Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These delicious homemade coconut cupcakes with buttercream frosting are absolutely scrumptious. Moist cupcakes with shredded coconut baked right in, then topped with a delicious buttercream frosting and shredded coconut.

A cupcake in a blue liner with shredded coconut on top, and a cake stand with cupcakes in the background.

If there are two things I love during the summer, it’s cupcakes and coconut anything. Cupcakes are just one of the best summer desserts. You can stand around with your friends and family on the deck, cupcake in hand or on a small plate. You don’t need a fork. You don’t need much of anything. I like to call it a “strolling” dessert because you can make the rounds while chowing down on tasty, sweet cupcake goodness. Of course, coconut is another classic warm-weather ingredient in sweet and savory dishes. I love coconut all year long, but when I think of warmth and tropical flavors, the first thing I think of is coconut. That’s precisely why I love to make these delicious, easy cupcakes. They’re simple to make, easy to eat at any gathering, and they’re full of delicious coconut cream flavor. You can’t beat it! 

Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

This is a fully homemade recipe, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult. In fact, it’s a simple recipe. It starts with a homemade coconut cake batter made with sour cream that bakes up so moist and tender. Then, I make a rich, sweet, buttercream frosting that’s so decadently delicious, pipe it onto the cupcakes nice and high, and then sprinkle coconut over the entire thing. I end up with absolutely spectacular cupcakes that feel and taste fancy but are ready in no time at all.

A landscape photo of seven cupcakes sitting on a wooden board, with a small bowl of shredded coconut in the background.

Why You’ll Love These Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

  • They’re completely homemade and so delicious.
  • They’re easy to make and only use simple baking ingredients
  • They’re topped with a delicious buttercream frosting and sprinkled with shredded coconut.

Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Tips and Variations

As baked goods go, these cupcakes are very easy to make, so I only have a couple of tips for them. I also have some variations that you can try when you feel like mixing things up.


  • Be sure your butter is fully softened so it creams well. Otherwise, you’ll end up with small lumps of pure butter.
  • Always bring your eggs to room temperature. This helps the cupcakes rise and makes them more tender.
  • Don’t overmix your batter. That leads to tough cupcakes.


  • For a deeper coconut flavor, try toasting your coconut before adding it to the batter.
  • Try adding coconut extract to your cupcakes and frosting for even more coconut flavor.
  • Add a little crushed pineapple (very well drained) to the batter.
A single cupcake on a small stand, topped with shredded coconut.

What to Serve with Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These delicious cupcakes make a delicious dessert after almost any dinner. They’re also great for potlucks and other gatherings. You can also serve them with your other favorite desserts for a fun dessert bar. Tropical fruits always pair well with the flavor of coconut.

Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting FAQ

If you have questions about this recipe, then read on. The following FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about coconut cupcakes.

Can I add coconut to cake mix?

Absolutely. That’s how most coconut cakes are made. When you get right down to it, cupcake batter is simply cake batter.

What can I substitute for vegetable oil in cupcakes?

  • Canola oil
  • Refined avocado oil
  • Refined or light olive oil
  • Ghee
  • Coconut oil
  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt

Why do cupcakes sink?

If you over mix your batter, you’ll add too much air, which causes the cupcakes to rise but then fall. If you add too much batter to your cupcake tin, they’ll rise too much and then fall.

How long do homemade cupcakes last?

Frosted cupcakes like this will last for 2 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze frosted cupcakes?

Absolutely. You can freeze cupcakes for up to 3 months.

A cupcake with the wrapped pulled down and big bite taken out of the front.

Storing, Freezing, and Making Ahead

Store your frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe container. To make them ahead of time, bake the cupcakes and store them unfrosted at room temperature for up to 2 days in a covered container. Then, frost before serving.

Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

It only takes basic baking ingredients to make this recipe. You’ll find everything you need at your local grocery store.

For the Cupcakes

  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sour cream
  • Large eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Whole milk
  • Shredded coconut flakes

For the Frosting

  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk
Coconut cupcakes topped with frosting and shredded coconut sitting on cake display plates and on a wooden board.

How to Make Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Making this recipe is a straightforward affair. It only takes a few simple steps.

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set is aside.

Step 2: Combine the Dry Batter Ingredients

Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.

Step 3: Combine the Wet Batter Ingredients

Using a standing mixer or an electric mixer beat butter, sugar, and sour cream together until light and fluffy in a large bowl. Then, beat the eggs into the batter one at a time. Finally, add vanilla and milk and mix until combined.

Step 4: Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing until combined. Then, stir in the coconut.

Step 5: Bake

Fill the paper liners 2/3 full and bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 6: Make the Frosting

In a separate bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk on low speed until combined.

Step 7: Frost

When the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them using any method you’d like and top with shredded coconut. Enjoy!

A double photo collage of coconut cupcakes with shredded coconut on top.

Try These Delicious Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Today

These coconut cupcakes with buttercream frosting are so decadent and delicious. They taste like they took a ton of time and effort, but in reality, they come together quickly and easily. They’re the perfect dessert for a weeknight dinner or sweet treat at any gathering, and they’ll always make you look like you did so much more than you actually did. It doesn’t get better than that. Give them a try, and I know you’ll find yourself making them again and again.

A triple photo collage of coconut cupcakes all in blue muffin liners.

More Cupcake Recipes You’ll Love

Carrot Cake Cupcakes– A classic recipe made with a twist; loaded with walnuts, coconut flakes, shredded carrots, pineapple, and topped with an orange buttercream frosting.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Pudding – These cupcakes are chocolaty, delicious, and filled with Oreo pudding and topped with a homemade buttercream frosting.

Lemon Cupcakes – These refreshing and zesty cupcakes are filled with a lemonade cream cheese mixture and topped with a delicious lemon frosting.

And, try this different variation of Carrot Cake Cupcakes from Deliciously Seasoned. These are made completely from scratch and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

A cupcake in a blue liner with shredded coconut on top, and a cake stand with cupcakes in the background.

Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Great Grub, Delicious Treats

Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting are light, fluffy, moist, and absolutely delicious. They’re loaded with shredded coconut and topped with a homemade buttercream frosting and are the perfect dessert to make for your next party.

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 28 mins

Total Time 43 mins

Course Dessert, Desserts

Cuisine American

Servings 24 cupcakes

Calories 231 kcal


For the Coconut Cupcakes

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

For The Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablesoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoon milk


For the Coconut Cupcakes

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  • In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and sour cream together until light and fluffy.

  • Beat eggs into cake batter, one at a time, then add vanilla and milk. Mix until combined.

  • Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.

  • Stir in coconut and fill cupcake liners ⅔ full.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, add powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Beat on low until combined.

  • Frost cupcakes once they have cooled completely and top with shredded coconut.


Nutritional values are approximate.


Please note that these values can change with different brands and any modifications made to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements.



Calories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 213mgPotassium: 71mgSugar: 25gVitamin A: 244IUCalcium: 29mg

Keyword Coconut Cupcakes, Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting, Cupcakes

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A cupcake in a blue muffin line, sitting on a white plate.
A single coconut cupcake on a white plate, topped with coconut flakes.

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