Special equipment: 12-cup muffin pan
For the coconut cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk 1/4 cup water, the cream of coconut, coconut extract, vanilla extract, egg whites and egg in a large bowl until combined.
Mix the flour, shredded coconut, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat on low speed until the mixture forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add half the cream of coconut mixture. Beat on low speed until the flour mixture is moistened, about 15 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With the mixer still running, slowly add the remaining cream of coconut mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.
For the mango filling: Whisk 1/4 cup juice, egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth in a small bowl. Boil the remaining 1 cup juice, granulated sugar and salt over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Slowly add half the hot liquid to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the filling thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Strain the filling through a fine mesh sieve. Cool the filling before assembling the cupcakes. Yield: about 1 1/4 cups.
For the orange cream cheese icing: Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to desired consistency. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Yield: 3 cups.
For the garnish: Generously sprinkle the pineapple with sugar. Use a blow torch to caramelize the pineapple, or broil in the oven on low for 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully so the sugar does not burn. Cool the pineapple before assembling the cupcakes.
Cook the sweetened flaked coconut in a dry saute pan over low heat, stirring often, until the coconut browns slightly and smells fragrant. Cool the coconut before assembling the cupcakes.
To assemble: Dig a small hole inside each of the cupcakes using a teaspoon. Fill each hole with the mango filing. Top with the orange cream cheese icing. Garnish with the caramelized pineapple and toasted coconut.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipes courtesy Beth Somers