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+ servings

Easy Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

For coconut lovers, this simple Coconut Cupcakes recipe with Coconut Buttercream Frosting starts with a box cake mix but bakes up like a gourmet cupcake. You get three times the coconut because we add it to the batter, the frosting is coconut flavored, with a coconut sprinkle on top.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 204kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

Coconut Buttercream Frosting Ingredients


Cupcake Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350° F. Place paper liners in a cupcake pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, or use a stand mixer bowl, add the cake mix, melted butter, and the egg white. Using an electric mixer, mix at low speed for one minute to combine the ingredients.
  • Pour the can of coconut milk into the mixing bowl and mix at low speed to combine the milk into the batter, then turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for one minute until the batter is smooth and thick. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Add the coconut to the bowl and mix in with a spoon.
  • Fill the cupcake liners about ⅔ full. This is usually about 3 tablespoons of batter for use a number 20 scoop to easily add the batter.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 18 - 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure they are done, then remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Frosting Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl add the powdered sugar and mix and low speed for 30 seconds with an electric mixer to break up any lumps of sugar. You can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
  • Add the room temperature butter to the mixing bowl and mix on low speed to incorporate the butter, then increase the speed to medium and beat for one minute.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and coconut extract to the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed to incorporate the ingredients, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix for 2 minutes until the frosting becomes smooth and fluffy. If the icing is too thick add an additional tablespoon of milk.
    Taste the icing and if you want more of a coconut flavor beat in additional coconut extract.

Frosting the cupcakes

  • Using an icing knife or a butter knife, spread the tops of the cupcakes with swirls of frosting then sprinkle with coconut.
    To make a rosette on top of the cupcake fit a pastry bag with a 2D icing tip then fill the bag with the frosting. Pipe the icing on top of the cupcake then sprinkle with coconut.

Storing the cupcake

  • Store any uneaten cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three days.


You can use toasted coconut in the batter and you can also sprinkle toasted coconut on top if you prefer.
When using flavoring I prefer to use pastes and emulsions, which provides pure flavor over an alcohol-based extract. You can get the coconut paste I used for this recipe from Taylor and Colledge. Otherwise, you will still have great results from using coconut extract.
All images and text © Jere' Cassidy / One Hot Oven


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 396IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg