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Amazing Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes

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These Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes are the perfect combination of coconut cake with a lightly sweetened coconut mousse and topped with a cream cheese whipped cream. 

frosted coconut cupcakes garnished with toasted coconut flakes

Easy Coconut Cupcakes Made with Cake Mix

If you’re a coconut fan, then you’re going to absolutely love these Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes! There’s a reason readers rave about these.

Now, the cupcake base for this recipe is good enough on its own, but I thought I’d take it up a notch and fill the cupcakes with the vanilla pudding filling from my coconut cream pie cookies.

Folks, I don’t think I’ve ever made a better decision in my life.

These coconut cream cupcakes are infused with coconut in every single bite. In the cupcakes, you’ll find shredded coconut, coconut milk, and coconut extract. They’re moist, light, fluffy, and topped with cream cheese whipped topping! Plus the toasted coconut on top gives a little bit of nutty flavor and texture.

side view of cupcakes lined up on a blue serving platter

Here’s the Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Cupcakes

  • White Cake Mix
  • Shredded Coconut – I use sweetened coconut, but unsweetened will work as well. You can add another layer of flavor by toasting the coconut first.
  • Egg Whites – using just egg whites creates a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • Coconut Milk – I use canned coconut milk. You can find it at most grocery stores in the Asian food section! Make sure it’s well mixed before adding it to the batter.
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sour Cream – You can substitute this with Greek or plain yogurt if needed
  • Coconut Extract – go easy with the coconut extract. A little bit goes a long way!
  • Baking Powder

For the Filling

  • Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • Milk – use whatever you have on hand.
  • Coconut Extract – again, go easy. Start with less and add more to taste.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Powdered Sugar

For the Frosting

  • Cream Cheese – start with cold cream cheese for a better texture.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Shredded Coconut – for garnish. You can quickly make toasted coconut for little added texture and flavor.

What Type of Coconut Milk Should I Use?

I use Thai Kitchen canned coconut milk in this recipe and it works great! You can find it in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores. Be sure you give the coconut milk a good stir before adding it to the cupcakes. It separates as it sits in the can.

How to Make Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes

These coconut cream cupcakes are made up of three simple components: cake mix cupcakes, a simple pudding filling, and a light and fluffy whipped topping.

For the Cupcakes

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a cupcake pan with liners.
  • Combine all ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, shredded coconut, egg whites, coconut milk, oil, sour cream, coconut extract, and baking powder. Mix until it’s well combined.
  • Fill the pan. Use a large cookie scoop to portion the batter out into a lined cupcake pan. Fill each liner 2/3 full.
  • Bake: Bake the cupcakes at 350ºF for 15-18 minutes, then cool completely.

For the Filling

  • Make the pudding. Combine the pudding, milk, and coconut extract. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until set.
  • Prepare a batch of whipped cream. Set the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and beat until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  • Combine. Once the pudding has set, remove it from the fridge and gently fold in the whipped cream. Place in a ziplock bag or piping bag and refrigerate.
homemade whipped being mixed into pudding

For the Frosting

  • Beat the cream cheese. Set your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth and free of lumps.
  • Add whipping cream. First, add about 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream to the cream cheese. Beat until the cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture. Slowly add in the rest of the heavy whipping cream. Beat until soft peaks form, then slowly add in the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
Mascarpone whipped cream in a large mixing bowl

Assemble the Cupcakes

  1. Use a spoon, knife, or cupcake corer to remove the middle of the cupcake.
  2. Cut the end off of a piping bag and fill the center of each cupcake with the coconut mousse, then place center of the cupcake back over the filling to add more structure.
  3. Top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with shredded coconut.

Why I Use Cake Mix for Cupcakes

Convenience! I love using cake mix for cupcakes because it contains flour, sugar, and a leavening agent. It’s also more reliable for first-time bakers. While completely made-from-scratch desserts are great, there’s nothing wrong with taking a shortcut now and again. Especially when it tastes this good!

If you would prefer to make these coconut cupcakes using a made-from-scratch cake batter, check out my homemade coconut cupcakes instead.

finished coconut cream pie cupcakes on a serving platter

Here’s Some Tips For the Best Cupcakes

  • Use a light colored pan. Dark pans will make the cupcakes quite a bit more.
  • Don’t over or underbake! Baking time are suggested, but it’s important in the last couple minutes, you do the toothpick test a couple of time. Sometimes just 1 minute more is all you need.
  • Enure the whipped cream reaches stiff peaks. If the whipped cream for the filling or the topping is not whipped to stuff peaks, it will not properly set, and you’ll end up with a wilted frosting.
a frosted coconut cupcake with a bite taken out

Can Coconut Cupcakes Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes! If you want to prep these ahead of time, you bake the coconut cupcakes and store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days in advance. The filling can also be made and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I prefer making the frosting fresh. So when you are ready to assemble, prepare the frosting.

