Coconut Cupcakes

These coconut cupcakes are unbelievably easy to make and packed full of real coconut to give them lots of flavour. 

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Coconut cupcakes decorated with coconut buttercream on a cooling rack.

Before Christmas I asked everyone on my Facebook page what recipes they’d like to see on here that I haven’t already made and one suggestion that came up was coconut cupcakes. Specifically ones that are really packed with coconut flavour.

I’ve been playing with the recipe for a while and I’m happy to say that I’ve come up with a recipe that I’m really happy with and, as requested, really tastes like coconut.

I took inspiration for these cupcakes from my recipe for Nutella cupcakes, where rather than simply adding Nutella to a standard cake recipe to get the favour in, I substituted it for some of the main ingredients (in that case butter and sugar) allowing me to use more and really pack in the flavour.

For these coconut cupcakes I decided to do something similar, substituting the butter/margarine in a standard cake recipe for a combination of creamed coconut and coconut oil (the kind you find in a block from the Asian food aisle, NOT coconut cream in a tin).

Another little added bonus of replacing the butter/margarine with coconut is that these cupcakes are also accidentally dairy-free, meaning they’re perfect for anyone with a milk allergy.

Coconut cupcakes cooling on a rack next to a small pot of fresh coconut.

What to serve with your coconut cupcakes

I’ve topped these cupcakes with coconut buttercream but they’d also taste fantastic topped with chocolate buttercream (inspired by a Bounty) or with the centres scooped out with a teaspoon and filled with raspberry jam.

Coconut cupcakes iced with coconut buttercream on a cooling rack.
5 from 3 votes

Easy Coconut Cupcakes

These coconut cupcakes are unbelievably easy to make and packed full of real coconut to give them lots of flavour. 
Active Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • 165 g self-raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 165 g creamed coconut block
  • 45 g coconut oil
  • 165 g caster sugar
  • A few drops of almond extract
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk - you can also use regular milk if you don't need these cupcakes to be dairy-free
  • A small pinch of salt


  • 12 cupcake cases


  • Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan.
  • Place your cupcake cases into a muffin tin.
  • Melt the creamed coconut (165g) and coconut oil (45g). This can either be done in the microwave in bursts of 20 seconds, mixing between each one, or on the hob over a very low heat. The consistency of the coconut should be thick but easily stirred.
  • Place all of your ingredients into a large bowl (coconut mixture, 165g self-raising flour, 3 medium eggs, 165g caster sugar, a few drops of almond extract, 3 tbsp coconut milk and a small pinch of salt) and mix until fully combined (either by hand or using an electric mixer on a low speed).
  • Divide the mixture equally between the muffin cases (I use a cupcake scoop to help split it evenly).
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool in their tins for about 10 minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool fully before decorating.


Given the high coconut content of these cupcakes they're best eaten on the same day they're made.
If you need to make them further in advance then store them undecorated in an airtight container. Before you decorate them pop them into the microwave for 15 seconds to soften them.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.
Recipe Type: Dessert

Nutritional Information

Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1.2% | Vitamin C: 0.5% | Calcium: 1.2% | Iron: 3.6%
Any nutritional information shown is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.

Coconut cupcakes in a baking tray.

Free From/Suitable For…

The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary and product recipes can change over time.

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Dairy-Free
  • Peanut-Free
  • Sesame-Free
  • Soya-Free
  • Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphite-Free
  • Fish-Free
  • Crustacean-Free
  • Mollusc-Free
  • Celery-Free
  • Mustard-Free
  • Lupin-Free

Can be made tree nut-free by leaving out the almond extract from the recipe.

Coconut cupcakes iced with coconut buttercream on a cooling rack.These coconut cupcakes are unbelievably easy to make and packed full of real coconut to give them lots of flavour. 










  1. Hi,

    Have you tried baking this as a cake rather than cupcakes?


    • Charlotte Oates

      I haven’t tried it, but I cannot see why it wouldn’t work. The cupcake mixture should make enough for a 2-layer 18cm round cake. You’d need to bake it for 30-35 minutes as a larger cake would take longer to cook.

  2. Very easy to bake and I really enjoyed them, they have a really nice coconut-ty flavour. I tried the last one with some jam in the middle as suggested and that made them taste even better.

  3. These delightful coconut cupcakes, luxuriously topped with coconut buttercream are delicious and real easy to make,
    (think I should have made more)

  4. How can I adapt this for someone who is diabetic

    • Hi Brenda, unfortunately I’m not familiar with the particular dietary requirements for someone with diabetes so I wouldn’t be able to advise on this. Sorry x

  5. Thank you – these look and sound delicious and not hard to bake too!

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