Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

These divine coconut cupcakes put all other coconut cupcakes to shame. They're topped with coconut cream cheese frosting for lots of sweet coconut flavor.

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

Most coconut cupcakes are often a bit too dense and flavorless in my opinion, often presenting bland cake with an avalanche of coconut plopped on top.

Tired of coconut cupcake posers, I decided to develop a recipe that would rally in the flavor of coconut in a cupcake.

Making the Perfect Coconut Cupakes

This one uses coconut milk in place of milk and butter instead of oil, and has shredded coconut through and through giving it a divine taste that puts other coconut cupcakes to shame!

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting on a Plate

Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

In light of that, the cupcake itself is surprisingly light in texture compared to other coconut cupcakes. The coconut cream cheese frosting enhances the cupcake so each bite is just sweet and exotic, leaving whispers of flavor behind.

It is, in my humble opinion, the ultimate coconut cupcake recipe.

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 24 servings
Yield 24 cupcakes

These are wonderful topped off with some freshly cut pineapple (not canned) or even mango.

We recommend using full-fat coconut milk since using light coconut milk will diminish the flavor.


For the coconut cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  • 3 eggs, room temperature

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup sweetened desiccated coconut

For the coconut cream cheese frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 8 ounces (1 package) Philly cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1/4 cup sweetened desiccated coconut, plus more for decorating


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar, add the eggs:

    Beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy again, another 3 minutes, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing.

    Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each. Be sure to scrape down the sides after each egg to ensure even mixing.

    Butter and Sugar in a Mixer for Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  3. Combine the dry ingredients:

    Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.

    Dry Ingredients in Bowl for Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  4. Combine the coconut milk and vanilla:

    Shake the can of coconut milk well. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup of coconut milk and the vanilla.

  5. Combine the dry and wet ingredients:

    Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter sugar mixture and mix, then add 1/2 of the coconut milk mixture.

    Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Stop mixing once the ingredients become incorporated; do not over-mix!

    Fold in the sweetened desiccated coconut.

    Dry Ingredients Added to Butter/Sugar Mixture for Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

    Wet Ingredients Added to Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

    Batter for Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  6. Fill the cupcake liners:

    Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.

    Cupcake Liners with Coconut Cupcakes Dough

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  7. Bake:

    Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 minutes to ensure even baking.

    Check with a toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean, then they're ready.

    Allow the cupcakes to cool for a minute or two in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Baked Coconut Cupcakes on Cooling Rack

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  8. Make the frosting:

    While the cupcakes are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting.

    Beat the cream cheese for a minute. Add the butter and beat an additional 3 minutes. Scraped down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

    Slowly add the powdered sugar, tasting as you go. Add more sugar until you have reached the desired sweetness. Fold in the coconut.

    Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting for Coconut Cupcake Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

  9. Decorate the cupcakes:

    Spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle on a bit of extra shredded coconut on top to serve.

    How to Make Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

    Simply Recipes / Michelle Becker

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
259 Calories
16g Fat
26g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 259
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 58mg 19%
Sodium 187mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 67mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.