Coconut-Mocha Cupcakes

I’m back from St. Lucia and trying to adjust to life in the real world. Ya know – waking up to an alarm clock, cooking for myself, and not having access to copious amounts of piña coladas. As I’m slowly coming out of an island-induced haze, I find myself craving Caribbean flavors like jerk chicken, mahi-mahi and, of course – coconut.

Being a Keurig Ambassador definitely has its perks, like a sneak peek of the newest addition to the line: The Original Donut Shop Coconut Mocha. This decadent K-Cup pack has the taste of a rich chocolate donut, topped with flaky coconut, and dipped into your favorite mug.

As soon the Coconut Mocha K-Cup packs arrived on my doorstep, I knew this fun new flavor would make its way into a cupcake recipe. I started out with my favorite from scratch recipe for chocolate cake – which just so happens to call for an entire cup of freshly brewed coffee. Add on a swirl of mocha buttercream and a sprinkling of toasted, shaved coconut, and you have got one delicious dessert.

These cupcakes are not only rich and decadent, but after one bite, I was back in St. Lucia sipping piña coladas by the pool – even if it was only for a nanosecond.

Still, I’m glad to be back home, hanging with you guys.

The Original Donut Shop Coconut Mocha flavor is available in major retailers such as Macy’s, WalMart, Belk, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a chance to win a Keurig® Single Cup Brewer!

Coconut-Mocha Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18-22 minutes


For the Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the Mocha Buttercream

4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
5 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
3-5 tablespoons cold coffee

For the Garnish

1 1/2 cups coconut, lightly toasted (see recipe notes below)


For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add in the coffee and mix until just combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter will be thin.

4. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter into the prepared muffin tins -filling about 2/3 of the way full.

5. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove them onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

For the Mocha Buttercream

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until creamy.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar.

3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and mix at low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Once all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, add in 3 tablespoons of cold coffee. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat the buttercream for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. If you want your frosting a little thinner, gradually add in more coffee, 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

5. Frost your cooled cupcakes and garnish with toasted shaved coconut.


- I used The Original Donut Shop Coconut Mocha coffee in this recipe.
- To Toast Coconut: Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread shredded, flaked, or shaved coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven, stirring often, until golden brown - about 5 to 10 minutes.

My Baking Addiction: Cupcakes adapted from Ina Garten.

38 Responses to “Coconut-Mocha Cupcakes”

  1. Blog is the New Black — April 19, 2012 at 7:54 am

    The coffee AND the cupcakes sound divine! Sadly, my keurig spontaneously won’t turn on! It was fine one day and just didn’t turn on the next. I called for help and wasn’t too happy with the response. So sadly, I am missing my morning coffee this week! And this post just reminded me of how much I miss my german chocolate cake coffee! ;)

  2. Todd — April 19, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Looks fantastic. I appreciate when things like cakes and cupcakes can go a little easier on the fat/sugar and use stuff like buttermilk and applesauce, since usually there’s icing to add enough sweetness and richness on its own. I don’t know if I’ve tried coconut and coffee together, but they’re two of my absolute favorite flavors in baking, and this is an awesome recipe.

  3. Rosa — April 19, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Those look irresistible! A divine treat. Your coconut mocha cupcakes are just perfect!



  4. Cookbook Queen — April 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Soooooo stinking jealous of your vacation!! Sounds like paradise.

    And these cupcakes…they kinda look like paradise too!!

  5. kelley — April 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Wow, these cupcakes look INSANE. Three of my favorite flavors all wrapped up into one yummy dessert!

  6. The cupcakes are beautiful! I love the Keurig Coconut Mocha Coffee it’s my new favorite. had a cup this morning!

  7. Urban Wife — April 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Oh my goodness, I have to make these! Hope you had a nice time in the islands – I’m just a wee bit jealous. ;)

  8. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — April 19, 2012 at 9:35 am

    These make me a happy, happy, girl! Lovely!

  9. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — April 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

    these are so beautiful! I love the Donut Shop K-cups…those are my favorite! Can’t wait to test out this new flavor :)

  10. freerk — April 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful posts! Your photography is truly inspiring as well. The devil is in the details, and you are right on top of it all. 1000X thanks, keep up the good work :-)

  11. Audrey - This Little Street — April 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    These sounds so so good!!!! I’m gonna have to try!

