Coconut Cupcakes

by Jamie on August 27, 2012

Post image for Coconut Cupcakes

Well, I made it through my first week back to work. And let me tell ya, hanging out in a second floor classroom while the temps soared to the mid-nineties had me begging for fall temperatures or a rather large air conditioning unit.

Much like my students, I get cranky when I’m hot, so the thought of turning on the oven after work was not happening. In fact, I really didn’t do much baking or cooking at all last week – I just kind of adjusted to being awake at ridiculous o’clock and also got caught up on episodes of Big Brother.

Stop judging me! It’s become a little bit of a guilty pleasure and I kinda think Frank is adorable. I’m also obsessed with watching him dodge bullet after bullet.

Since I slacked all week, I decided to use my time wisely this weekend and whipped up a last couple of summery desserts. I’m warning you now, once the calendar hits September, I am in full-fledged Fall mode. I don’t care if it’s still 90 degrees, I will be busting out the pumpkin, apples and cinnamon – so get ready!

After a quick scan of the fridge and pantry, I realized that not only did I not bake last week, but I was also lacking in the whole grocery shopping department. I did have a few basics, so I decided to make do with what I had – putting off that horrible task for one more day. Hooray for procrastination!

This little impromptu baking session resulted in easy, crazy delicious coconut cupcakes topped with what is probably the best buttercream I’ve ever made. I kid you not.

The cakes are made simply, with my favorite Doctored Up Cake Mix recipe. The buttercream, however, is transcended with the addition of coconut milk and lime zest with a few fresh, Summery flavors to create one of the most dreamy cupcakes ever.

I’m pretty confident that these Coconut Cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate the end of Summer!

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Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream

August 27th, 2012

Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

1 (18 ounce) box French Vanilla cake mix (see note below)
1 (3.4 ounce) package Jell-o Coconut Cream pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk; divided use (see note below)
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

For the Frosting

remaining 9 ounces of coconut milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
zest of 2 medium limes
1.5 pounds (about 5 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract


For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners or spray wells with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs and 1/2 cup (4 ounces) coconut milk. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in the shredded coconut.

3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.

5. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Prepare the frosting.

For the Frosting

1. Place the remaining coconut milk into a medium saucepan with high sides. Over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to medium-low heat and reduce the coconut milk for about 20 minutes. Turn the burner off and allow the coconut milk to cool completely. Cover and chill (about an hour), this will cause the coconut milk to thicken up a bit

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and reduced and cooled coconut milk on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. Add in the lime zest and mix to combine.

2. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners' sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in extracts and mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

3. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with a dusting of shredded coconut.


- I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe French Vanilla Cake Mix for this recipe.
- Coconut milk can typically be found in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores.
- I used a large Star Tip to pipe the frosting.
- The Green Houndstooth liners are from Sweets and Treats Boutique.

- Recipe edited on 8/29 regarding the chilling process of the reduced coconut milk.

Source: My Baking Addiction

- The Amazon links within this post are derived from an affiliate program. My Baking Addiction receives a small commission on products that are purchased through these links.

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{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Kim February 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I just took my cupcakes out of the oven and they deflated after a few minutes. I don’t recall this happening to me before with cupcakes (cake yes, but cupcakes no). What do you think went wrong? They are baked all the way through.


avatar MBA April 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I am sorry to hear that you had an issue with the recipe. If you have specific questions about what could have went wrong, feel free to email me at Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your valuable feedback. Have a great day.


avatar Erin March 15, 2013 at 7:06 am

Do you have an alternative recipe for the dry ingredients instead of the boxed mix?


avatar LaDawn Austin May 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm

This recipe follows the same formula of my favorite chocolate cupcakes (devilsfood cake mix + pudding + sour cream, etc.)

I was hoping they would turn out as good as they looked in the pics . . . and guess what? They are DIVINE! My husband and kids went bonkers over them, and I think I have a new favorite cupcake. I followed the instructions exactly as written, and even though it’s a bit time consuming waiting for the coconut milk to cook down on the stove, the end result is worth it.

