One-Bowl Coconut Cupcakes (From-Scratch, Easy, + AMAZING!)

Coconut Cupcakes are easy to make from scratch in just one bowl, turn out extremely moist (thanks to coconut milk), and are topped with tangy cream cheese frosting and sweetened coconut flakes! Or use this easy recipe to make an adorable Bunny Cake for spring or Easter!

One bowl Coconut Cupcakes with text overlay.


I really try not to say that every recipe I share here is "the best." But sometimes I just can't help it...because it happens to be true. 😉 And if you like Coconut Cupcakes, the ones I'm bringing you today are, honestly, the best I've ever had.

As a bonus, I happened to make them myself!

While dirtying just one bowl!

And guess what? You can, too. 🙂

Close-up of Coconut Cupcakes.

Seriously, though, y'all...these are darn good Coconut Cupcakes. Everyone who tries them raves about them.

Made with rich canned coconut milk, they are exceedingly moist with a pleasant (but not overbearing) coconut undertone.

Coconut flakes in the batter add texture, and topping the cupcakes with silky cream cheese frosting balances out the sweetness with a slight tang.

Finally, a nice mound of coconut on top perfectly finishes off these lovely coconut confections!

Aerial view of Coconut Cupcakes.


I adapted my One-Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes recipe to create these scrumptious Coconut Cupcakes. The ingredients are simple:

  • Flour + cornstarch. Cornstarch makes the cupcakes fluffy and is added to regular, all-purpose flour in lieu of using cake flour. If you happen to have cake flour on hand, however, you can use 3 cups of that in place of the flour + cornstarch combo.
  • Sugar.
  • Baking powder + salt.
  • Butter. Unsalted and at room temperature.
  • Sour cream. At room temperature.
  • Coconut milk. Unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk is recommended. I typically buy one labeled "simple" since it doesn't contain added guar gum. Since this type of coconut milk separates, you'll want to vigorously shake the can before opening it. I actually remove the whole top of the can with a can opener (as opposed to poking a hole in it) to make sure that the coconut milk is not separated before pouring it into the measuring cup. If it is separated, I rapidly stir it before measuring it out. And then I refrigerate leftover coconut milk to use in another recipe.
  • Eggs. At room temperature.
  • Pure vanilla extract + pure almond extract. Almond extract has a unique flavor and I feel like it really complements and brings out the flavor of coconut. That being said, a teensy bit of almond extract goes a looooong way, so be sure to measure carefully.
  • Coconut flakes. Sweetened, for the best flavor and moisture.
  • Classic Cream Cheese Frosting. You could opt to use a different frosting, but this one is the best, so why would you? 😉
Coconut Cupcake recipe on pewter platter.

How to Make Coconut Cupcakes

Who knew that making homemade, from-scratch Coconut Cupcakes could be so easy to just one bowl?!

  1. Simply sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients.
  3. And mix!

There's no reason to get fussy...these cupcakes turn out great without having to worry about creaming butter or alternating wet and dry ingredients or beating each egg for 17.5 seconds before incorporating the next one.

Coconut Cupcakes with liner pulled down and missing bite.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Feel free to use whatever type of frosting floats your boat, but if you don't have a preference, I highly recommend my beloved Classic Cream Cheese Frosting.

It has proven to be amazing on so many different types of cakes and cupcakes, and I found these coconut cupcakes to be no exception.

Perfectly perfect perfection.

Coconut Cupcakes on plate and platter.

Turning the Batter into an Easter Bunny Cake

Every Easter, I whip up this simple and yummy Coconut Cupcake recipe and my kids help me turn it into a Bunny Cake for Easter dessert. It's our annual tradition! My mom actually made this Easter Bunny Cake when I was growing up, so I guess you could say the tradition goes back way further than my own kids...

Easy homemade Easter Bunny Cake, made from scratch and decorated with jelly beans.

