Coconut Cupcakes are a light, delicate, sweet treat that everyone will enjoy. A moist and flavorful cake batter is topped with a dreamy coconut cream frosting, making them an easy and excellent dessert for any occasion. Even those who claim they don’t love coconut, cannot deny the deliciousness of these cupcakes!
Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe
Coconut Lovers – These coconut cupcakes have enough coconut flavor to satisfy the biggest coconut lovers, but surprisingly aren’t incredibly overwhelming.
Classy Cupcakes – Coconut Cream Cupcakes have such a classy look to them, they’re perfect for an older kiddo’s birthday party, or even fancy enough for a bridal shower.
Easy to Make – These cupcakes are simple to make and can be whipped up in about 35 minutes.
Soft and Light – Thanks to the coconut cream, these cupcakes have a gorgeous fluffy texture. It’s like biting into a cloud.
Frosting Fanatics – This frosting is SO good. It’s not overly sweet, and the cream cheese flavor really shines through.
These coconut cupcakes really are amazing. Plus, this is an easy yet elevated recipe to start with if you’re a beginner baker. Since the spring and summer season is rapidly approaching, this would be the perfect recipe to serve at any upcoming parties or get-togethers.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Let’s discuss how to make this Coconut Cupcake recipe, as well as the ingredients that are needed. Please take note that below you will find discussion, expert tips, and answers to frequently asked questions about this recipe to help you recreate it in your kitchen. If you *just* want the recipe itself, scroll down. The full printable recipe itself, with exact measurements and instructions, is found at the bottom of this page.
- Flour – To make sure the cupcakes don’t come out dry, you have to measure your flour properly. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level the cup off before adding it to the recipe. Don’t scoop the flour straight into the cup, and don’t pack the flour in tight.
- Sugar – For the cupcake batter, you’ll need white granulated sugar.
- Butter – Unsalted butter is best for this recipe since you’ll be adding a pinch of salt to the batter already.
- Extract – You’ll need coconut and vanilla extract for this recipe. You can find coconut extract at most grocery stores and the baking sections at a craft store. You can also use coconut flavoring if you can’t find any extract.
- Buttermilk – I really recommend using buttermilk in this recipe, it’s a game changer. You can find it at most grocery stores or you can make it yourself with this homemade buttermilk recipe.
- Cream of Coconut – Make sure you get cream of coconut, not coconut milk, they are two different things, and will affect the recipe if you get them mixed up. Sometimes this is found in the cocktails section of the store.
- Cream Cheese – This will be used for the cream cheese frosting, I recommend getting the block of cream cheese instead of the tub.
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar or confectioners sugar is the best type of sugar to use when making a frosting. I don’t recommend substituting this ingredient.
- Sweetened Flaked Coconut – These add a beautiful texture to the frosting, but you can leave them out of the recipe if you prefer a smooth frosting.
- Toasted Coconut Strips – This is optional, but makes for a pretty garnish!
How To Make Coconut Cupcakes
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350° F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set that aside then grab a large mixing bowl. To the bowl, add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and whisk that together until combined. Grab a hand or stand electric mixer and in a separate bowl, add the softened butter. Beat the butter with the mixer until it’s a fluffy consistency. Add the granulated sugar and vanilla to the butter and beat that together until smooth.
- Add the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time, beating after each addition. Add about half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and continue to beat it together until smooth.
- Pour in half of the buttermilk and continue to mix. Once combined, add the remaining portion of the dry ingredients. Mix that together then add the last of the buttermilk. Combine until smooth.
- Add the cream of coconut to the batter and stir to combine.
- Scoop the batter into each cupcake liner. Bake in the oven for about 15-19 minutes or until the cupcakes are done. You can test doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of a cupcake, and if it comes out clean you know it’s done. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. While they cool you can begin on the frosting.
How To Make Coconut Frosting
- In a large bowl, add the softened butter and cream cheese. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the two ingredients together for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat together to combine.
- Once combined, add powdered sugar, and salt and stir it together.
- When the frosting base has become smooth, pour in the cream of coconut and coconut flakes and fold that into the frosting until combined. Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before icing the cupcakes. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and Advice
Storage – Store the leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Equipment – For this recipe you’ll need a cupcake tin, cupcake liners, a few mixing bowls, a hand or stand mixer and a spatula.
Coconut cupcakes are great by themselves, but you can add extra fruit flavors or extract to the frosting or top of the cupcakes. Some great additions are strawberry, banana, lime or even pineapple!
Using quality, fresh ingredients is the first step in making good cupcakes. The second, is making sure not to over-bake the cupcakes, check on them religiously. Lastly, do your best not to over mix the batter, this will keep the cupcakes nice and fluffy!
Yes you can make the cupcakes in advance, store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to frost them. The freezer will keep them the freshest.
More Recipes To Try
Are you crazy for coconut? Or maybe you’re a cupcake fanatic? Either way, try out a few more of these delicious recipes that will blow your mind.
- Coconut Cream Cheesecake Bars
- Pistachio Coconut Ice Cream
- Ambrosia Fruit Salad
- Chocolate Dipped Macaroons
- Coconut Pecan Frosting
- Pina Colada Pie
- Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup cream of coconut make sure it’s cream of coconut, not coconut milk
- 6 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar optional – you can use 1/2-1 cup more if you want a thicker frosting
- 1/2 cup cream of coconut
- 1 cup sweetened flake coconut
- Extra toasted coconut for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with 24 liners.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl using a mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla to bowl and beat well to combine. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined, then add half the buttermilk, mixing well to combine. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing well to combine, followed by remaining buttermilk, mixing well to combine. Mix in cream of coconut.
- Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan. Bake for approximately 15-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top of the cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and cool completely prior to frosting.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and cream cheese and mix well on medium until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add in vanilla and mix to combine. Add in powdered sugar and salt, stirring well to combine. Once frosting is well mixed, stir in cream of coconut and coconut flakes and stir well to combine. Frost cupcakes and enjoy.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.