Italian Cream Cupcakes


I’ve wanted to share an Italian cream cake recipe as long as I can remember but since there seems to be a plethora of Italian Cream Cake recipes out there and not near as many cupcakes I decided lets go the cupcake route. Plus, cupcakes just seem easier to make right? And what can I say, I’m crazy about cupcakes! They are all the love you get from cake but in individual, hand holdable form. Plus, for me they are much easier to decorate than an entire cake, I’ve got so much to learn there.

Italian Cream Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

These cupcakes are truly dreamy! I don’t recommend eating the batter, raw eggs can be dangerous, but it is hands down the best cupcake batter I’ve ever tasted. With that I knew the cupcakes would have to turn out good, and oh did they! You get this decadent toasted sweetness from the shredded coconut and just the right amount of crunch from the pecans, and that perfect creamy richness from the luscious cream cheese frosting – all paired together in one soft and fluffy Italian Cream Cupcake! You are going to love them!!

Go the extra mile and don’t forget the cherry on top! Always a win in my book.

Italian Cream Cupcakes | Cooking ClassyItalian Cream Cupcakes | Cooking ClassyItalian Cream Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


Italian Cream Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 2/3 cup (65g) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup (4.6 oz) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (107g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (93g) cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (169g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (55g) pecans, chopped small and toasted
  • Toasted coconut and toasted chopped pecans for topping (about 1/2 cup of each)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese , softened slightly
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups (315g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in preheated oven, tossing once about halfway through, until golden brown 5 - 8 minutes (keep a close eye on it because it will change color rapidly near the end. Leave oven at 350 to bake cupcakes). Allow to cool slightly then pour into a food processor and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute.
  2. Pour ground coconut into liquid measuring cup with buttermilk and stir to combine. Let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Sift all-purpose flour and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk for 20 seconds.
  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, adding in vanilla with second egg. With mixer set on low speed, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until combined then mix in 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and mix until combined then repeat process once more (scrape every bit of the buttermilk coconut mixture out with a rubber spatula) and finish by mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Fold in toasted pecans.
  5. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 19 - 21 minutes. Cool in pan several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool frost with cream frosting and sprinkle tops with toasted coconut and pecans. Store in an airtight container.
  6. For the frosting:
  7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in vanilla, then stir in powdered sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy (if it seems slightly runny, chill then stir before piping or spreading. I like to freeze it in the mixing bowl 5 minutes the beat with the mixer again then freeze 5 more and beat).
  8. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Sophia Short: Hi! I have been reading your blog for a few years now and recently created my own with a good friend! I would love if you stopped by and tried out a recipe or offered us tips about blogging!! Thanks so much! March 17, 2015 at 4:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Congrats on starting the new blog! Looks like you are off to a great start! March 18, 2015 at 5:58pm Reply

  • Ilona @ Ilona’s Passion: Such a pretty cupcakes! Love the cherry on the top. March 17, 2015 at 8:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Ilona! March 18, 2015 at 12:04pm Reply

  • June Burns: What pretty cupcakes! I love the way you decorated them with the nuts and all…very cute :) Italian cream cake sounds great, I’ll have to try it! March 17, 2015 at 8:39pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): Such pretty cupcakes, I love the combination of coconut and pecans! March 17, 2015 at 11:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura :)! March 18, 2015 at 11:58am Reply

  • Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg: These are absolutely gorgeous. I love Italian pastries and will have to give this recipe a try. The cherry on top makes these cupcakes really attract attention. :D March 18, 2015 at 4:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment Erin! March 18, 2015 at 11:57am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: Who doesn’t love a cupcake? Such a great flavor combination! March 18, 2015 at 6:40am Reply

  • Elle @ Only Taste Matters: Beautiful cupcakes. I love Italian pastries so I can’t wait to try this combination of flavors. March 18, 2015 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment Elle! March 18, 2015 at 5:49pm Reply

  • Dawn: My family doesn’t like coconut, is there a way to leave that out and replace it with something else? These look so good and yummy! I really want to make them!! March 18, 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could leave it out and just add in more pecans. Also, I’d up the sugar and additional 2 Tbsp to make up for leaving out the sweetened coconut. March 18, 2015 at 5:57pm Reply

  • Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat: This cupcakes are so pretty! It sounds great! March 18, 2015 at 7:02pm Reply

  • Michelle { A Latte Food }: These cupcakes are killing me–they look absolutely gorgeous! Cannot wait to give them a try! :-) March 18, 2015 at 8:44pm Reply

  • Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness: Whoa… I seriously want this right now! And since I just bought a huge bag of pecans.. I think it’s a sign! March 19, 2015 at 9:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it is :)! March 19, 2015 at 8:40pm Reply

  • Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture: So pretty! I had no idea that Italian cream cake had coconut in it! Fabulous :) And beautiful photos, as always. March 22, 2015 at 7:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Michelle!! March 22, 2015 at 10:27am Reply

  • vera williams: What is cake flour? March 23, 2015 at 4:47pm Reply

  • Odelle Smith (U.K.): Beautiful! March 26, 2015 at 3:34am Reply

  • Karina: Jaclyn, your blog is just incredible. Every photo! You are so incredibly talented and genuine in your photography and posts. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. It truly meant so much to me! Lots of love, Karina Xx May 6, 2015 at 3:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for the compliments Karina! You are incredibly talented! I follow you on Instagram and love to see what you post! Your pictures always make me hungry :). May 6, 2015 at 9:43pm Reply

  • Stacie: I just wanted to say thank you for an awesome recipe I made these and they came out wonderful and tasted awesome will absolutely make again. October 20, 2015 at 5:29pm Reply

  • Rula: I’ve been baking for over almost 4 decades and have never seen such beautiful creations. Jaclyn your pics are absolutely divine! Going to try these soon. You are truly gifted. Thx and I can’t wait to see the results. November 12, 2015 at 8:05am Reply

  • Marci: What icing tip did you use? April 2, 2016 at 10:09am Reply

  • Joan: Do the cupcakes need to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese frosting? July 22, 2016 at 8:50pm Reply

  • Gloria: I can’t always find shredded coconut. Can I replace it with desiccated coconut? This recipe looks divine and I would like to try it at the school cafeteria I am managing. Thank you. July 23, 2016 at 4:19am Reply

  • Erin: Hi i was wondering if you had the bake time for these to be mini cupcakes? Thanks so much! Looking forward in trying the recipe January 29, 2018 at 12:29am Reply

  • Pam Lutz: These are amazing and beautiful! I made these for a luncheon at work and they were a hit! The recipe made 16 regular sized cupcakes. I’ll definitely be making these again. Thanks for an awesome recipe! March 1, 2018 at 6:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear they were enjoyed Pam! Thanks so much for your review! March 1, 2018 at 9:26pm Reply

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