Coconut Dream Cupcakes

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling


1-1/2 dozen

Updated: Feb. 02, 2023
My daughter, Elizabeth, came up with this incredible recipe. The cream cheese in the middle is a fun surprise when someone takes their first bite. —Julie Flournoy, Laurelville, OH
Coconut Dream Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and coconut extract until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and remaining 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  3. Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon of batter into each prepared cup. Drop cream cheese mixture by scant tablespoonfuls into center of each cupcake. Cover with remaining batter, about 1 scant tablespoon each.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out clean, 16-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, water and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes; sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts

1 cupcake: 355 calories, 20g fat (12g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 232mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.