Easy Coconut Cupcakes

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

These moist cupcakes get their coconut flavor from coconut milk and chopped coconut. Just spoon the easy coconut glaze over the top.

Why this recipe works:

  • Very soft butter allows you to easily whisk it with the sugar.

  • Coconut milk adds rich and natural coconut flavor.

  • The icing glaze is an easy alternative to a traditional whipped buttercream.

Note: If using the same bowl for the batter and icing, make sure to wash bowl before making the icing. The icing will harden as it sits.

About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and One Bowl Baking columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.

Easy Coconut Cupcakes

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 12
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:1 1/2 hours
This recipe appears in: One Bowl Baking: Easy Coconut Cupcakes


  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract)
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened, coconut, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners' sugar


  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Whisk butter, sugar, and salt in large bowl until creamy and light. Whisk in eggs, one at time, until combined. Whisk in 2/3 cup coconut milk, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut.

  2. 2

    Add flour and baking powder to the bowl and then whisk until just combined. Spoon batter into cups and bake until just set, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before icing.

  3. 3

    Stir confectioners' sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons coconut milk in bowl until smooth (see note). Adjust with more sugar or milk to achieve a thick glaze consistency. Add a drop of vanilla or coconut flavoring if desired.

  4. 4

    Spoon glaze over cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut.


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