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Coconut Dream Cupcakes


If you’re looking for some easy add in’s to spruce up simple white vanilla cupcakes to awesome cupcakes, look no further. These little delights have a light coconut flavor that’s not to sweet or overpowering, but just right. Coconut Dream Cupcakes, frosted here with homemade Italian Meringue buttercream (which I’ll talk more about in a separate post), were a commission for a wedding shower with an ocean theme, and it was so fun to create these for my friends!  In this post, I’m focusing on the cupcakes themselves, so feel free to use whatever frosting suits your fancy.

Making Coconut Dream CupcakesCoconut Dream Cupcakes are easy!

This recipe is great because it starts with a box of white cake mix and you just mix in a few extra ingredients to create amazing little cakes. Every storebought cake mix I’ve seen requires three home additions; eggs, oil and water. In this recipe for Coconut Dream Cupcakes, we’re going to use egg whites, oil, sour cream and ‘cream of coconut’ which is not coconut milk, but fairly similar, for our wet ingredients. If you can’t find it I imagine sweetened coconut milk would do in a pinch. Then to add even more great coconut flavor, we’ll fold in some (not toasted) unsweetened shredded coconut to our batter. I also added a toasted coconut flavor concentrate I picked up at my local craft store, but this is an optional ingredient. I like using it because it adds more dimensions to the coconut flavor, so it’s not a ‘one note’ coconut flavor.


These cupcakes are fantastic, easy and fun. They bake up quickly too, just 16 minutes in my oven at 350F. As you whip up the batter, it will be really hard to keep your fingers out of it, it’s so good! (Just FYI, you know…) I re-worked this recipe several times to get it just right. You will love making these, they’re so fun! I want to hear about your experience with this recipe, so don’t forget to drop a comment below if you feel adventurous and whip up a batch of these cuties. Feel free to use any icing to your liking to top these off.

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Coconut Dream Cupcakes

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 32 1x


Coconut flakes, cream of coconut, sour cream and toasted coconut extract combined with moist and airy white cake mix makes these cupcakes a dream come true.


  • 1 box white cake mix (I use Pillsbury moist supreme white with pudding in the mix)
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package Jell-O Coconut Cream pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup coconut cream (can usually find this in the baking isle)
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted coconut extract or flavoring concentrate (I used Wilton brand I found at the craft store)
  • 2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (sweetened is ok, I just prefer unsweetened)


  1. Set your oven to heat to 350 degrees F and place liners in your cupcake tins.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or mixing bowl if you don’t have one) whisk together the dry cake mix and powdered pudding mix until combined. Mix in all wet ingredients except shredded coconut in a stand mixer set to medium low for one minute. