This delicious Coconut Cupcake recipe makes super moist and tender cupcakes with real coconut flakes crowned with a vanilla coconut frosting with maraschino cherries on top! Take your taste buds on vacation with these fluffy boxed cake mix cupcakes jazzed up with extra coconut flavor.
Coconut Cupcakes from Cake Mix Recipe
Coconut Cupcakes are the perfect easy dessert to make any time your sweet tooth rears its head. Sharing with your family or making for a party, these cupcakes are always a good idea.
Related post: Tropical Pineapple Cupcakes with Cake Mix
The tropical vibes of these coconut cupcakes from cake mix will bring you the nostalgia of summer days at the beach. The cake mix makes a tasty base but can be modified to take on whatever flavors you want. In this case, give me all the coconut!
These tasty cupcakes are moist and fluffy and the coconut frosting makes them even more dreamy and luscious. Plus, they’re unbelievably easy to make.
The ingredients you’ll need to make coconut cupcakes from cake mix are all easy to find in your local grocery.
- Yellow cake mix
- Coconut milk
- Vegetable oil
- Coconut flakes
- Coconut extract
- Vanilla frosting
- Maraschino cherries
The coconut flavor of these cupcakes is courtesy of coconut milk, coconut flakes, and coconut extract. The coconut milk (the kind in a can), aside from providing flavor, also helps keep the cupcakes moist because of its natural fat content.
Using store-bought vanilla frosting means less hands-on time when making this dessert. But if you want homemade you need to make my Very Best Vanilla Buttercream. SO GOOD!
You'll use a little bit more coconut extract to jazz up the frosting and make a simple semi-homemade coconut frosting.
See the printable recipe card for quantities and full recipe.
How to Make Coconut Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Make the cupcakes
Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way with batter, then transfer the pan to the oven, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove cupcakes from the oven, then cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting
Add the store-bought frosting to a bowl with the coconut extract. Stir to combine.
Fit a piping bag with the frosting tip, then fill ¾ of the way with frosting. Then frost the cupcakes.
Position the frosting tip over the center of the cupcake, and pipe the frosting out, into one big dollop.
How to Make Them Your Own
- Texture: Add nuts, like almonds or macadamia nuts, into the batter if you'd like some crunch in your cupcakes. You can also add golden raisins and other dried fruits for added chew and flavor.
- Frosting: Alternatively, you can use cream cheese frosting instead of vanilla frosting. Use store-bought or whip up a batch from scratch.
- Topping: Aside from the maraschino cherries, you can also simply top your cupcakes with a sprinkling of coconut flakes.
- Chocolate: Add some chocolate chips into the batter to add a hit of rich chocolate.
- Citrus: Add some lime zest into the batter to make the flavor a little bit brighter!
- Filled: Scoop out a small section of cupcake from the middle and add something like raspberry jam for a sweet little surprise.
- Do not overmix the batter. That can turn the cupcakes very tough.
- Use a cookie scooper to fill the liners as uniformly as possible.
- Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. Otherwise, the frosting will melt on the hot cupcakes! It’ll still be delicious though.
- Cool the cupcakes for a few minutes in the pan before moving them to a wire cooling rack. Leaving them in the pan can make them a little soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s the leavening ingredients that help make cupcakes rise. Some of the leavening ingredients are baking powder and baking soda. In this coconut cupcake recipe, those ingredients are already incorporated in the cake mix so that’s one less thing to worry about!
Store the cupcakes in a sealed container on the fridge and they’ll stay good for 4 days. Try to store them without frosting on them for best results. But I wouldn't refuse a cupcake with sad frosting, would you?
Make sure you don’t lose this coconut cupcake recipe by saving it for later! Also, for more recipes make sure you’re following me on Pinterest, Instagram and like my page on Facebook. If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star rating and tag me in your pictures!
More easy Coconut Recipes
- Coconut and Rum Cupcakes
- Orange Pineapple Dump Cake with Coconut
- Pina Colada Slush
- White Russian with Coconut Rum Cocktail
- Coconut Rum Aperol Cocktail
- Pina Colada Cupcakes
Delicious Coconut Cupcake Recipe
For the frosting:
- 2 cans vanilla whipped frosting
- 2 teaspoon coconut extract
- Maraschino cherries for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Add the cake mix, coconut milk, vegetable oil, coconut flakes, eggs, and coconut extract to a large bowl or stand mixer, and beat for 2-3 minutes on medium.
- Fill cupcake liners about half way with batter, then transfer the pan to the oven, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from the oven, then cool completely before frosting.
- Once ready to frost the cupcakes, add the frosting and coconut extract to a bowl and stir to combine.
- Fit a piping bag with the frosting tip, then fill ¾ of the way with frosting.
- Position the frosting tip over the center of the cupcake, and pipe the frosting out, into one big dollop.
- Add a cherry to the top of each cupcake.
- Add nuts like almonds into the batter for some crunch. Can also add in raisins for more flavor and chew.
- Alternatively, you can use cream cheese frosting instead of vanilla frosting.
- Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.