Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

Topped with a thick layer of luscious cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with toasted coconut, these coconut cupcakes have a tender, moist crumb that literally melts in your mouth.


1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup sweetened dried coconut flakes

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup sweetened dried coconut flakes
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Step 1: To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muf?n cups with paper liners.

Step 2: In a bowl, sift together the ?our, baking powder, and salt.

Step 3: In another bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the sugar and butter until the mixture is light in texture, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the ?our mixture in 3 additions alternately with the coconut milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the ?our mixture and scraping down the bowl as needed, beating just until smooth.

Step 4: In another bowl, using the mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir 1/4 of the whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites, leaving some whites visible. Gently fold in the coconut ?akes.

Step 5: Divide the batter evenly among the lined muf?n cups, ?lling them about 3/4 full.

Step 6: Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn out of the pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Leave the oven on.

Step 7: To make the frosting, spread the coconut ?akes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Step 8: In a bowl, using the mixer on low speed, beat together the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the icing is smooth.

Step 9: Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes, dividing it equally. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut, then serve.

Alteration: For coconut layer cake, divide the batter between 2 buttered and ?oured 8″ round cake pans. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 25 minutes. Make a double batch of the frosting and assemble the cake like a two-layered cake. Garnish with 1 cup toasted dried coconut ?akes.

See more recipes from Rick Rodgers.

Reprinted with permission from Rick Rodgers’ Comfort Food (2012 Weldon Owen).