Coconut frosting is a light, fluffy, buttery, and silky frosting with a delicious balance of sweetness and tang. Use it to frost your coconut cupcakes, coconut cake, a layer cake, and so much more!
The Best Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
I love the sweet tang of homemade cream cheese frosting on basically everything, so adding a coconut extract to the original recipe is just downright amazing! As much as I love buttercream frosting, this one might take the cake!
Coconut frosting has the perfect amount of coconut flavor with a hint of vanilla, and it is officially our new favorite frosting for coconut cupcakes and so much more!
What’s in Coconut Frosting?
- Unsalted butter – Tips on how to soften butter can be found here. It comes in handy when you’ve forgotten to take it out of the fridge early enough.
- Cream cheese – You’ll also need to know how to soften cream cheese for that same reason.
- Powdered sugar – This is also known as confectioner’s sugar. It’s sugar that’s been finely ground into a powder and has the addition of cornstarch which keeps it from clumping.
- Vanilla extract & Coconut extract – Beautiful flavors that complement each other nicely and have a delicate balance of flavors. You could also use the seeds from a split vanilla bean if you prefer.
How to Make this Coconut Frosting
- Cream butter and cream cheese. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a whisk attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese. You can also use a high speed electric mixer and a large mixing bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients. To the mixture, add powdered sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and coconut extract. Mix until desired consistency is reached.
- It’s ready. Decorate your cakes and cupcakes and consider adding a sprinkling of toasted coconut or sweetened shredded coconut flakes on top!
You can also add sprinkles, gold balls, gold flakes, or edible flowers for special occasions like baby showers, wedding showers, or holiday desserts!
- Salt or no salt? I’m using unsalted butter in this recipe and there is no added salt either. If, once you’ve tasted your frosting, you want to add a pinch of salt, feel free.
- Don’t overmix. When you overmix butter it can get a bit lumpy.
- No cream cheese. Omit it and make a coconut buttercream instead.
- Frost once cooled. Once you’ve taken your baked good out of the oven, allow it to cool on a rack before frosting. This way, the frosting doesn’t melt and become runny.
- Easy clean-up. Lay a sheet of parchment paper down before frosting, it makes for easier cleanup. Especially if you plan to use any sprinkles or shredded coconut!
- Use it on everything! Vanilla, pineapple, chocolate, almond, lemon, lime, you name it. This recipe pairs with so many flavors!
- Using different piping tips is a great way to present a variety of decorative frostings. It’s way easier than you might think but even if you don’t get it perfect the first time, it just means you can eat your mistakes!
- Use a reusable or disposable piping bag. If you don’t have one a Ziploc bag will do. 16 inches is a great size to use as it holds quite a bit of icing before the need to refill.
- Using a large glass or cup to keep the piping bag sturdy as you fill it is helpful. Place the empty bag into the glass, tip side down. Fold the piping bag over the sides of the glass. Use a spatula to fill the bag with frosting.
- Twist the open end of the piping bag closed, gently pressing the frosting into the corner. Now you can decorate to your heart’s content!
- For all the details on what tips to use, the best frosting choice, along with pictures, simple instructions for beginners, and more, check out my post on how to frost the perfect cupcakes.
You can. If anything, use canned coconut milk, not from the carton. It’s the cream on top that you’re looking for. Just a bit can add a creamy more robust flavor.
A quick and easy way to toast up your coconut flakes is to use a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Toss in your flakes and stir continuously until they are golden brown. This should take no more than 6 minutes. Immediately remove them from the heat and allow them to cool.
You can also do this with pecans, for a nutty crunchy finish!
This recipe is great for making up to 24 hours ahead of time. There’s no need to keep it in the refrigerator because the sugar acts as a preservative, however you can if you want. Store it in an airtight container and use it when you’re ready!
More Ways to Use Coconut Frosting
- Vanilla Cupcakes or Chocolate Cupcakes – Both pair well with this frosting!
- Carrot Cake – A twist on the traditional cream cheese frosting.
- Lemon Cookies – A bright, summery combination of flavors!
- Chocolate Whoopie Pies – Creamy frosting sandwiched between soft cookies is just one of many options.
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes – A light and fluffy cupcake needs a dreamy frosting on top!
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
- Add the powdered sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and coconut extract and mix until desired consistency is reached.
- Frost cupcakes or cake as desired.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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