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

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Italian Cream Cupcakes

5 from 2 votes

Irresistible soft and butter cupcakes brimming with coconut and pecans and finished with a rich cream cheese frosting.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Cream Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Jaclyn


  • 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


  • Jennifer N Murillo: This is my favorite go to website for cupcakes!! Thank you!! May 12, 2018 at 7:45am Reply

  • Kelli: I made these with great success. I don’t like coconut myself, but thought these were so good dispite that. I would like to make it into a three layer cake, but I didn’t know if the measurements needed to change to make that work. Any suggestions? March 29, 2018 at 9:49pm Reply

    • Carol Swain: Maybe make the same recipe twice! Should be enough to do three layers! Any extra just make cupcakes for the kids!!! :-) September 2, 2018 at 9:11pm 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

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

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