coconut cupcakes

These delicious cupcakes were adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. It’s a low effort but high reward recipe (the best kind of cooking imo). The cupcakes turned out dense, soft and really delicious. It’s something different from the usual plain vanilla cupcake and perfect for summer.

The recipe called for ‘Seven Minute Frosting’ but instead I frosted the cupcakes with buttercream icing – a quick, simple (and much unhealthier) option. I found the recipe needed a tad more coconut milk than specified but all flours are different so adjust as required. The cupcakes are prone to burning, so whilst in the oven the cupcakes need a watchful eye. As if advice is really needed on this point – they are best eaten as soon as possible!

coconut cupcake

The remaining manky cupcake. All the better looking ones had been eaten, hence leaving this lonesome cupcake to be photographed! I swear, the other cupcakes looked much more luscious and coconut flakey – you’ll just have to take my word for it!

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Coconut Cupcakes

If using a normal muffin pan, as opposed to a texas muffin pan (which I think the Martha Stewart recipe is based on), there will be more than 24 cupcakes’ worth of batter.

Makes more than 2 dozen cupcakes!


Cupcake batter:

3 cups cake flour (not self-raising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk
8 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups dessicated coconut
Coconut flakes or ‘chips’, lightly toasted in a dry pan

Buttercream frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup pure icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I used the whisk attachment), beat butter and 2 cups sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. More coconut milk maybe needed, add as required until the batter is a thick consistency. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.

4. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form – about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Loosen the butter-flour mixture by gently folding a third of the egg-white mixture into it. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture. Stir in shredded coconut.

5. Divide batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each two thirds full – this should produce cupcakes with just enough rise but no overflow. Bake, rotate the pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Invert cupcakes onto rack; then reinvert and let cool completely, top sides up.

6. Make the buttercream frosting: In an electric mixer fitted with the creaming attachment (k-beater), cream the butter and icing sugar, until no lumps of icing sugar remain. Beat in vanilla extract.

7. Spread a layer of buttercream on each cake and roll in the toasted coconut chips. Voila!

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