Cakes · Desserts

Coconut Cupcakes

Recipe revisit –  do I need to explain why?  Look at them!

These cupcakes remind me of the first snow days of Winter. The fireplace, the smell of apple cider brewing in the kitchen, snow covering the trees….oh wait, I live in California. Come to think of it, the only snow days I recall I was stuck inside an office with no windows and working towards a deadline.

Coconut Cupcakes

 Thankfully the taste of these cupcakes matches my imaginary ideals of Winter. Unlike most coconut desserts that taste more like vanilla cake topped with shredded coconut, you can taste the coconut in the cupcake and the frosting.  These cupcakes have a denser crumb that are a lovely accompliment with coffee after a holiday dinner!


 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
  • 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
  • 3/4-1 cup of powdered sugar
  • Coconut, shredded
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Makes 20 cupcakes


For Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar to butter and beat until light and fluffy again, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing.

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

3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In another add 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Stop mixing once just as the ingredients become incorporated; do not overbeat.

4. Fold in the coconut. Scoop into cupcake papers about one half to three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 to ensure even baking. Be sure to 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.

For frosting

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scraped down the sides and bottom.

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

3.  Spread onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle on a bit of extra shredded coconut, cinnamon, and or pumpkin pie spice on top  for garnish.

Adapted from



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