Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting


I’m on a roll with cupcakes lately. Sorry to anyone dieting and following my blog, I don’t know what it is but I’m just craving them lately. At least you can bookmark the recipe for an upcoming birthday because you NEED to try these Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting! That’s a need. Really though these are one of my all time favorite cupcakes. Who knows maybe I say that a lot but these would definitely make it to top 5 – along with Chocolate Cupcpakes, Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes or Pina Colada Cupcakes (they’re just too cute with those little tiny umbrellas), and Carrot Cake Cupcakes (and they carrot decoration is a must :)). Oh but then there’s the strawberry cupcakes, and the cheesecake ones with a salted caramel sauce should definitely be in there somewhere. Because cheesecake is life! Yeah I have a hard time with favorites. I need to share a post with all the cupcake recipes I’ve made in a collection because I’ve shared so many cupcake recipes. You can never have too many to choose from!

These coconut cupcakes are soft and fluffy and perfectly moist. I even dare say they’ll likely be on of the best cupcakes you’ll ever taste! They are perfectly coconuty (but don’t worry they’re aren’t little shreds of coconut in the batter, I saved that for topping. It’s just a naturally coconut flavored cupcake made with coconut milk and coconut extract). These are simply Heaven in cupcake form. And don’t even get me started on the Coconut Buttercream Frosting! So dreamy. I actually made these a few weeks ago, I got ahead with recipes to share and now I just have to sit here and stare at them and wish so badly I could reach through the screen and grab another. Guess I’ll just have to make them again soon, it’s got to be someones half birthday right??


Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

4.75 from 4 votes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 1 1/2 cups (198g) cake flour*
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups (160g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg , at room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites , at room temperature
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (155ml) canned coconut milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (115g) shredded unsweetened coconut

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

  • 14 Tbsp butter (198g), at room temperature (preferably 8 Tbsp unsalted 6 Tbsp salted)
  • 3 cups (380g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp coconut extract , to taste
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp (45ml) canned coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper cupcake liners, set aside. Sift cake flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add in baking powder and salt and whisk 20 seconds to evenly distribute.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Mix in egg then mix in egg whites one at a time. Blend in coconut extract and vanilla extract. Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until combined then blend in 1/2 of the coconut milk, mixing just until combined. Mix in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then mix in remaining 1/2 of the coconut milk (again mixing just until combined after each addition). Finish by mixing in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Remove bowl and scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula and fold gently just until evenly incorporated. Divide batter among paper lined muffin cups filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean about 18 - 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack. Pour coconut into a small bowl. Once cupcakes are cool frost with coconut frosting, then immediately after frosting each cupcake dip tops in coconut to fully cover. Store cupcakes in an airtight container.
  4. For the frosting:
  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter until pale and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, coconut extract and 2 Tbsp coconut milk and mix until pale and fluffy, while adding in another 1 Tbsp coconut milk to thin if needed.
  6. *Scoop flour from container using a measuring cup (while being careful not to pack flour) and sweep top using a butter knife. For best results use a kitchen scale, I highly highly recommend them.
  7. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: These are just gorgeous cupcakes, and so perfect for Easter/spring! Love that dreamy coconut buttercream :) March 17, 2017 at 11:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you Laura, you are always so kind! I love getting your comments :)! March 17, 2017 at 11:52am Reply

  • Gosia: I have never been a fan of cupcakes but these look amazing! I love the way you presented them x March 17, 2017 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Neelam: I have a recipe for a delicious coconut cake but never thought to make cupcake form! I’m definitely going to try this recipe out, looks incredible!!!

    Neelam March 18, 2017 at 1:04am Reply

  • Kathy: Can I use milk instead of coconut milk? March 18, 2017 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Whole milk could be substituted but they won’t be quite as good. March 18, 2017 at 6:02pm Reply

  • Susan: I’m a huge coconut fan and these are just beautiful! I am trying them for Easter. The buttercream sounds delicious. Thanks for posting. March 18, 2017 at 3:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment Susan! I hope you love them, and Happy Easter! March 24, 2017 at 11:53am Reply

  • Pattie Leonardis: OMG! these are so beautiful and I can’t wait to make them. Thank you! March 18, 2017 at 9:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment Pattie! I hope you love them! March 24, 2017 at 11:53am Reply

  • Joanna: Seriously beautiful cupcakes! I would like one now!! March 19, 2017 at 12:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Joanna! March 19, 2017 at 9:36pm Reply

  • Shenaz: This cupcake looks and I am sure will taste incredible can’t wait to make it – shenaz👍 March 19, 2017 at 12:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love them :)! March 19, 2017 at 9:36pm Reply

  • Doris: Oh! My oh my! I am in lust for these cupcakes and coconut cake is my all time favorite. You are correct about one thing—a diet goes out the window when these babies are around! March 19, 2017 at 9:00am Reply

  • Olga: I have tried so many of your recipes, all so extremely delicious! These cupcakes are so beautiful, I love the way you present them. I think these would look fabulous on Easter at my family get-together with that yummy coconut crumbly look😊 March 20, 2017 at 6:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you try them and love them Olga! I’m so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed some of my other recipes, thanks for letting me know :)! Hope you have a good Easter with your family! March 24, 2017 at 11:52am Reply

  • Alex: How is the texture compared to your coconut cake? I made your coconut cake one time and now it’s all any of my friends and family request for every occasion. (I’ve probably made in 10 times since!) March 24, 2017 at 8:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Very similar, I based this recipe off of that cake. March 24, 2017 at 11:53am Reply