How to Properly Store Finished Cupcakes

Once you fill and frost the cupcakes, they must be stored in the refrigerator. They will last in an airtight container for up to 3 days. In order to prevent the cupcake and frosting from drying out, make sure your container is airtight.

Print

Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chill Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cupcakes

Description

These Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes are the perfect combination of coconut cake with a lightly sweetened coconut mousse and topped with a cream cheese whipped cream.

Ingredients

For the cupcake

  • 1 box (15oz) White cake mix
  • 1 cup (120g) shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3 large Egg whites
  • ¾ cups (177ml) Coconut milk, mixed
  • ½ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (96g) light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon (3.75g) baking powder

For the filling

  • 1 package (3.4oz) instant vanilla pudding
  • ¾ cup (177ml) milk, any type
  • 1 teaspoon  (5g) coconut extract
  • 1 cup (236ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (32g) powdered sugar

For the frosting

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, cold
  • 1 3/4 cups (413ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Shredded coconut for garnish

Instructions

For the cupcake

  1. Pre-heat over to 350° F. Mix Coconut milk well before adding to the batter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix with all remaining ingredients. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir from the bottom.
  3. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcake is done. Cool completely.

For the Filling

  1. Combine the pudding with milk and coconut extract. Whisk until pudding is dissolved. Refrigerate until firm.
  2. Prepare the whipped cream. Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
  3. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks start to form. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Remove pudding from the refrigerator (after it has set) and gently fold in whipping cream. Place filling in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Frosting

  1. Chill the bowl for 5-10 minutes again. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Beat into the cream cheese until cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the heavy whipping cream and continue beating until the cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture. Continue to add the remaining heavy whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Use immediately or keep refrigerated.
  4. To assemble the cupcakes, remove the middle of the cupcake using a spoon, knife, or cupcake corer. Cut off the tip of the Ziplock bag and fill the center with the coconut mousse filling. Top with cream cheese whipped cream. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. These cupcakes must be refrigerated.

Notes

  • Cream Cheese Frosting: It’s important the frosting is whipped to stiff peaks or it will not properly set when it’s piped. You can see the full tutorial right here. 
  • Homemade Coconut Cupcakes: You can swap out the cake mix cupcakes for these homemade coconut cupcakes.
  • Storage Instructions: Once the filling has been added to these cupcakes, they have to be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. These will stay fresh for 3 days.
Nutrition Information:
1 Cupcake
283
24.8g
15.5g
10g
33.7g
.2g
3.1g
30.4mg
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Coconut Cupcakes, Cake Mix Cupcake, coconut cupcakes using coconut milk, Easy Cupcake Recipe

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114 Responses
  1. Jean

    These cupcakes are the very best! They got lots of great comments from people I shared them with. “These are to die for!!!” I never use cake mix or instant pudding, but did for these. I used instant coconut pudding mix for the filling. I also added coconut extract in addition to the vanilla in the frosting.
    A must try!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      I have not actually tried freezing the finished cupcakes. Given the list of ingredients, I think it would be alright but I can’t say how the taste or texture would change, particularly for the filling. You can freeze the baked cupcakes on their own, prior to filling.

  2. Lynn M Melton

    Can these be frozen? I made way more than I needed. I have a whole batch with filling but no frosting. Do you think they would freeze for a month or so?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      I haven’t personally tested these in the freezer. It should work but I can’t say with confidence since I haven’t tried it.

  3. Lynn

    I seen this says to use a 3.4 oz box of vanilla pudding. I wasn’t paying attention to the oz and just grabbed a small box of vanilla pudding. And it was the royal brand it’s only 1.85oz it says it make 4-1/2cups just like the named brand pudding does. Do you think it would be ok? Or should I just go buy the Jello brand??

  4. Gina

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I was wondering were you calling for regular coconut milk or sweetened condensed coconut milk in this recipe?

  5. Debi

    I must confess I was quite the skeptic at first glance. . . boxed cake mix??….instant pudding??? Not being a snob at all but those 2 things just are not in my baking vocabulary! lol. Suffice it to say, the vocab has been updated!! These were a total hit for a baby ‘sprinkle’ this weekend. So much so that there wasn’t one left for me to try. Ho hum, guess I’ll have to make another batch!!! The only adjustment I made was toasting the coconut. Love your recipes and have made many, all with fantastic results 🙂

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