If you'd like to make a Bunny Cake of your own, here's how I adapt the recipe:

  1. Make the Coconut Cupcakes batter as directed.
  2. Instead of scooping into muffin cups, divide the batter between two greased-and-floured, nonstick, 9-inch round cake pans. (In addition to greasing and flouring, I cut out circles of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pans for extra insurance against sticking.)
  3. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven. Check at 20 minutes, but it will probably take around 25 minutes (no more than 30 minutes) for your cakes to test done with a toothpick, depending on how hot your oven runs. When a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, it's careful not to overbake.
  4. Remove the pans from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While the cakes are cooling, lay a (13-by-18-inch) half sheet pan upside-down (or use a similarly-sized piece of heavy cardboard) and line with aluminum foil. (Or use a very large platter, if you have one big enough, but you don't need to line it.)
  6. Prep a batch of Cream Cheese Frosting and set out your cake-decorating candies.
  7. Once the cakes are cool, gently run a thin knife around the edges of each pan to make sure it's loosened. Place a cutting board on top of a pan and invert.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut an ear from the left and right sides, which will leave the center piece as the bow tie.
How to cut two round cakes to make an Easter Bunny Cake.
  1. Arrange the cake pieces on the prepared pan/board/platter in the shape of a bunny head, with the ears above the face and the bowtie at the bottom.
  2. Frost the cake, including the edges.
  3. Press shredded coconut into the frosting where you want bunny fur. Or you can opt to have plain frosting without coconut "fur" if you prefer, but I find that the fur helps hide any frosting imperfections.
  4. Decorate to your heart's desire! We typically use jelly beans to decorate the center of the ears, the bow tie, and for the nose. We use black jelly beans or upside-down jumbo chocolate chips for the eyes. And we "draw out" the mouth and whiskers with lines of mini chocolate chips (or sometimes we don't bother with whiskers). You could use sprinkles or colored sugar in place of jelly beans, and you could use black licorice laces for the whiskers. Make your Bunny Cake your own!

A few examples of my family's kid-decorated Bunny Cakes over the years...

Examples of how to decorate an Easter Bunny Cake.

Coconut Cupcakes Through the Seasons

But it definitely doesn't have to be Easter to enjoy this recipe!


  • Garnish with delicate edible flowers.
  • Decorate your Coconut Cupcakes like little bird's nests, using toasted coconut "twigs" and candy-coated chocolate eggs on top.
  • Make "Easter basket" cupcakes by placing a few jelly bean "Easter eggs" on top and using a piece of licorice for the basket handle. You can even dye the coconut green before pressing it into the frosting to resemble "Easter basket grass" if you like.


  • Spear the tops with mini paper umbrellas.
  • Garnish with strawberries or raspberries plus blueberries for a red-white-and-blue theme.
  • Blend 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 2 tablespoons lime zest into your batch of cream cheese frosting, then decorate the tops of the cupcakes with a slice of lime for some "lime in the coconut" action.


  • Adorn with candy corn.
  • Add candy eyes for Halloween.

That's all I got. 😉


  • Top with sugared cranberries.
  • Make polar bear faces using slices of mini marshmallows for ears, an upside-down chocolate chip for a nose, and upside-down mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  • Skip the coconut on top and turn the smooth frosted tops into snowman faces!
Coconut Cupcake recipe on pewter platter.

If you're a fan of coconut and you also appreciate a good cupcake, promise me that you'll set aside a smidgeon of time in the near future to whip up a batch of delectable Coconut Cupcakes.

Betcha' can't eat just one!

More Coconut Treats and Cupcake Wonders

Coconut Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a garnish of flaked coconut.

One-Bowl Coconut Cupcakes (From-Scratch, Easy, + AMAZING!)

Coconut Cupcakes are easy to make from scratch in just one bowl, turn out extremely moist, and are topped with tangy cream cheese frosting and sweetened coconut flakes!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 301kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 14 ounces sweetened coconut flakes, DIVIDED
  • Classic Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Adjust rack to center position of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  • Set a large sifter or fine mesh sieve over the large bowl of an electric mixer. Measure flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt into sieve and firmly hit the palm of your hand against its side to sift all of the dry ingredients together into the bowl. (If desired, repeat this process a few more times for fluffier cupcakes.)
  • To the sifted dry ingredients, add the softened butter, sour cream, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and half of the coconut flakes (about 2 cups, or 7 ounces). Beat at medium speed for 30 seconds or until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 15 more seconds.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the 24 cupcake liners (I find it easiest to do this using a cookie scoop). Bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until cupcakes are light golden and test done with a toothpick inserted in center. Cool the cupcakes for a few minutes in the pans before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  • Frost with Classic Cream Cheese Frosting and top with remaining coconut flakes.