Also, this made 32 cupcakes for me – (3 Tbs batter per cupcake) and there was plenty of frosting for all of them. I toasted coconut for sprinkling and that bit of crunch on top is oh so perfect! Thanks for the fabulous recipe!!!!!!


avatar Rakhee May 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I love coconut! I so want a bite right now… sigh!


avatar Monica May 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Most of the reviews I read are about how good they look. Well, they not only look amazing but they taste amazing. I made them for a Mother’s Day Party and for a Mary Kay Meeting and everyone LOVED them!!!


avatar Jamie May 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

Yay! Thanks so much for stopping by and reporting back on your experience with the recipe – we greatly appreciate it.


avatar Maria DaSilva May 31, 2013 at 11:06 am

Hi, I love these cupcakes…I tried them yesterday and they turned out great, however, I could not find the Jell-o Coconut Cream pudding mix…where can I find this, can you help?

Thanks for your great posts…


avatar Jamie June 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

I found the pudding at Walmart. It is still on their product page, so I am guessing it’s just a matter of finding a store near you that carries the product.


avatar Maria June 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Thanks…I found it. I will have to try these again.


avatar Allie June 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm

How would you store the over night? In the fridge?


avatar Jamie September 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Hi Allie,
Yes, I typically store my cupcakes in the fridge overnight.
- Jamie


avatar Manu November 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Trying this tomorrow. It’s similar to the chocolate cake recipe I always make, so I am guessing it would be delicious. Have you ever tried this in cake form? That’s what I’m doing!


avatar Jamie November 20, 2013 at 11:45 am


I have not tried it in cake form, please stop back and let us know your experience with the recipe! Have a great day!



avatar Manu December 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Hi Jamie, the layer cake worked out great! However I made a white chocolate ganache that made it too sweet. So next time I will make it with semi sweet chocolate ganache and I think it will be delicious!
I made some french macarons to decorate it with.


avatar Manu December 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Here: if you click on it you will see I credited your recipe. Thanks again.


avatar Lisa December 3, 2013 at 12:53 am

My lord these look good! I have to make a treat for my kid’s school before the holidays and these would be perfect. Thank you for sharing:)


avatar Jamie December 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm


You’re very welcome! Please stop back and let us know your experience with the recipe. Happy holidays and thank you so much for following MBA!



avatar Rachelle Pierre-Louis January 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm

mine deflated when i took the out.. did u add extra baking powder or something?


avatar Jamie January 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

Hi Rachelle, I did not add anything other than what you see in the recipe. Sometimes cupcakes will deflate if the wells are filled too full.
- Jamie


avatar Baking Friends Forever January 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I love the use of coconut milk for extra flavor, nice touch, I need to try this recipe!


avatar Kerre Bell January 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

Made and love the cupcakes but where can I get those adorable milk glasses from for my daughters? Thanks!!


avatar Jamie February 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I purchased the milk jars from various antique store and flea markets. You can find a variety of new options here:


avatar Wendy January 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I like this recipe. It is pretty versatile, and similar to a popular White Almond Sour Cream cake recipe. I have been craving Coconut cupcakes for a week, almost, and these totally hit the spot! Super fast, too, with the mix there isn’t much measuring and weighing required. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!


avatar Wendy January 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm

One small note, since my local grocery store didn’t have the DUNCAN HINES french vanilla, I bought the Betty Crocker brand which is 15.25 ounces, so to make up for the difference, I weighed out 2.75 ounces in cake flour, about 1/2 cup without a scale. It worked out just right and they baked up nicely.


avatar Jamie January 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm


Nice substitution! I’m so happy to hear that the recipe was a success. Thanks so much for stopping in to share your experience! Have a great day and thank you for following MBA!



avatar Patricia Bourgoyne March 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm

I absolutely LOVE coconut cupcakes, cake or whatever!!! I add crushed pineapple into the cupcakes and they are SOOOOO delicious!!! Also, I use a frosting recipe from friends who have a bakery, I add some coconut into the frosting and they are just about the best I have ever ate!!!


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