coconut cupcake recipe with Italian meringue coconut buttercream

Coconut Cupcakes with Italian Coconut Buttercream (video)


Imagine the perfect coconut cupcake recipe – fluffy, moist, delicate and topped with delicious coconut buttercream. This is that recipe! The BEST coconut cupcakes ever, topped with coconut-flavored Italian Meringue Buttercream and toasted coconut flakes. These are perfect for birthdays, celebrations or just because you’re craving for a tropical dessert!

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How to Make Coconut Cupcakes

Cupcakes are always so much fun to make! These tropical flavored coconut cupcakes are no exception! I make these with a modified version of my ‘Basic Vanilla Cake Recipe’ – I add a teaspoon of coconut extract for real coconut flavor. I also make the batter with coconut milk, which adds even more flavor. If you want more coconut flavor, try adding shredded coconut flakes right into the cake batter, after the flour.

coconut cupcake cut in half on tray with italian meringue buttercream

Next, comes the coconut buttercream! When I think of tropical flavors, I envision something light and fluffy and my Italian Meringue Buttercream fits the bill perfectly. I flavor my basic recipe with a touch of coconut extract to give the buttercream the most flavor. To add more texture and flavor, I add toasted coconut flakes to the frosted cupcakes. Toasted coconut is always a good idea for any coconut dessert – it adds texture and flavor!

This cupcake recipe yields 10 cupcakes. It’s a smaller recipe that can easily be doubled or tripled in size, depending on how many cupcakes you need. If you don’t like a lot of frosting on your cupcakes, I also recommend reducing the buttercream recipe in half.

fluffy coconut cupcakes with coconut buttercream and toasted coconut on marble cake stand

Coconut Buttercream

For this cupcake recipe, I used my Italian Meringue Buttercream, the newest addition to my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series! This frosting is very similar to Swiss meringue buttercream but made using a slightly different method. You can use a number of my other buttercream recipes for these cupcakes. Just make a batch of one of these frostings and add a teaspoon of coconut extract for the coconut flavor: ‘Basic Vanilla Buttercream’, ‘French Buttercream’, or ‘German Buttercream’. Watch my recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream here:

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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links): 

This jumbo decorating set includes all my favorite cake decorating tips!
Use this non-stick 12-count cupcake pan for perfect cupcakes everytime! And don’t forget the cupcake liners!
I love this Lorann Oils Coconut Extract – real coconut flavor!
I always use my nesting glass mixing bowls for baking and cooking – keeps me organized!


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