  • Melissa: Hello. Your cupcakes are beautiful & looks yummy! Just a quick question..Could i use shortening instead of butter for the buttercream? Use butter flavoring instead. I need them to withstand hot summer heat:) March 31, 2017 at 6:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t sub in more then half of what is called for with shortening otherwise it will just taste really bad in my opinion – if it all possible I’d recommend using all butter and just keeping them chilled in a cooler or something. Butter is always better :). April 1, 2017 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Diane: I made these yesterday. So good! and easy to make. Thank you for this recipe 😊 April 2, 2017 at 5:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked them Diane! April 18, 2017 at 1:18pm Reply

  • Lindsay Forbes: Hi! I love these cupcakes! I am going to try making them tonight. I am having such a hard time finding edible flowers in San Francisco. Do you have any recommendations? What did you use? Thanks very much! April 3, 2017 at 4:28pm Reply

  • MJbythebay: Made these this weekend….they were a big hit! Very tender cake and the frosting was addictive. I had never made buttercream with a Kitchenaid mixer before so I read a few recipes and was surprised to learn you may want to cream the butter for as long as 8-9 minutes to get to the pale and fluffy stage. Mine cupcakes did not look so gorgeous as these, of course. Jaclyn, did you use a pastry bag to frost these? Thank you for the recipe! April 3, 2017 at 9:45pm Reply

  • Maria: My daughter wants a coconut cake for her birthday this year. I was just wondering if you think I could put the batter into 6″ pan or pans instead of making cupcakes? The cupcakes are beautiful! May 7, 2017 at 5:38am Reply

  • Shana: Hi! Your cupcakes look delicious! I was just wondering can I use all purpose flour instead of cake flour? May 9, 2017 at 8:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can use the cake flour substitution (which is 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour plus 2 Tbsp cornstarch) the cupcakes just won’t be quite as light and fluffy. May 11, 2017 at 9:32pm Reply

  • Maria: My daughter wanted a coconut cake, not cupcakes for her birthday, so I used two 6″pans with this recipe. It worked out perfectly and we all loved the flavor and texture. Great recipe, thanks. May 15, 2017 at 5:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad it was enjoyed Maria! May 16, 2017 at 12:50am Reply

  • Shawn: I could not find unsweetened shredded coconut. Will they be way too sweet with the sweetened coconut? Where do you find the unsweetened kind? May 27, 2017 at 12:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: They sell it at stores like Whole Foods and I’ve also found it at Walmart. I prefer the unsweetened since the frosting is already loaded with sugar but if you can’t find it the sweetened will do just use a little lest frosting. May 28, 2017 at 11:14pm Reply

  • Julie: Can you tell me what kind of flower is on the beautiful cupcake? Thanks May 30, 2017 at 9:17am Reply

  • Jessica: I use cake flour self rising is necessary use salt and baking powder June 1, 2017 at 9:00am Reply

  • Maia: If I wanted to convert these to mini cupcakes, how long would you suggest I should bake these and at what temperature? Thank you! June 1, 2017 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Saras: Can I use all purpose flour instead of cake flour? June 3, 2017 at 6:51pm Reply

  • Terry: Hi Jaclyn – these look wonderful! I’m making cupcakes for a person with a dairy allergy – so I need to sub the butter. Do you think I could use coconut oil instead? Thank you! July 2, 2017 at 7:18am Reply

  • Katie: Can I ask what sort of flowers in the photos you used!? Katie July 2, 2017 at 1:10pm Reply

  • Mary: What kind of flowers did you decorate with? July 11, 2017 at 5:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t know the name of them, just some from my yard. July 11, 2017 at 10:50am Reply

    • Cheryl Abernethy: Polyanthus, primula family January 5, 2018 at 11:11pm Reply

  • Alex: Hello! Is it possible to make these into mini cupcakes? If so could you tell me the adjusted baking time? These look delicious! Thanks :) September 3, 2017 at 11:08am Reply

  • Fary: Hi Jaclyn, this us an “Excellent” recipe.
    I’ve been looking for a nice coconut recipe & & this is far the best one! I made it at my Sisters shop openning. Baked them as mini cupcakes.. They were the “Hit” even coconut haters.. Gave it a try after all people going on my gosh..The coconut haters loved It! 😂 Plus the mini cupcakes were gone within 20minutes.. (this recipe made: 48mini & 9 normal cupcakes) I need dash & get another minicupcake bakingtray..I’m baking this recipe for tonight Parentsday at school! Merci September 21, 2017 at 3:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I still need to try these as mini cupcakes too! I’m so glad to hear they were a hit! Thanks for your review Fary! September 21, 2017 at 11:09am Reply

  • Sunny: I am not sure why even after rolling the recipe to the Ts, it was not soft and a bit crumbly. The flavor of the cake and frosting are beautiful. I wonder e r if maybe 1/2 c of sour cream may make it softer. September 24, 2017 at 10:32am Reply

  • Krissy: I want to make coconut cake for my daughter’s bday. I’m going to use 2 8″ pans. Do you think it would be better to double this recipe or use your coconut cake recipe? Thanks:) September 27, 2017 at 12:12pm Reply

  • Cheryl Abernethy: The flowers decorating the cupcakes are Polyanthus, from the Primula family. January 5, 2018 at 11:10pm Reply

  • Laura: Made these today … I think I just found my family’s favorite cupcake❤️… thank you so much for sharing this recipe. February 11, 2018 at 1:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, glad you loved them! February 12, 2018 at 10:17am Reply

  • Alice Roussell: Needed to make two dozen cupcakes for a party and these worked great! Thanks! February 24, 2018 at 5:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked them Alice! February 26, 2018 at 3:54pm Reply

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