Coconut Cupcakes

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling


2-1/2 dozen

Updated: Apr. 27, 2022
I took these coconut cupcakes to a picnic one year, and they went like hotcakes! I should have made a double batch. With their creamy frosting and sprinkling of coconut, they appeal to just about anybody.—Judy Wilson, Sun City West, Arizona


  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1-1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Additional coconut, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Place lemon juice in measuring cup and add milk, stir to combine and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in coconut.
  2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and extract until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Frost cupcakes; sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Coconut Cupcakes Tips

What’s the best way to toast coconut?

Toasting coconut is a wonderful way to boost the flavor of your coconut desserts. We recommend toasting coconut on a sheet pan in the oven at 325°F for 6 to 8 minutes, carefully watching that the coconut does not burn. Learn more about how to toast coconut for any tropical recipe.

How do you store coconut cupcakes?

Due to the cream cheese frosting, it's best to store these cupcakes in the refrigerator. Kept in a single layer in an airtight container, they'll keep for 3 to 5 days. If you'd like to prepare your cupcakes in advance, you can bake and freeze unfrosted cupcakes for 2 to 3 months. Here's more on how to store your favorite baked goods.

What else can you put in coconut cupcakes?

To really bump up the coconut flavor in your coconut cupcakes, you can substitute (fully or partially) the vanilla extract with coconut extract. You can even use coconut milk in place of the 2% milk (or substitute a portion of the milk with coconut milk). For a piña colada flair, add a touch of rum extract to your cupcakes, or make a simple syrup, adding a teaspoon of rum or rum extract, to brush over the tops of your cupcakes prior to frosting.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 cupcake: 326 calories, 19g fat (12g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 236mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.