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Dreamy Coconut Cupcakes

These dreamy coconut cupcakes are moist and packed with shredded coconut both inside and out.
Dreamy Coconut Cupcakes by FamilySpice.com

Well, I guess I was able to sneak in a sweet treat that you can make for your special Valentine! Luckily, this week’s Barefoot Bloggers recipe is for Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes. I haven’t baked anything since Christmas, much to my children’s protest. After a month of indulging in sugar and chocolate, I was done with it all. So done that I didn’t realize that I was almost out of flour and sugar! Not in my house!

My kids were excited to come home from school and smell the sweet smell of Mommy baking something.

“What are you making? Cookies? Cupcakes?”

My husband wasn’t as thrilled. “Really, Laura, do you need to eat that?”

Dreamy Coconut Cupcakes by FamilySpice.com

God bless the man. Subtleness is not one of his strong points. I explained to him that these cupcakes were not for me, but for the children. We all know they are fans of coconut… sometimes… Well, I was committed with Barefoot Bloggers and I wanted to make these cupcakes, OKAY?

Ahem. Excuse me.

It was a good thing my husband wasn’t around when I was mixing the batter. I always like to sneak a taste of a dessert batter, to get a preview of what is to come. You can tell a lot from the batter. And after making many cakes, cookies and bars, there are only a few batters that make me lick the bowl clean. This is one of those batters. Maybe it was because I hadn’t baked in over a month. Or maybe it was because this thing was absolutely irresistible! There was the aroma of almond extract, the richness of the butter and flavor of coconut that made go ga-ga over this batter.

Would the cupcake taste just as good?

Oh yeah. Now Ina provides a lot of frosting for these cupcakes, I didn’t make as much since I was just dabbing the top of the cupcakes with it. I also didn’t have buttermilk. I know there are religious cults over buttermilk, but the stuff just goes bad too quickly for me. I always have yogurt and milk and so I substituted the 1 cup buttermilk for 2/3 cup of plain yogurt and 1/3 cup of milk. The cupcakes turned out fluffy, moist and a refreshing change from the standard choices of vanilla or chocolate. And even though Middle Child claims he doesn’t like coconut (he made me pick out the coconut on the top of the cupcake) he didn’t realize they were INSIDE, too. He ate the whole thing with a giant smile!

Of course, I, myself, didn’t eat a whole cupcake. I ate what the kids didn’t finish, which wasn’t much. But remember, I have three kids… And great friends who love to try the treats I like to make! And this is one cupcake recipe that I will DEFINITELY make again!

Coconut Cupcakes

Moist coconut cupcakes topped with dreamy coconut frosting will put a smile on everyone's face! Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook


  • 1 1/2 lb butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, extra-large
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 oz coconut, sweetened, shredded
  • 1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 lb powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF and apply non-stick spray to of a 24-cup muffin pan or line with paper cups.
  2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix on high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 mins):
    • 3/4 lb butter, unsalted , room temperature
    • 2 cup granulated sugar
  3. Mix in one at a time and beating for 30 seconds each:
    • 5 eggs, extra-large
  4. Add in:
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  5. In a medium-sized bowl sift together:
    • 3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  6. Mix half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
  7. Mix in the butter mixture:
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  8. Mix in the remaining half of the flour mixture.
  9. Stir in until just combined:
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  10. Fold in:
    • 7 oz coconut, sweetened , shredded
  11. Fill each muffin cup up to the top with batter.
  12. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.
  14. Remove cupcakes from the pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  15. To make the frosting, use a stand mixer with paddle attachment mix on low speed until smooth:
    • 1 lb cream cheese , room temperature
    • 3/4 lb butter, unsalted , room temperature
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • 1 1/2 lb powdered sugar , sifted
  16. Frost cupcakes and top with:
    • 7 oz coconut, sweetened , shredded


Cooking Tips: Don't have buttermilk? Substitute on cup of buttermilk with 2/3 cup of plain yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.

Prep Time:

Yield: 20 cupcakes

Cook Time:

Coconut Cupcakes Detail