Coconut Cupcakes

On Friday, I turned 23 and made these cupcakes to celebrate with friends at a bar that encourages BYOC (bring your own cake) and has bocce ball and shuffleboard lanes (go to Track and Field if you’re in Toronto it’s great).

In many birthday messages, friends said “I hope someone makes YOU cake”, which is of course a lovely thought, but I loved making my own birthday cupcakes (for the record my Grandma made me a cake). Cupcakes are so customizable and I was able to go as pink and girlie and fun as I wanted.

These coconut cupcakes have a hint of coconut so the flavour isn’t overwhelming and are topped with a smooth, deliciously creamy cream cheese frosting, then rolled in coconut.  I toasted half the coconut and left the remaining half for different textures.  I love the taste of toasted coconut but the white coconut was so pretty against the pale pink frosting.

Try out these cupcakes! I promise you’ll feel like you’re living in Lauren Conrad’s Instagram.

Cake Ingredients (makes 20 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup softened, salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened, salted butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 8oz softened cream cheese, cut into 4-8 pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ~4 drops red food colouring
  • 2 cups coconut (to toast, set oven to 375F and bake for 5-7 minutes on parchment lines baking sheet in single layer)


Preheat oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~5 minutes).

Add eggs one by one and beat until creamy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine cream, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut extracts. Add half of flour mixture to batter and beat on low until just combined. Add cream mixture and beat until just combined, then add remaining flour and beat until just incorporated.

Pour batter into cupcake liners until about half full. Bake at 375F until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean and the cupcakes “bounce” back when you tap them, about 30 minutes.

Allow to cool completely.

For the icing, beat butter until smooth and fluffy and add in icing sugar one cup at a time until fully incorporated and light and fluffy. Add in cream cheese one piece at a time, beating throughly after each addition. Add vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Finally, add food colouring and stir until the colour is uniform.

For a rose design, use a star tip on your piping bag. Begin piping in the middle of the cupcake, working outward in a continuous circle.

Sprinkle coconut on iced cupcakes, lightly shaking off excess.


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