Di's coconut cupcakes

In recent years, the cupcake made a huge comeback with Magnolia and the Barefoot Contessa on the east coast, and Joan’s on Third and Sprinkle’s in Los Angeles where I live. Our friends Angela’s violet frosted and Tory’s vanilla cupcakes are heaven sent confections too. They’re all delish and not just the frosting — the cake too. My kid loves these coconut cupcakes and we often throw a cupcake party just to have the excuse to bake and decorate them together.


Cake for 2 Dozen Cupcakes

  • 1 ¼ sticks of butter (room temp)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 5 xlrg eggs (room temp)
  • 3 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of baking flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of baking soda
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • ¾ cup of sour cream or big dollop of mayonnaise


  • 16 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
  • 12 Tbsp or 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 8-10 oz. of shredded coconut, sweetened


  • Mixer
  • Muffin/cupcake pans
  • Cupcake liners
  • Cooling rack
  • Bowls
  • Spatulas
  • Tray for finished cupcakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In your mixer, use paddle to cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Add the vanilla.
  6. Add one-third of your dry ingredients and then ½ cup of buttermilk. Repeat previous step and then add the rest of your dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, do not overmix.
  7. Add sour cream or mayonnaise.
  8. Line muffin/cupcake pans with paper liners.
  9. Fill each cup with batter.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are slightly brown and your toothpick comes out clean.
  11. After they’ve cooled, remove from muffin pans onto a baking rack and cool completely.
  12. Frost with icing. Be generous.
  13. Roll tops of frosting with sweetened coconut. Be generous.

What you should know

My genius brother-in-law/chef extraordinaire provided the tip to add mayonnaise to this recipe which makes and keeps the cake moist. When baking, it’s best if most refrigerated ingredients like butter, eggs, etc. are room temperature. Sometimes I make the mini version of these cupcakes (this recipe makes about 4 dozen minis) — you should start checking the mini-cupcakes at 15 minutes. One more thing — these cupcakes freeze well making this a good dessert that you can make ahead of time for parties.

Re: Di's coconut cupcakes

Thanks for the frosting tips, Diana. I am going to try this cream cheese frosting recipe using the European butter you recommend. -ck

Re: Di's coconut cupcakes

This frosting is super, beyond great, scrumptious. I tried using the Eurpean Plugra butter and really noticed the difference in quality and grade. Thank you for the intro to Plugra butter.

Re: Di's coconut cupcakes

I recently tasted these cupcakes, and they are divine! The coconut cupcakes, along with the devil’s food cupcakes are the best I’ve ever eaten.

Re: Di's coconut cupcakes

I love these cupcakes!

Re: Di's coconut cupcakes

Re: Di's coconut cupcakes

These are the very delicious cupcakes I made for myself on my birthday!! I found the recipe here but I used regular lemons since I didn’t have Yuzu fruit at a store in my small town. I filled them with the lemon curd using the Baby Shower ideas recipe I posted before this recipe, and the combination of the cake, lemon curd and buttercream frosting was heaven