Tropical Coconut Cupcakes with Creamy Coconut Buttercream

Experience a taste of the tropics with these heavenly coconut cupcakes. Topped with a velvety coconut buttercream and a sprinkle of toasted coconut, these are sure to be a hit at any gathering!

Equipment Needed:

  • 1 Standard muffin tin
  • Paper liners for cupcakes
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Frosting bag with a star tip
  • Whisk


For the Coconut Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups (187 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) full-fat canned coconut milk, well-shaken
  • ½ cup (50 g) unsweetened desiccated coconut (check notes for substitutions or variations)

For the Coconut Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups (300 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 3-4 tbsp (45-60 ml) full-fat canned coconut milk, well-shaken
  • Toasted coconut flakes for garnish


1. Making the Coconut Cupcakes:

  • Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line the muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.
  • In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy, roughly 3 minutes. Add eggs one by one, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and give it another quick mix.
  • Incorporate one-third of the dry ingredients into the wet mix. Follow this by pouring in half of the coconut milk. Ensure to scrape the sides for a uniform mix. Repeat with another third of the flour and the remaining coconut milk. Mix in the last of the flour till just combined. Lastly, fold in the desiccated coconut.
  • Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, about ¾ full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

2. Preparing the Coconut Buttercream:

  • Using a stand mixer, whip the butter until it’s fluffy and has a pale yellow hue. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Slowly sift in the confectioners’ sugar while continuing to mix on low speed.
  • Introduce the vanilla extract and salt, mixing on medium till it’s light and airy. Pour in coconut milk to achieve the desired consistency and taste.
  • Use a frosting bag with a star tip to beautifully frost the completely cooled cupcakes. Add a sprinkle of toasted coconut for garnish.

Serve & Savor!

Enjoy these moist and flavorful coconut cupcakes that transport you to a tropical paradise with every bite. Ideal for summer parties or whenever you crave a sweet, coconutty treat!


  • If you can’t find desiccated coconut, you can use unsweetened shredded coconut. Just ensure it’s finely chopped for a better texture. If you prefer an extra burst of coconut, consider using coconut extract in place of or in addition to vanilla extract.

content team

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