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A coconut cupcake in a blue cupcake liner topped with a swirl of coconut frosting and toasted coconut, with more cupcakes in the background.

Coconut Cupcakes

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Fluffy coconut cupcakes are an easy dessert made for coconut lovers! So soft and filled with sweet coconut flavor, frosted with creamy coconut frosting and topped with toasted coconut. 


For the Cupcakes

  • ¾ cups (143g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature 
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature 
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) coconut extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  ¼ cup (59ml) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature 
  •  1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (158ml) coconut milk, well stirred

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 3 cups (390g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) coconut extract (additional to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk or coconut milk)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • ½ cup toasted coconut


For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, butter, eggs, sour cream and extracts. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and sift together. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients and half the coconut milk at a time and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.
  5. Toast the coconut in the preheated oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the coconut evenly on the pan. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until the desired color is reached. Transfer to a bowl or plate to stop the cooking process. Cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter is whipped, fluffy and easily spreadable.
  2. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter then continue adding additional powdered sugar, alternating with the extracts and heavy cream.  After each additional cup of powdered sugar, beat for about 60 seconds on medium-high or until the powdered sugar is well combined.
  3. Beat the finished frosting on medium-high speed for another 2-4 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.


  1. Prepare a large piping bag with an open round tip (Ateco 808 or similar) or just cut off the end of the bag. Fill the piping bag with half the frosting.
  2. Prepare a large piping with a 1M piping tip. Fill with the remaining frosting.
  3. Pipe a circle around the outside edge of the cupcake, and then roll the cupcake in a plate of toasted coconut. Using the 1M tip, pipe the middle of the cupcake with frosting.


  • The recipe is for 12 cupcakes, but you could easily double it for 24 cupcakes.


  • Sour cream can be substituted with plain or Greek yogurt.
  • Coconut extract can be substituted with vanilla extract.
  • Coconut milk can be substituted with whole milk.


  • To Store. Stored airtight, the frosted coconut cupcakes will stay fresh at room temperature for a 2-3 days. After that, consider keeping them in the fridge. However, they’re best served at room temperature.
  • Freeze. Freeze the unfrosted coconut cupcakes in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature before frosting. 


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 426
  • Sugar: 43.8g
  • Sodium: 179mg
  • Fat: 26.3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 55.5g
  • Fiber: .5g
  • Protein: 3.1g
  • Cholesterol: 61mg