One-Bowl Coconut Cupcakes

These easy-to-make One-Bowl Coconut Cupcakes are extremely moist (thanks to coconut milk) and 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
Author Samantha Skaggs


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 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 about 2 cups (7 ounces) of the coconut flakes. 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 (mine were perfect at exactly 22 minutes). 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). 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.


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