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Dessert Recipe: Coconut Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

Time for another cupcake! Today’s tasty treat was a request from my mother-in-law, who absolutely loves coconut cake. I adjusted an Ina Garten recipe from Food Network slightly for a little more coconut flavor. I decided to pair it with a white chocolate buttercream which, I think, is the best buttercream I’ve ever made. Period. I’ve decided it’s officially my new standard, I love it that much.

I opted to style these cupcakes a little simpler, but added some coconut flakes to the top for fun garnish as well as a little bit of texture. Pretty!



  • 1½ cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut


  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy. and light yellow in color. Lower the speed setting to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl down between additions. Add in the vanilla and coconut extracts and mix until well combined. 

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set the mixer to low speed. Alternatingly add the dry ingredients mixture and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add in the shredded coconut and continue to mix all ingredients have just combined.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Divide the batter evenly into liner lined cupcake pans, filling each cup to just under  ⅔ of the way. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out barely clean so as not to overbake, then set aside to cool.

In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool slightly. Beat the butter on medium speed with the mixer until the butter becomes creamy. Add in the melted but cooled white chocolate, and mix to combine. Scrape the sides down if necessary.

Set the mixer speed to low and add the vanilla extract followed by the confectioner’s sugar in four smaller portions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. Continue to beat the buttercream mixture until light and fluffy.

Yields 24 cupcakes.

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  1. Is that 3/4 cups of butter?

    GVN     Wednesday, June 15, 2011
  2. These look great! Been craving coconut!

    Lisa@ Snappy Gourmet     Wednesday, June 15, 2011
  3. GVN – it was actually pounds. I changed it to cups just for simplicity’s sake.

    Maddy     Wednesday, June 15, 2011
  4. The cupcakes look so cute, and delicious!
    Yumm :)
    I love your blog layout too!

    Dee D.     Wednesday, June 15, 2011
  5. This looks AMAZING! I have been on a coconut binge lately and this looks and sounds like the perfect cupcake recipe, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing =]

    FreeSpiritEater     Thursday, June 16, 2011
  6. White chocolate and coconut…lovely flavor combination. These look beautiful.

    briarrose     Thursday, June 16, 2011
  7. Delicious cupcakes! Thanks for sharing!

    Eftychia     Saturday, June 18, 2011
  8. Lovely recipe!! The buttercream was to die for!!!

    One tweak I made that worked really well was instead of milk I used a cup of lite coconut cream/milk- gave it that extra coconutty kick I wanted!

    Thanks for sharing your recipes!


    Shannan in nz     Thursday, April 26, 2012