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Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This time of year, my body craves lighter dishes, and lighter flavors. So coconut cupcakes it is!

Now that we are finally into May with the promise of warm weather just around the corner, I’ve been trying to cook and bake with seasonal ingredients.  This time of year, my body craves lighter dishes, and lighter flavors.  Lately, I’ve been on a coconut kick!  For me, coconut conjures up imagines of Easter desserts and umbrella drinks.  I have a penchant for both!  Below is my favorite coconut cupcake recipes, which is not only a crowd-pleaser, but also easy to make! 

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields 20

From Ina Garten


  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
  6. Frost the cupcakes.  Sprinkle with the remaining coconut, if desired.

Boasting almost an entire pound of butter, these cupcakes are extremely dense and moist.  This cake makes a great base for any white cupcakes, if that’s your texture preference.  The coconut flavor intensifies with time, and I find that they taste better 1-2 days later, making them a perfect make-ahead dessert.  From the tangy buttermilk to the whisper of almond extract, these cupcakes are irresistible.  The frosting is creamy and thick- excellent for piping.  These cupcakes are great for novice bakers, too- if you don’t want to pipe your frosting, you can simply spread it with a knife and sprinkle coconut on top.  They still have a nice presentation and hide messy frosting.  If you do choose to pipe your frosting, I suggest letting it chill for a bit before using, so it holds its shape better.

Like what you see?  Want more? Liz writes a food blog titled “Blog is the New Black,” where you can find many more delicious recipes.  Original post for this recipe can be found here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Liz Scannell May 05, 2011 at 01:34 AM
Thanks, Chelsea!!! :)
Liz Scannell May 05, 2011 at 01:35 AM
Ina Garten all the way!
Liz Scannell May 05, 2011 at 01:35 AM
Thanks, Lisa. I hope you'll follow along! :)
Amy May 07, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Gorgeous cupcakes! They scream spring with those bright colors! Coconut is one of my favorite flavors as well, especially in baked goods like cupcakes :)!
Lindee May 07, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Lindee Great directions to be successful ( I am baking challenged ) Had to hide them so hubby did not eat too many before I brought to work where they disappeared in minutes. So many requesting recipe that I referred them to your blog. Now I am the most popular person at work (although I have a feeling you will be soon) Keep these great recipes coming and thank you


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