Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

One of the best cupcakes you can make! Rich and light coconut cupcakes with a creamy coconut frosting.

Coconut Cupcakes
Elise Bauer

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord who shares his recipe for some of the best cupcakes we've ever had. ~Elise

Most coconut cupcakes are often a bit too dense and flavorless in my opinion, often presenting bland cake with a 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.

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
Elise Bauer

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 20 servings

These are wonderful topped off with some freshly cut pineapple (not canned) or even mango. Also, this is a recipe in which I would not suggest using light coconut milk, as it would only diminish the flavor.


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  • 3 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat is best)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup sweetened desiccated coconut

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) 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


First make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Beat butter and sugar:

    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.

  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time:

    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.

  4. Combine dry ingredients:

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

  5. Combine coconut milk and vanilla:

    Stir together 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla in a separate bowl.

  6. Alternating dry ingredients and coconut milk mixture, add to butter sugar mixture, fold in coconut:

    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 just as the ingredients become incorporated; do not over-mix!

    Fold in the sweetened desiccated coconut.

  7. Fill cupcake liners:

    Place cupcake liner papers into muffin tins. Scoop the batter into the cupcake papers about one half to three-quarters of the way full.

  8. Bake:

    Bake at 350°F for 18-22 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.

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

  9. Beat cream cheese and butter:

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

  10. Add powdered sugar:

    Slowly add the powdered sugar, taste as you go adding more sugar until you have reached the desired sweetness.

  11. Add coconut, spread onto cupcakes:

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


Apple Carrot Cupcakes here on Simply Recipes

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting here on Simply Recipes

Coconut Cupcakes
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
311 Calories
20g Fat
31g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 311
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 13g 64%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 225mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 81mg 2%
*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.