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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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Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

114 Responses
  1. John

    I made these a while back and they are fantastic! So flavorful and light. I’m making them again but I’m concerned about the frosting in the heat. The forecast is for 90°+ the day of the party and they may be out for some time before they’re eaten. How do you think they will hold up?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi John, I am so glad you love these. This frosting is not ideal for the heat and will likely melt/wilt pretty quick if are out in that heat for too long. Do you have the option to store them in a container in a cooler instead?

  2. Yvonne

    Is there a reason for the light sour cream rather than regular sour cream? Coii you pd this recipe be made with regular sour cream instead?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Regular sour cream can be used. Light sour cream is normally what I bake with to reduce some of the fat

  3. Yvonne

    You do not include where to purchase the lovely hole extracter you used to remover the center of the cupcake to fill it with pudding. Where might ai purchas3 that item?

  4. Jasmine

    I made these for a bridal shower & they were a huge hit! I ran out of whipping cream while making the frosting and ended up switching the filling & the frosting and turned out great. Thank you for the recipe!!

  5. Gwendelynn Brown

    These are THE BEST. I don’t even LIKE coconut, but coconut cake is my MIL’s favorite. So I made these as a treat for her birthday dinner. We all fell in love and nearly spoiled our dinner nibbling on them! The creamy filling and the light texture of the frosting just makes this so much fun. And it’s SO much easier than many of the other fussy coconut cream pie cupcake recipes out there. Well done!

  6. Jen

    Hi! I’m in the process of making the cupcake filling. I added 3/4 milk w the pudding mix and it is super thick without even putting it in the fridge. Is supposed to be really thick? I made the cupcake part and it’s delicious!

  7. Lisa

    I made these cupcakes for my husbands birthday since he absolutely loves coconut cream. However, I am questioning your frosting ratio. I used as directed 2cups of heavy cream-but there is no way that it looks as thick as yours. If I use as it is, it would never pipe. Are you sure that it is 2-cups cream to 1 powered sugar. Even with the 8oz cream cheese this frosting is very runny. Thanks for advising.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Lisa, yes, its a 2:1 ratio heavy cream to powdered sugar, plus you have the cream cheese. It is possible you added the powdered sugar to early, it should be added when soft peaks form and the frosting starts to thicken.

    2. Kat

      This is my go to coconut cream pie cupcake recipe.. however, every single time I make these, I have issues with my frosting being too runny. I add more powdered sugar.. I’ve tried meringue powder, and even corn starch, but nothing helps. It is a conundrum. I think there is too much heavy whipping cream. I almost always double the recipe, so I’ve never made a single recipe… that could be the problem. I think I’ll just try a coconut cream cheese buttercream frosting. I just wasted a stand mixer bowl full of frosting.. I’ve put it in the freezer in hopes that it will work for Christmas cake pops… it is just SO thin!

      1. Kat

        I waited to add the powdered sugar until there were soft peaks forming.. nothing would make this thick enough to pipe.. the best I could hope for is just a dip.

      2. Beyond Frosting

        Hi Kat- per your other comment, I recommend trying a single batch at a time. That could be part of your issue.

      3. Beyond Frosting

        Hi Kat- what type of cream cheese you are you using? Is it cold when you start? If you are doubling the recipe in a single batch, I would recommend trying to make just a single batch at a time. Try reducing the heavy cream to 1 3/4 cup to 8-ounce cream cheese to see if that works for you. 4 cups of heavy cream in a single batch it a lot to whip to stiff peaks, I never whip more than 2 cups at a time, I find it harder to get stiff peaks

  8. DJ

    I made these tonight to take to a Labor Day get together tomorrow. They taste amazing! However, my cupcakes stuck badly to the liners. I used a foil type liner and think maybe that’s why. I was also wondering if the “coconut milk” was condensed. I used condensed without adding water and I think it made the cupcakes fall a little in the middle and might have contributed to the sticking. I will definitely make them again and would love any tips or clarifications.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi DJ, It is probably the wrong type of milk that caused this. The coconut milk is the type you might find in the Asia food section of the grocery store such as Thai Kitchen brand. I am glad they still tasted good but it likely the the culprit of the sticking

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