Coconut cupcakes with lemon

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Hello everyone! My name is Jesseca, and I am so excited to be over hear today from One Sweet Appetite to share these coconut cupcakes!
Spring is definitely in the air here in Utah. Well, minus the days that it snowed the beginning of April. . . And all of the rain. . . During one of our recent springtime rain showers, I decided that I had to do something to lift our spirits, and what better way then a nice citrus cupcake? Even though I knew I wanted the main taste in this cake to be lemon, I couldn’t help but think that a nice coconut frosting would give the flavor a nice push over the edge!
These cupcakes are unbelievable moist, and delicious! They almost remind me of warm summer days when I’m sitting outside sipping on a ice cold lemonade, watching my toddler run threw the sprinklers. The strong lemon flavor is just slightly mellowed out by the creamy coconut frosting.
coconut cupcakes

Coconut cupcakes with lemon


For the Cake:

  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the lemon curd filling:

  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, room temperature
  • Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Reducing the coconut milk: Open one can of milk, and pour it into a medium sized skillet. Heat to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until your milk has reduced to about half. Place in the refrigerator to cool.

2. The cupcakes: Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together your flour and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In another small bowl, smash together the sugar with your zest.

3. Cream together your butter and zested sugar for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of your bowl, and then add the eggs along with the vanilla. Stir in the lemon juice. Alternate between the flour and milk, pouring each into your egg mixture slowly. Scrape the side of the bowl, and give it one last good mix. Divide the batter between you liners, each should be 3/4 full, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Each oven is different, so make sure you keep a close eye on them. The cupcakes are done when they spring back when touched, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Place your cupcakes on a cooling rack to cool completely.

5.  For the curd: In a small bowl, smash together the sugar and zest.

6. Cream your butter and zested sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the lemon juice and salt.

7. Pour your mixture into a 2 quart saucepan, and heat over medium heat until thickened. (about 10 minutes). Cool in the refrigerator. Adapted from here.

8. The frosting: Start by creaming together your butter and powdered sugar. Scrape the vanilla bean, or add the vanilla extract, along with the coconut milk, and salt. Whip until your desired consistency has formed. Adapted from here.

9. Let’s wrap things up:Using a paring knife, or a large piping tip, remove the center from each cupcake. Fill with the lemon curd, and pipe on your frosting.

coconut lemon cupcakes
Thanks Jamielyn for letting me stop by with my treat today!

 Hi. I’m Jesseca, the baker in charge of the site One Sweet Appetite. By day, I’m a stay at home mom that is juggling between taking care of a three year old son, and working right from home! By night? I’m a crazy chocoholic with a a serious love for food! I’m still learning a lot about the culinary & blogging side of life, so stop on by and we can learn together!

Visit me at or on my facebook page,!







These look great! Thanks for sharing Jesseca!

more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Cranberry Morning posted on April 23, 2012 at 4:38 am (#

    Oh good grief, those look fantastic! Love coconut. Love lemon. I’ll have to pin this.
    Now I have to go print off that recipe. Lemon is such a springtime favorite for me!

    • Jamielyn posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm (#

      Me too! Perfect combo… mmm! :)

  2. Rebekah@AccidentallyWonderful posted on April 23, 2012 at 9:45 am (#

    These look so light and fresh! Perfect for spring and summer =)

    • Jamielyn posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm (#

      Definitely perfect for Spring! Thanks for commenting. {hugs}

  3. Meg posted on April 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm (#

    wow these look so so yummy!! i will HAVE to make these

    • Jamielyn posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:22 pm (#

      Me too! :) Thanks so much for commenting. XO

  4. Rachel posted on April 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm (#

    Those look so good!!!

    • Jamielyn posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm (#

      I know! I want to take a BIG bite into one of them. ;)

      • Teguh posted on May 22, 2012 at 3:58 am (#

        I am beyond ecetixd! I really can’t believe I won! We really need some family pictures! We have never had any done professionally! Sad, I know. Thank you so much, Bethany! I have been wanting you to take pics of us for so long! I’m so ecetixd!

  5. Myrrtle posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:20 am (#

    Coconut cupcakes with lemon……Hmmm.. This looks interesting but I am not sure if my husband would love this.. Great idea!

  6. Liz Fourez posted on April 24, 2012 at 5:07 am (#

    Looks scrumptious! Such a pretty picture of it too!

  7. marissa posted on April 25, 2012 at 12:50 am (#

    oh my goodness those look amazing! I hope you’ll stop by and add this and any other posts you’re proud of to my Wednesday What We Wore, Read, and Made Link party


  8. Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden posted on September 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm (#

    Nice recipe with adorable images! It’s a pity the summer is nearly over! Now is a time for a “heavy” ingredients cupcakes :)

  9. Jackie posted on May 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm (#


    What is reduced coconut milk.

  10. Kymn posted on August 21, 2014 at 12:44 am (#

    These cupcakes look amazing. I was wondering what could you use instead if the egg, my son has an intolerance to egg. 

    Love your website. 


    • Jamielyn posted on September 11, 2014 at 12:36 am (#

      Hi Kymn! I’ve heard that you can substitute eggs in cake with applesauce or corn starch and water. I know it will change the texture a little, but it’s worth a try!

  11. Elisa posted on September 21, 2014 at 4:41 am (#

    Hi Jamielyn. These cupcakes look fantastic! I’m confused by one part of the recipe though so I was hoping you could clarify one point for me.

    Sorry if this seems like a dumb question but at dot point three it says “Alternate between the flour and milk…”. By milk are you referring to the 1 cup of milk (which I assume is regular milk) or are you referring to the coconut milk that is referenced in step 1?

    If you’re referring to regular milk, how do you think using buttermilk instead would affect the recipe?

    Thanks you advance for your help. Looking forward to making these!


    • Jamielyn posted on September 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm (#

      Hi Elisa! This was a guest post, but at step three she is referring to regular milk. Step 1 is using coconut milk, but that is used later in the recipe in step eight. Sorry for the confusion. :) Using buttermilk will probably change the flavor a bit. I have heard from some that it makes cakes more moist and some that it changes the acidity in the cake which makes it not rise. Definitely let us know if you try it! :)

  12. J posted on May 27, 2015 at 10:59 pm (#

    Would it be good if i took out the coconut part completely and just used classic buttercream for the frosting instead?

    • Jamielyn posted on June 2, 2015 at 10:14 pm (#

      I think it would be just fine if you took out the coconut! Good luck!

  13. Cardinal posted on June 12, 2015 at 6:25 am (#
    ) looks very  tasty!