Let's Bake

Perfect Coconut Cupcakes

Yield Makes 12 cupcakes 1x
Prep: 60 minutesCook: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 20 minutes

Soft and fluffy Coconut Cupcakes topped with coconut buttercream.


Coconut cupcakes

  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut*
  • 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, roughly chopped
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 210 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) full fat canned coconut cream or coconut milk, stirred

Coconut buttercream

  • 170 grams (1.5 sticks) butter, room temperature, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 500 grams (4 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
  • 34 tablespoons full fat canned coconut milk or coconut cream, stirred
  • Coconut flakes, to decorate


Coconut cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Add desiccated coconut to a small non-stick frying pan and place on a low heat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until coconut turns golden brown. Set aside to cool. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat together using an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add vanilla and egg and beat briefly until combined.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, salt and toasted coconut. Then add coconut cream. Beat on a low speed until a thick and creamy cake batter forms. Don’t over mix. 
  5. Spoon out cake batter into your prepared liners and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until golden. Leave cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Coconut buttercream

  1. Add butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until your butter is smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps. 
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and beat briefly to combine. Then add 125 grams (1 cup) sugar. Beat on a low speed to combine, then turn up the speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds or so. Mixture should be thick and appear a little dry – this is fine.
  3. Next, add 250 grams (2 cups) sugar, along with 2 tablespoons of coconut cream. Beat on medium speed until mixture is thick and creamy.
  4. Finally, add remaining 125 grams (1 cup) sugar and beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Buttercream should be lovely and thick at this stage with no lumps.
  5. If the buttercream is too thick, add an extra tablespoon or two of coconut cream. To finish, remove your mixer, and give your buttercream a good stir by hand using a spatula – this helps to eliminate any air bubbles.
  6. Transfer your buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Frost swirls of buttercream onto each cupcake. Sprinkle over flaked coconut. 


Desiccated coconut: If you don’t have access to desiccated coconut, you can use shredded coconut instead.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 cupcake Calories: 518 Sugar: 53.8 g Sodium: 63.9 mg Fat: 25.6 g Carbohydrates: 69.6 g Protein: 3.2 g Cholesterol: 66.6 mg
Nutrition information is a guide only.
Author: Jessica HolmesCategory: CupcakesCuisine: Australian
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