Happy Chocolate Monday! Today’s White Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting are the perfect canvas for decorating to bring the colors of the garden into your home with any sprinkled toppings you have on hand.
Spring is right around the corner, the trees are blooming, and we’ve had bright sunny and mild days here in Portland. It has made our transition easier and we can’t wait for the local farmer’s market to open!
One of the tricks to this recipe is to use a very powerful stand mixer. It will mix on its own, freeing you up to do other things while it is beating the butter and sugar. If you try this with a handheld mixer, your arm would get very tired!
I love using mini white chocolate chips in my recipes. They are so small that you get some white chocolate in every bite!
Coconut can be too chewy for some people when left in long shreds. I put it in my food processor and pulse it a few times to break them up. They are dispersed more evenly when smaller and add just the right amount of flavor and chewiness in every bite!
I used a rounded 2 tbsp ice cream scoop to fill each muffin tin. This was the perfect amount – filled about 2/3 full with a rounded top. The ones I added a little more to wound up baking up too high. Still delicious but not as easy to frost. Keep to 2/3 full and yours will be perfect!
These cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate the end of winter and welcome the warmth of spring.
Happy Chocolate Monday, have a fabulous week!
How to make White Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting:
- Line muffin tins with cupcake papers and preheat the oven
- Beat together the butter and sugar for 4 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- Add the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture one at a time
- Alternating, add the flour and buttermilk; mix in the coconut and white chocolate chips
- Bake the cupcakes, let rest in the pans for 15 minutes then cool completely
- Make the frosting and pipe roses on top of the cooled cupcakes using a Wilton 2D piping tip
- Garnish with coconut or sprinkles if you want
How do I bake cupcakes in tins when all the cups are not full of batter?
This is a trick I learned from my grandmother when I was a little girl. Scatter the extra cupcake liners throughout the tin, leaving some empty cups between them for the most even baking. Fill the liners with batter. To protect your pan from overheating, pour about 1 tbsp of water into the empty tins. Place in the oven and bake as directed. Be careful when removing the tin from the oven not to splash yourself with the boiling hot water!
Using dedicated gluten-free products (like spoons and cutting boards) is a good option if you are baking gluten-free often. Choosing stainless steel or silicone utensils, or brand-new wooden utensils will help keep everyone safe.
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
- Butter, at room temperature
- Sugar, all-purpose flour (or GF flour blend), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla
- Large eggs, buttermilk, sweetened coconut, mini white chocolate chips
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Heavy cream
- Coconut flavoring and/or food coloring, optional
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe (affiliate links)
- Muffin tins
- Stand mixer
- Food processor
- Liquid measuring cups
- Dry ingredient measuring cups
- Spring-loaded ice cream scoop
- Piping bag
- Wilton 2D piping tip
Using a gluten-free flour blend makes these easy to make safely for everyone in your family. If you don’t keep a blend on hand or are only baking GF occasionally, Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Baking Flour is a great affordable option. Be sure not to use any of your wooden or porous utensils or surfaces (like cutting boards), which can harbor minute traces of gluten, endangering your Celiac and gluten-intolerant family and guests.
- 3/4 lb (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 7 oz sweetened, shredded coconut, pulsed in a food processor
- 1/2 cup mini white chocolate chips
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
- 4 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- A few drops of flavoring, such as coconut, optional
- A little food coloring, preferably powder or gel, optional
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 24 to 30 muffin tins with paper lines.
- Make the Cupcake Batter: In the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar. Once they are blended, increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth, then increase the speed to med-high and beat, without stirring, for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- While the butter and sugar are mixing, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the vanilla. Then add the eggs, one at a time. As each egg is incorporated, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue adding the eggs until they are all mixed in. Increase the speed to medium for about 30 seconds to bring the mixture together a little more; it will look slightly curdled which is OK.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, blending until completely incorporated, Scrape the bowl. Add half the buttermilk and mix again until fully incorporated; scrape the bowl. Add another 1/3 of the flour followed by the remaining buttermilk and then the last of the flour, each time mixing thoroughly before adding the next ingredient.
- Stop the mixer and add the coconut and white chocolate chips. Mix just until evenly distributed and blended in.
- Prepare the Cupcakes: Use a 2 tbsp spring-loaded ice cream scoop to fill the muffin pans with liners. Fill each one about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave them in the pans for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- The cupcakes can be made a day ahead, and once cooled, covered and refrigerated overnight. Bring to cool room temperature before frosting - recipe follows.
- Make the ButtercreamFrosting: Place the butter in the bowl of your standing mixer and beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups of the sugar, the vanilla, and cream. Mix on low until incorporated, then beat until thick, creamy, and fluffy. Add more sugar if needed for the right consistency. Add the flavoring and coloring if using.
- Transfer some of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2D tip (for roses), and pipe a dollop in the center. Then continue piping, circling the center dollop in increasingly larger circles, until you have completely covered the top.
- There is a great video from Diane of Created by Diane here showing you how to pipe a rose frosting on cupcakes. If you want to learn four different techniques, watch this video from Cakes by Lynz.
- Sprinkle the tops with the candy sprinkles, additional coconut, or you can lightly color the frosting with gel food coloring and decorate as desired.
Cupcakes adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Ina Garten, Food Network
Frosting recipe from Created by Diane.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 537Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 138mgCarbohydrates: 121gFiber: 1gSugar: 105gProtein: 4g
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This post was first shared in May 2017. The article was updated in 2020.