  • Cornstarch makes the cupcakes fluffy and is added to regular, all-purpose flour in lieu of using cake flour.
  • Coconut milk comes in different varieties, but for this recipe, I recommend using the full-fat coconut milk that comes in a can (typically sold in the Asian foods section of the store). I prefer cans labeled "simple" as they don't contain added guar gum. Since this type of coconut milk separates, with the fat rising to the top, you'll want to vigorously shake the can before opening it. I actually remove the whole top of the can with a can opener (as opposed to poking a hole in it) to make sure that the coconut milk is not separated before pouring it into the measuring cup. If it is separated, I rapidly stir it before measuring it out. Refrigerate unused coconut milk for another use.
  • When baking, I like to make sure that all of my ingredients are at room temperature. I speed things up when necessary by cutting my butter into small pieces and spreading them out on a plate or cutting board (which softens the butter faster than if the stick was left whole), by very briefly microwaving ingredients like milk or sour cream to take off the chill, and by using a bowl of hot water to warm up the the whole eggs.
  • Frost your cupcakes using an offset spatula, a knife, or a piping bag. Or, as I did here, scoop the frosting into a gallon-sized plastic baggie, snip off the corner of the bag, and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes in a spiral, starting from the outside perimeter and working towards the center.
  • This recipe can be used to make an Easter Bunny Cake instead of cupcakes. See the post for photos and specific directions.


Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Amazing!! I made these coconut cupcakes for a party last night and they were a huge hit. So moist and the frosting was perfect for them.

  2. 5 stars
    These are the most delicious coconut cupcakes and have become a favorite dessert at our house since I first made them a couple years ago. My kids request them often and I don't even mind because they're so easy to make!

  3. 5 stars
    You're trying to kill me!!!!! Light and fluffy coconut cupcakes ---- OMG! These were THE BEST!!!!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi, Samantha. I have used this recipe and it came out great. I was just wondering if I can use the same recipe for a layered cake. Thank you in advance.

  5. I probably shouldn't have read this while I am starving waiting for my dinner to cook. Now I just want to scrap it and make dessert!

    1. Ha ha, Lauren...I find myself encountering that problem often! The good thing about this recipe is that they're easy to make, so you don't have to wait too long for dessert! Ha. 😉

  6. 5 stars
    Hi just stopping by to tell you I made these for my daughter's graduation party. She (and I) are coconut lovers. They were delicious, so moist and tasty! Many people came up to me to tell me how delicious they were.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. You are so sweet to swing back by and let me know that these were a hit, Maria...I'm very happy that everyone enjoyed them! I haven't made them in awhile but I'm going to have to change that soon now that you reminded me how good they are... 😉 Thanks again for the thoughtful comment and congrats on your daughter's graduation!

      1. Ok...want to make these! But was a bit concerned you called for 1/2 cup of cornstarch..seeing as someone else made them and it came out ok, I'm thinking it's true to use 1/2 Cup?

        1. Hi Hanh! Yes, 1/2 cup cornstarch is correct. Adding cornstarch to all-purpose flour is how you make cake flour, and 1/2 cup cornstarch is the correct proportion to the total amount of flour in this recipe. Sift your dry mixture multiple times for fluffier cupcakes, which is what you would do if you were making cake flour. I just made these cupcakes a couple of days ago and they're really yummy...I hope you enjoy them, too! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Coconut is very healthy for you. I'm so glad you posted this recipe! It is great for the thyroid gland. I just wanted to mention that you can leave the wrapper on the butter and microwave it for 10 seconds. It's on the butter wrapper or carton now. (Just in case you didn't plan ahead.)