These easy coconut cupcakes get their depth of flavor by using shredded coconut and coconut milk in both the cake and frosting. These are great for dessert, snacks, bake sales, even Easter.
Subtle and easy. That’s what we think of these lofty coconut cupcakes made with coconut milk in both the frosting and batter makes for a rich, moist coconut cupcake experience. Adding cornstarch to the flour mimics cake flour, which makes for a lighter and more delicate cake.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Coconut Cupcakes Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Makes 24
- For the coconut cupcakes
- 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (240 ml), shaken
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (315 g)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (30 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (8 oz | 227 g), at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 g)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (85 g)
- For the coconut frosting
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz | 113 g), at room temperature
- 3 ounces full-fat cream cheese (85 g), at room temperature
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (460 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon canned unsweetened coconut milk, shaken
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (130 g), for topping
- Make the coconut cupcakes
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and adjust an oven rack to the center position. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners. Lightly spray the top of the pans with a nonstick cooking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking Spray with Flour, just in case the cupcake tops stick to the pan (don’t worry if the spray gets in the liners).
- 2. Pour the coconut milk into a medium bowl. (If, when you opened your can of coconut milk, the coconut milk had separated from the coconut cream floating at the top of the can, then you’ll want to recombine them with a whisk or immersion blender.) Add the lemon juice.
- 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.
- 4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and then beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- 5. Turn the speed down to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the coconut milk-lemon juice mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining coconut milk–lemon juice mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture and then scrape down the bowl and beat again until the batter is just combined. Quickly mix in the shredded coconut; do not overmix.
- 6. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until the cupcakes are set, lightly golden, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean (note that one pan may finish baking before the other). Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the coconut frosting
- 7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy and well combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, and then beat in the vanilla, coconut milk, and salt.
- Frost the cupcakes
- 8. When the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a butter knife or small offset spatula to swirl the frosting lavishly over the top. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut, pressing it gently so it adheres, and serve. (You can frost the cupcakes up to 1 day ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.)