The best vegan coconut cupcakes ever! Super moist, fluffy, and light cake with coconut and vanilla in the cake and the frosting! Easy to make and totally amazing.
These vegan coconut cupcakes are bursting with coconut flavor, that is made even sweeter with a generous pour of vanilla extract, that combines into a super soft, moist, and rich coconut cake! Topped with a creamy vegan coconut buttercream frosting and sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds, this makes for honestly one of the best ever cupcakes. Coconut lovers and even non-vegans will love these vegan coconut cupcakes!
Why You’ll Love these Coconut Cupcakes
- Super moist and delicious! Dry cupcakes? Not with these! Even after a week in the fridge, these cupcakes were soft and delicious.
- Easy to make in just one bowl. Making dessert doesn’t have to be difficult with this recipe. All the ingredients mix together in one bowl for easy clean up.
- Frosting is outta this world good. Every time I make this, I can’t help but steal some right from the bowl before the frosting gets near the cake. It is just that good.
- Full-fat coconut milk: Using the coconut milk from the can makes these cupcakes extra rich and super soft! You can also try using coconut cream for the ultimate tender cupcake. If using coconut milk from the can, you don’t need to chill it, the milk can be room temperature.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This mixes with the coconut milk to make a vegan buttermilk. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar you can use lemon juice in an equal amount.
- Oil: A bit of oil helps to keep things moist. I used canola oil since that is what I always have on hand, but using coconut oil will give these cupcakes an even more pronounced coconut flavor.
- Sugar: I used simple white granulated sugar here but you can use coconut sugar for a refined sugar free cake. Just know that the cupcakes will be a bit darker in color if you use the coconut sugar.
- Shredded coconut: This not only helps with the coconut flavor, but it gives a great texture to the cupcakes. You need some to mix into the cupcakes directly and some to toast in the oven for sprinkling on top after baking.
- Vanilla: This vegan coconut cake has a ton of coconut flavor so I love to enhance it with some pure vanilla extract. You don’t need to add coconut extract to get a delicious coconut flavor.
- Flour and leaveners: Simple all purpose flour or cake flour can both be used in these cupcakes. And a bit of baking soda and baking powder to help them rise in the oven.
Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.
These coconut cupcakes are based off of my vegan vanilla cupcakes – one of my most favorite recipes! Unlike other coconut cakes, these cupcakes are super light and fluffy while still being full of flavor.
- Start by whisking together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Let this rest for a few minutes to slightly curdle, making a vegan buttermilk. Then, add the remaining wet ingredients: oil, sugar, shredded coconut, and vanilla extract. Whisk this together.
- Into the same bowl, sift in your dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gently fold this together until the cake batter comes together.
- Pour into lined cupcake trays and fill about halfway. It’s okay if they are a little under or over, but halfway filled gives a good rise with a nice curve on top.
- Bake them for 23 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake pulls out clean.
- Let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Coconut Frosting Instructions
This vegan coconut frosting is so simple but makes for the most amazing, smooth and creamy frosting ever!
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer, whip the vegan butter until it starts to get light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and coconut milk. Mix again until your frosting is super smooth and creamy. It takes me about 5 minutes to whip this all together.
Frost the top of each cupcake with a piping bag and tip or even just the back of a spoon. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over top, serve, and enjoy!
Tip! To toast coconut, add about a cup of unsweetened coconut flakes to a parchment lined baking pan. Toast in the oven at 325F/160C for 10 minutes, stirring them about halfway through to evenly toast the coconut.
FAQs about coconut cupcakes
How to Store
Pop any leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Vegan Cupcakes Recipes
I hope you love these vegan coconut cupcakes as much as I do! It is honestly one of my family’s favorite recipes I’ve made and is a go-to for birthdays and basically any special occasions!
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- Mixing bowls
- Mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Hand mixer / Stand mixer
- Cupcake trays
- cupcake liners
- 6 tablespoons oil canola or coconut
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegan butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 cup toasted coconut optional for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven. Line 15 to 16 cupcake wells with paper baking cups. Set aside.
- Make the vegan buttermilk. Start by whisking together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes to make the vegan buttermilk.
- Whisk the wet ingredients. Into the same large bowl with the vegan buttermilk, add the remaining wet ingredients: oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk it together.
- Add the dry ingredients. Into the same bowl, sift the dry ingredients: all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and shredded coconut. Gently fold until the cake batter comes together.
- Transfer. Fill each cupcake liner with batter until it is about halfway full.
- Bake. Bake the cupcakes for 23 to 25 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out clean.
- Cool. Cool the cupcakes in the hot trays for the first 10 minutes. Then carefully remove them and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely before frosting.
- Toast the coconut. To make the homemade toasted coconut, preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Add a cup of unsweetened coconut shreds and bake uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.
- Mix and frost. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or a stand mixer, whip the vegan butter until it begins to be light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and coconut milk. Mix again until the frosting is very smooth. This takes me about 5 minutes in total to make. Frost the tops of the cupcakes and sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Serve and enjoy!