Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Normally, when I think “cupcakes”, I think about those gross, flavorless, diabetes II-inducing sugar bombs you get from Safeway. I’ve eaten my fair share of them at friend’s birthday parties growing up and as an adult had pretty much decided to avoid them altogether.

That is, until I tried these…Martha Stewart’s dreamy, creamy Coconut Cupcakes. It’s the coconut milk in the batter—it makes the cake soooo rich and smooth and weaves this light, tropical nutty flavor throughout. Seriously, these are unlike any cupcake I have ever eaten before.

Martha’s original recipe calls for Seven-Minute Frosting, but I decided to go with a cream cheese frosting instead. And I am so glad I did. Cream cheese and coconut just work together.

These were also for the PAL event last weekend. Not surprisingly, they were the bestseller.

Can’t wait to make these again. Oh—why do bad things have to taste sooo good???


Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 21.


Cupcake Batter (recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (45 g) packed sweetened shredded coconut (I used unsweetened.)

6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites

3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened coconut milk

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups (125 g) unsweetened shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe adapted from Simply Recipes)

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Mix in the coconut milk and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  4. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days, unless otherwise noted.
  5. While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting: With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.
  7. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes with a blunt knife or spatula. Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut. Serve immediately.
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