Very Coconuty Cupcakes

Eve 17/08/13

This is coconuts, to the coconuts fans

Coconut cupcakes topped with a light cream cheese icing and dipped in coconut, divine!

Dense but light, Creamy but pleasant, these, for me are the ultimate coconut cupcakes. Remember my post about France, I had the Coco Rocher which made me create this recipe. This is my Gran's favourite thing I bake, these were used as her birthday cake. 

On top of the cupcakes are sliced, sweetened coconut strips. I bought them from a health food shop but you can leave them out. 
In the photos, the icing looks slightly greenish. That is blue food colouring, it kinda looks like the cream cheese has gone off, but don't worry, it was just my experiment :-)
It would look really pretty if you dyed the coconut with food colouring, pink would be nice.

When these cakes are baking, the house will smell amazing! Coconut everywhere, yummy!
The cream cheese complements the cakes very well as the tang levels out the sweetness of the cakes. I used light cream cheese for 1 reasons, light cream cheese has added stabilizers because some of the fat has been removed. The stabilizers  replace the missing fat which makes it have a different texture, a tiny bit jelly-like which helps the icing set. 
After mixing together the ingredients, put the icing in the freezer for 5 minutes to set up a bit so it is easier to work with. If you whip cream cheese too much, instead of becoming fluffy and aerated, it becomes running and gloopy, not good for coconut. I have cried over cream cheese icing when it becomes gloopy, it's disappointing :-(  

I think there was a cake called a "Haystack" when my mum with little and every time my mum has one of these cupcakes, she coveres it in raspberry jam, another sweetness level.
I normally make the Barefoot Contessa's Coconut cupcakes but 680g of butter for 18 cupcakes is mad! That's like....(calculator...)  37g of butter in each cake! And then there is the cream cheese, (full fat) 450g! Not wanting to kill the family with an overdose of butter, I created my own recipe from scratch. I used buttermilk to add and tang and moistness and an extra egg white to add lightness.

If you make this recipe, I hope you enjoy I as much as I do!

Putting the cupcakes in wine glasses makes them look sophisticated. Rainbow time!

Very Coconuty Cupcakes
Posted By Eve
Makes 12
  • 60g Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 1 Egg and 1 egg white
  • ½ tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 135g Plain flour
  • Small pinch of salt
  • ½  tsp. Baking powder
  • ¼  tsp. Bicarbonate of soda
  • 90ml Buttermilk
  • 125g Sweetened, desiccated coconut

For the icing

  • 60g Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 -1 tsp. Food colouring (optional)
  • 140g Cream cheese, room temperature - I used Philadelphia light 
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 140g Icing  sugar, sifted
  • Extra desiccated coconut to decorate

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan and line a muffin tin with 6 cases.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a bowl with an electric mixer or wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar light and fluffy. You cannot over-mix at this stage so beat as long as possible up to 6-7 minutes. Crack the eggs into a cup and whisk lightly and add the eggs very slowly (this is important).  Add the vanilla and beat very well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients (flour, powder, salt and soda) and the buttermilk to the batter. Mix until combined and gently fold in the coconut.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop and scoop the mix into the cases, they should fill them 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are brown and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes before remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
  5. Meanwhile, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer or a bowl using a electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat the butter and food colouring , if using, until smoother and softer. Add the cheese, vanilla and half of the sugar. Mix lightly. If you beat the cheese too much, it will become runny and unspreadable.  Taste the icing and add more icing sugar until your desired sweetness. Put in the freezer for 5 minutes to set up a little.
  6. Ice the cupcakes by spreading the icing on the top of the cake to cover all visible cake. Roll the iced top in coconut. You can toast the coconut, colour it with food colouring or just keep plain. Repeat until all of the cupcakes are iced the coconut-ed.


Keep the cakes in the fridge or a cool room temperature. Bring to room temperature for the best coconut experience! The cakes keep for 2 - 3 days.