Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 20 cupcakes


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk (full fat is best)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened desiccated coconut

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
  • 1/2-1 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup of 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:

1 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.

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

3 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.