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Coconut Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Coconut Cupcakes

Let your tastebuds go on a tropical vacation with these sweet and flavorful coconut cupcakes. Quick and easy to make, these cupcakes are perfect for summertime parties and picnics!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut cupcakes, tropical cupcakes, coconut frosting, coconut cream cheese frosting
Servings: 12
Author: Maryanne Cabrera


Coconut Cupcakes:

  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (230 g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (113 g)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed (210 g)
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup canned coconut milk, full-fat, well-shaken* (180 g)
  • 1 cup dried sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted (85 g)

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (113 g)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (113 g)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (340 g)
  • 2 Tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt
  • ½ cup dried sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted (40 g)


Coconut Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 12 muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until lighter in color and thoroughly mixed.
  • Add half of flour mixture, then half of coconut milk. Repeat and mix until just combined. Add 1 cup of toasted coconut and fold to combine.
  • Using a hand mixer, whisk egg whites to soft-medium peaks. Add half of egg whites to batter. Fold to combine. Add remaining half and fold until combined. Do not overmix.
  • Divide the batter between prepared muffin tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Remove from muffin tin and allow to cool to room temperature on wire racks. Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add sifted powdered sugar.  Mix until combined.
  • Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on medium speed until frosting is smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Make little holes in center of cupcakes, if desired, and fill with frosting. Pipe frosting over hole to cover it up. Sprinkle remaining toasted coconut over frosting cupcake.


Chaokoh and Aroy-D are my favorite brands of canned coconut milk
To toast shredded coconut: spread shredded coconut over parchment lined baking sheet.  Toast in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes to evenly toast coconut.