Moist, rich, delicious... I can't stop thinking about these cupcakes. They spent all last week tempting me since I made them for an office birthday and I have officially given up sugar during the week. But I certainly did indulge in a few last weekend. Surprisingly, even after 6 days of being stored away, they still tasted fresh.
Cream butter, sugar, and crisco. Add egg yolks one at a time, reserving egg whites in a separate bowl. Mix yolks into sugar mixture after every addition.
In another bowl, sift together flour and baking soda. Once sifted, gradually add in 1 cup to the sugar mixture. Blend. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk. Blend. Add remaining flour mixture. Blend. Add remaining buttermilk. Blend. Add vanilla and mix together.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and peaks have formed. Once stiff, fold into the batter. When combined, stir in coconut and pecans. I like to run my coconut through a food processor to help alleviate the coconut texture so many people struggle with. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling liners about 3/4 full. Bake for about 26 minutes, until cupcakes are a light brown.
While cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add in powdered sugar, half & half, and vanilla. Mix together, adding more powdered sugar if necessary. Stir in coconut and pecans.