing a new set of tires for her car… ARE YOU SAYING I WAS BEING PLAYED???

    Give your Mom (and Dad’s of teh world) a little credit. We know we are being played, but we just want you to run warm and drive safe… It’s what we do.

    And love the cupcakes… Great cisual (and Mom would enjoy a little basket of these when you show up with your laundry tomorrow…

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. substitute “cisua” for visual above, my finger slipped

  4. Nat says:

    Its lovely Joanne ! Thank you for this excellent recipe, I love cup cakes, because of my daughter mostly, so will mark this recipe to try after thanksgiving !…I love the simple beautiful frosting design too….oh &happy Thanks giving !….going to the parade ? : )

  5. Palidor says:

    You’re so brave to run outdoors in the cold weather. Not only do I not have appropriate gear, it’s just darned uncomfortable!

    I love these cupcakes. You know how much I love coconut, Joanne!

  6. SE(Denufood) says:

    these are lovely..love the coconut flavor..just love the flavor of coconut in everything…in this winter..I do miss the konkan(west coast of India)..the temperature and the tropicals..

  7. Mari says:

    OMG that story just cracked me up lol…your wicking layer hahahaha

    sometimes looking at your page is pure torture, I sit here staring at the pics of the food and re-reading the ingredients just so I could imagine what it would taste like ha

  8. Toni says:

    Your Mom sounds like my Mom! If I told her I found a hole in my sock I’d have 10 new pairs of socks, in various sizes and colors, in the mail the next day.

    I love Moms.

  9. Tra says:

    this is the funniest post ever! i kinda do that with my mom- actually i didn’t ever think about running tights and she’s like. hey. you don’t ever want to wear running tights? hmmmm.

    HMMM> Looks like i’ll get some running tights HOPEFULY!

  10. Muneeba says:

    ahahaha .. I just had a mental picture of your mom panicking on the phone! Btw, is this coconut season and I just don’t know it?? ‘coz I’m seeing coconut cakes everywhere … on everyone’s blogs! I like the idea of cupcakes better though … more manageable for moi 🙂

  11. I wish my parents still bought me clothes and stuff. Now when I say I need something my Mom says “Where are YOU going to go to get it?” That’s what happens when you get old.er.

    I love coconut! These look absolutely scrumptious. So rich from the coconut milk and so yummy with the cream cheese frosting.

    Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! Hope you get your ‘wicking’ outfit!

  12. Yum! I love coconut! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  13. Hi Joanne,
    thanx to u i got introduced to have the cake and boy,aint i loving it!and wondering whats next.i’m kinda into cookies now ,though will have a few cuppys thrown in.
    ur coconut cuppys look lovely-i baked cuppys too & we loved ’em very much!
    and all the v v best for all ur runs!

  14. Lea Ann says:

    Loved your story – and I’d rather talk about the cupcakes too (for now) They look delicious! Will have to give them a try. And, back to less fun stuff. Yes, you need to layer and especially wick! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving.

  15. Pam says:

    Wicking layers? Who knew?

  16. Wait – cold? winter? wicking layers? What are these things you speak of? We don’t have such things here in Florida!
    My mother blows every little thing into a huge worrisome ordeal too. I don’t think I do that yet even though I’m a mom too. I guess I better ask my kids, but they will probably laugh and say I do it all the time.
    Great recipe too by the way!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving if I don’t catch up with you tomorrow 🙂

  17. Amy says:

    I already have the space heaters set, and it’s been in the 50’s. I’m always cold. Any wonder why Minnesota and I don’t really jive?

    Happy Thanksgiving, Joanne. Have a wonderful holiday…and enjoy your sides!

  18. comfycook says:

    I loved this post. I can just envision it.

    I have not made my cake yet and I love the idea of cupcakes. May I copy, please, pretty please.

    To bribe you a little more, please stop by my blog and pick up something.

  19. Kim says:

    Good luck scoring some wicking layers!! I agree with you on dressing in layers. I am really not a fan of it. Great idea to make the cupcakes, so much easier to share. They sound yummy and perfect for this time of year.

  20. Megan says:

    Considering we are in 24 degree weather right now (in Lake Tahoe), layers are pretty important. However, I firmly agree that cake layers are more important.

    Have a great Thanksgiving! Wicking layer or no wicking layer!

  21. Debinhawaii says:

    Fun post and lovely cupcakes–coconut is my favorite! Happy Thanksgiving and good lucking with the wicking! 😉

  22. I am loving your posts. 🙂
    Great tropical cupcakes – and I love that you still call mom when in need!

  23. Happy thanksgiving great cupcakes wow u must have been cold!

  24. Ha. Ha. The English language is obviously very deceptive because what I thought of was wickening which is a pagan ritual…any witches in your neighbourhood:D Coconut is my favoutite next to lemon:D

  25. hahhaha happy thanksgiving to you too! i like your blog a lot! i want some cuppy cakes! =D

    glad you like my workouts…..sometimes i think i’m too hard on myself! if you’re on facebook friend me so i can bug you via face bok chat! just kidding.

  26. teresa says:

    you’re hilarious! stay warm out there! these look wonderful! happy thanksgiving!

  27. Enjoyed the story! One learns new things every day!

  28. Oh how I wish it was cold. As of two days ago it was still in the low 80s in the afternoon. I don’t know if I would run with a wicking layer since I would be enjoying the cold too much1 Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  29. Kerstin says:

    What a cute story, I hope your mom gets all the layers you need 🙂 Love your frosting swirls!

  30. Graziana says:

    It’s so cold in my office that I have to wear THREE layers, and still chill. I don’t know how it is possible when outside there is a warm autumn sun!
    Love the coconut cupcakes, I think I will try them when we will manage to eat all the Thanksgiving leftovers!

  31. yummmmmy! I love when you make cupcakes!

    cute story 🙂 and yes coconut reminds me of summer and just what we all need right now!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. Elra says:

    Coconut cupcake, how delicious Joanne.

  33. Great story an those cupcakes look delicious!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  34. Katy ~ says:

    Your mom is a hoot; but I thoroughly understand her, grins. Too much is not enough.

    Cupcakes look good!

    Winter, boo hiss!! I am baring (chattering!) my teeth at the mention of it.

  35. hello joanne,the sweetest cute pretty gurl,
    am so so sorry for the delay but my ntbook wen in for some tlc ,just got it back & have so so much catching up to do.
    Want to bake another batch right now ,to tell u but have just wound up with thanksgiving baking and as am writing this,am jus going to sneak in the kitchen to satisfy my sweet tooth…and yeah i love ur cuppys too!

  36. I love your stories, Joanne! I can totally relate to wearing weather-inappropriate clothing. In fact, I’m pretty sure I wore flip flops during my morning commute just last week. Great cupcakes. Somehow I suspect you swapped in that applesauce and it looks like it worked great!

  37. Sophie says:

    MMMMMMMMMMMM,…Joanne!! these cupcakes look delectable & so tasty!! Yummie!

  38. This was a hilarious post! And I love the cupcake recipe. I like the flavor of coconut, but not the texture of flaked coconut. So I’m definitely bookmarking these!

  39. Abbie says:

    I love the frosting technique!

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