Italian Cream Cupcakes

Published March 17, 2015. Updated March 5, 2020

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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 Classy

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

4.43 from 7 votes

Italian Cream Cupcakes

Irresistible soft and butter cupcakes brimming with coconut and pecans and finished with a rich cream cheese frosting.
Servings: 12
Prep30 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes


Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 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.
  • Pour ground coconut into liquid measuring cup with buttermilk and stir to combine. Let rest 10 minutes.
  • Sift all-purpose flour and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk for 20 seconds.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For the frosting:
  • 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).
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Italian Cream Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 617 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Cholesterol 92mg31%
Sodium 184mg8%
Potassium 174mg5%
Carbohydrates 93g31%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 69g77%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 802IU16%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • JoGene Vega

    Jaclyn, I just posted my comment, then scrolled to read the previous comments. I have no idea why some didn’t have great luck with your recipe. I believe that taking the time to toast and grind the coconut, then let it soak in the buttermilk for ten minutes helped make the cupcakes very tender. Mine were done in 22 minutes. The tops didn’t brown but were still done and perfect. Maybe some of the bakers thought the light pale color meant they needed more time baking and were overbaked. It’s also so important to have the cold items at room temperature. If you follow the recipe precisely, they should turn out great. It’s also a shame people feel the need to be sarcastic. I give you an A+ on this recipe. My family is in for a big treat tonight. Thank you

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Thanks for your input JoGene! I’m so glad your family enjoyed these!

  • JoGene Vega

    These are so delicious and beautiful to look at. They have a wonderful buttery flavor. Thank you so much for a really great recipe. These are one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. I will be making these often for family and friends.

  • Ashley

    I was wary about doing this recipe. So here’s my honest review:

    They turned out not as moist as a cupcake should. I followed the directions to a tee, and baked in my oven at 350 for 19 mins. Maybe I baked too long. That’s not to say that they weren’t good – they were, especially with the icing. Just be cautious, future recipe makers: you may want to add more moisture (google how). Also, I did not see a difference at all with soaking the coconut for 10 mins in buttermilk. I barely tasted the coconut in the cupcake at all.

    These cupcakes were made for someone else, so I picked at random one to try and this review is based off that one. Another note: this recipe made 14 cupcakes.

  • Janice

    See that my comments and review did not make your list…so I am going to put them on Facebook. Are you “so” perfect that you believe your recipes are “perfect”? I thought this might happen with my review. It’s ok to have users find fault. Doesn’t mean your recipe is at fault…it just could very well be the user. But in this case as a 33 year baker…this recipe is not that good. So, I will light up Twitter / Facebook with the fact you don’t post not so great reviews on your website. Your not a very seasoned baker based off of your comments/responses to others. You SHOULD know the answers if you tested your recipes.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m not able to moderate comments (for spam and hate) the second they come in, I live a life and raise a family. I’m assuming you’re comment is EMW it’s the only one waiting in the inbox from less than 24 hours ago. But thanks for the threats and insults, go ahead and do whatever you please.

  • E M W

    Overall the cake crumb was really not flavorful. Was not as sweet of a cake batter/crumb as I was hoping and taking the time to ground of coconut then letting it soak in buttermilk actually did not enhance the flavor that much. Sadly this recipe will not be something I use again. For me this tasted nothing like Italian Cream Cake.

  • Debra Brown

    These look yummy! Can you double this recipe for a cake? If so, what size, temp and time would you recommend? Thanks in advance for your time.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It should work fine as a whole cake as well. I would bake the same amount of time and bake time will depend on the pan size. If you do 3 layers they’ll probably take around 30 minutes, if you do a sheet pan cake that would take upwards of 45 minutes (for estimates).

  • Teresa

    I loved these cupcakes! And would like to make them again as a bunt style cake. Would you recommend doubling the recipe to fill a bunt pan?