  12. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal — April 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    The most gorgeous thing I have seen today so far.

  13. Shirley@bells-bakery — April 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    These look deeeelicious!! Why have I never thought of toasting coconut flakes,totally giving these a go!

  14. Mackenzie — April 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Last week I was literally looking for a Mocha Coconut Cupcake and came up short. THANK YOU! My tastebuds will be thanking you profusely.

  15. amanda @ fake ginger — April 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I love chocolate and coconut together. These look and sound amazing!

  16. Mary @ Bake Break — April 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    These are very cute – and sound extra tasty! Beautiful pictures as usual!

  17. Becky — April 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I am obsessed with everything you bake. I made your giant chocolate chip cookies last week. I put half the dough in the freezer and then baked that dough a couple days ago. I’m rationing them out—-1 per day :)

  18. Mocha buttercream! Wow! Dreamy!

  19. Sharifah — April 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Coconut and chocolate, one of life’s amazing pleasures :-) I am trying this this weekend. I am sure I will have a pleased family after serving them these. Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

  20. I love those old fashioned beaters, there’s such a nice vintage feel to these images.

  21. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — April 23, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I think these sound just about perfect for breakfast this morning! YUM!

  22. Casey@Good. Food. Stories. — April 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    As much as I love cupcakes, I need a huge caffeine pick me up and would be happy just to guzzle that cup of coffee right now!

  23. Aimee @ Simple Bites — April 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Welcome back! I loved how your tropical trip influenced these cupcakes. I’m a huge coconut fan, so I’ll take two, please!

  24. Carolyn Jung — April 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Would it be wrong to get my morning coffee fix in THIS form? I think not! Yum, bring it on. ;)

  25. Laurie — April 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Went out and bought Coconut Mocha for my Keurig…. It is amazing!!!! Now, to make some cupcakes!

  26. welbilt bread machine — April 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I tried this recipe and it’s sooo good. Thank you very much, my kids thank you also! :)

  27. Jessica — April 26, 2012 at 2:20 am

    OMGosh. Just kill me now!

  28. Jessica — April 26, 2012 at 2:22 am

    First of all, I want to dive right into the center of those cupcakes! Second, gorgeous pictures girl!

  29. Glory/ Glorious Treats — May 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Oh I love every flavor in these!! What a gorgeous combination!

  30. Ann P. — May 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Welcome back from the caribbean, Jamie! These cupcakes look SO delicious and decadent! What a perfect way to take you back to island life. :)

  31. Erin — May 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Sounds perfectly brilliant. For those of us who do not have a Keurig or those Coconut Mocha K-Cups, how do you suggest we simulate the flavour?

    Many thanks… A Keen Cupcaker.

    • Tina @ Squirrel Acorns — May 12th, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Yes, I was wondering the same thing. I’m just going to use regular coffee and see how they turn out.

    • Jamie — May 13th, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      I would recommend using your favorite coffee in place of the Coconut-Mocha K-Cups. The flavor of the coconut coffee is quite subtle, but you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract to the batter as well. Happy Baking and thanks so much for vising.

  32. Lisa — May 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    So I went looking for the Coconut-Mocha coffee for these fabulous cupcakes. My teenage daughter, yeah she thought I was crazy. :-) Finally found it and made them. She doesnt think its so crazy now. These have to be the most spectular bites I’ve had ever. Thank you so much for the great ideas and recipes. Love your site.

  33. Manisha — May 23, 2012 at 5:12 am

    the recipe sounds delicious. I wanted to know if I need to make the brewed coffee, how many tablespoons of coffee would you recommend for 1 cup of water?

  34. Christina — July 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Is the cocoa powder used in the cupcakes themselves supposed to be unsweetened as well? These look delicious, I am going to try them out tomorrow :).

    • Jamie — August 5th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Yes, unsweetened cocoa powder for both. I have updated the recipe to reflect the type. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

  35. Sam — July 21, 2012 at 4:11 am

    I haven’t tried the devils cake mix with pudding mix but after making these I don’t think I will be either because this cupcake recipe is absolutely fantastic, so soft and moist with be using it a lot thanks :)

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