Considering my least favorite Halloween candy has always been Almond Joy and Mounds, it’s probably no big surprise that coconut isn’t among my favorite sweet treats.

Which is a bit unusual since I love cooking with coconut milk and coconut oil, but there’s not the, well, chewiness of coconut to contend with. Maybe that’s been my problem with it. You chew and chew and chew and chew and you’ll still find some in your teeth later.

But when book club rolled around last month and I decided on a tropical theme to go with the happiest part of the novel, I landed on coconut cupcakes for dessert. And since Ina Garten’s coconut cake is so legendary she sells it for home delivery on Goldbelly, I decided to give the desiccated shreds another try.

And I’m so glad I did (as was Will who tried four to make sure they were suitable for the book clubbers). The cupcakes actually made coconut enjoyable. It doesn’t hurt, mind you, that there’s no shortage of butter, sugar, and dairy in the recipe along with cream cheese icing on top. But the result is surprisingly delicate and flavorful. Even if you’re usually coconut-averse.