Sunday, July 20, 2014

We're celebrating FIVE delicious years by sharing coconut cream cupcakes

It's hard to believe that Mystery Lovers Kitchen has been combining mystery, great tasting recipes and friendship for five years. That's really worth a party.  As Victoria Abbott, we haven't been part of it since the beginning, (although MJ joined a bit earlier) but we've enjoyed every minute since we've been in the gang. It's brought Mystery Lovers Kitchen into our family celebrations (gotta have those guinea pigs!) and our parties with friends. And it's connected us with you readers - that's really worth a party! 

To celebrate Mystery Lovers Kitchen is throwing TWO contests. 

We're giving away a book every day until July 25th.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and tell us how you shared the news of our contests or anniversary. Tell your friends!  Post on Facebook! Tweet, my darlings! 

Be sure to leave a comment every day, because there will be a new drawing every day by midnight.  Don't forget to include your email addy so we can let you know if you won. 

Today we're giving away your choice of The Christie Curse or The Sayers Swindle. If you already own them both, we have more options in our apron pocket!

Our second contest is a photo contest!  You can find our photo contest here and at our Facebook page! Five lucky winners will receive a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag and seven paperback mysteries! Since we can't all get away on vacation, we hope our books are having fun this summer. Take a picture of one of our books having fun! You can enter up to five times, once in each of these categories:

1) One of our books with a cat
2) One of our books with a dog
3) One of our books having summer fun
4) One of our books in a library
5) One of our books in a bookstore.

Celebration Coconut Cream Cupcakes

A recipe from the celebration files of Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Abbott.

Another thing worth celebrating is that these little cupcakes are not too carb or calorie heavy.  But they are really yummy.  They’ve been tested on the world’s toughest food critic, the son-in-law, who hates cream cheese in anything and won’t eat yogurt.  So for our recent Canada Day family BBQ we made these for dessert.  Guess who couldn’t resist them?  Just sayin’.   

The secret is cottage cheese (who knew?) and the original recipe came from a booklet of Canadian cheese recipes.  We’re betting it will work with your cottage cheese too.  You could use mascarpone, ricotta or cream cheese, but we like it this way. Lower in calories and less expensive too!
We doubled the recipe and we’re glad we did.  

For a SINGLE batch, you will need these ingredients:

To make crumb crust
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

For filling:
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened coconut (add a tablespoon for garnish)
1 ½ cups cottage cheese
1 egg at room temperature
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For topping:
½ cup vanilla Greek-style yogurt
Few strands of reserved toasted coconut

Here are the steps! 
Preheat your oven to 375.
Line muffin tins with paper baking cups
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter and 1 tbsp sugar. Press into baking cups.  We made this recipe twice. The first time with the dozen baking cups and the second time using only ten.  We got a higher cupcake that way and it worked out better. You can suit yourself here.

Bake for 5 minutes.

At the SAME TIME, spread out coconut on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown. Watch as it can get too dark very quickly. 
Cool liners and coconut. 

 Then: using a blender or food processor, purée the cottage cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar, flour, vanilla, lemon juice, and coconut (keep about two tablespoons for garnish).   This will keep in the fridge for a few days if you like to get ahead of things. 

Pour into the  cooled liners.  Bake for 16 – 18 minutes.   Again, you have to keep an eye on them!
Cool and remove the cupcakes. Chill for about an hour (longer is great). 

Top with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  You could substitute yogurt with sweetener if you wanted to control the calorie count. We found that the Greek yogurt was firmer and held that ‘icing’ shape better. The recipe as is  comes in at about 150 calories per cupcake and should be less than 20 g. carbs.  If you can eat just one.

The cupcakes keep in the fridge for a day or so, but tend to call your name in the night, so be warned. 

 Thanks for joining in our Mystery Lovers Kitchen 5th anniversary celebration.  

We’re also celebrating that The Wolfe Widow will be out in less than two months.  You can get a jump on your reading, by pre-ordering.  ORDER IT HERE


  1. I'm not a fan of coconut, but looking at the recipe, I think I could make it the same way and leave out the coconut and put fruit on top...maybe. Also in the recipe for the topping it says "Few strands of reserved toasted yogurt". I think you mean strands of toasted coconut. If not, I'd be very interested in how to get toasted yogurt!

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

    1. Thanks for your eagle eye (re 'toasted yogurt') Kathy! I'm off to fix that now.



  2. The cupcakes are delectable and unique. What a special treat which I would enjoy and indulge in. Your daily recipe is always wonderful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks! Glad you like the recipes and the daily meeti-up!



  3. Where do we meet, to share the cupcakes? :)

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  4. Looks like another recipe to try!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I deleted the comment because I forgot the email address. The comment was I am going to try this recipe for my very pregnant niece. She and I love coconut.

    2. It was very mysterious, Sue! I hope you both like it. XO MJ

  6. I'm not a fan on cheesecake because it just seems too heavy and too sweet so I think I'll try this recipe.

    1. Let us know, Sue! It is quite tangy and much lighter than cheesecake.



  7. The books and cupcakes look great! rachelkb at

  8. What lovely cupcakes. I adore putting cream cheese, cottage cheese, and/or sour cream in a cupcake. That adds so much moisture! Yum! How fun to trick a SIL. :)

    Thanks, Victoria/ MJ. We love having you as part of the MLK family!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Oh no! Not cupcakes that call my name in the night! I'm running away in fear! But pausing because they do look yummy . . .

    2. Thank you, Daryl! Not everyone accepts the two-headed as part of the family.



    3. Krista, you can run but you can't hide! XO mJ

  9. The cupcakes look delicious :) I have to give them a try. Yum

  10. Great cupcakes and wonderful books...thank you kindly

  11. Oh yeah, those cupcakes are calling my name. A book and a cupcake, a book and a cookie, a book and anything. My daughter and all my granddaughters - and my 5-1/2 year old great-granddaughter) love to read. Come to think of it, all the guys too ;-). Books are always a great gift and I am always suggesting one more title to them.

  12. We love coconut and these look very yummy!!

  13. Look great! My mother puts coconut in everything! Everything!!!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  14. Interesting cupcake
    Told a friend

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  15. Ah, those sneaky foods in the 'frig (and other places) that whisper in the night (and day). They are hard to ignore. After all, we don't want to be rude, do we?

    1. So true, Libby. Glad you hear them too.



  16. Shared on FB -- Mystery and food .. what's not to like!

  17. I shared the giveaway om Twitter.

  18. Shared on FB all the time! love the recipes and the mysteries!

  19. Told my sister in law today
    Kim j

  20. Love the books and recipes!!! Sharing with fellow mystery lovers.

  21. I tweeted your blog out to my friends! Thanks

  22. I can't wait to try this recipe, it looks delicious. I love your books and i shared the contest on Facebook.
    Amy M