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Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


These coconut cupcakes are just perfect. A combination of coconut milk and extract give them just the right amount of coconut flavor. I also like to use buttermilk to keep the cake nice and moist.




  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt, heaping
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven & prep pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard cupcake tin.
  2. Toast coconut: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Spread coconut evenly over baking sheet. Bake for a total of about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes after the first 4-5 minutes.
  3. Mix dry ingredients: Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Mix wet ingredients: Using a standing mixer, beat together butter and sugar over medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Incorporate eggs in 2 additions. In a small bowl, whisk together milks and extracts.
  5. Mix wet & dry: Alternately add dry and wet ingredients to butter mixture in 2-3 additions each, making sure not to over-mix.
  6. Bake: Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 16-20 minutes, rotating half way through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in tin. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  7. Make frosting: While the cupcakes bake, use a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to beat together butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Make sure to start on low speed and increase to medium as sugar becomes incorporated. Stir in extracts and salt. Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a medium to large round tip. Chill in the fridge for about an hour or until somewhat firmed and easier to pipe.
  8.  Frost & serve: After cupcakes are cooled, pipe frosting in a circular pattern, working from the outside inwards. Top with coconut flakes. Enjoy.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 406
  • Sugar: 38g
  • Sodium: 179mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 51g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 4g

Keywords: cake, cupcakes, coconut, cream cheese