Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 24 regular-size cupcake liners.
Spread the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar, all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt. On low speed, add the butter in small chunks. Then add the eggs one at a time, followed by the egg whites. In a small bowl, combine the milk and coconut extract. Add the mixture to the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
Fill the cupcake liners approximately half full with batter and bake until the cupcakes are set and a toothpick is removed cleanly, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
Once cooled, carve a shallow hole into each cupcake and fill with Coconut Creme Filling. Then, frost the cupcakes with the Cream Cheese Buttercream and garnish with toasted coconut.
Coconut Creme Filling:
In a heavy-bottom pot, heat the heavy cream, sugar, and butter until the sugar has melted and the mixture is combined. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water and vanilla extract. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot liquid and bring to a boil. Continue cooking the mixture until thick, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut. Let the mixture cool completely before using.
Cream Cheese Buttercream:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Gradually add the powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
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This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
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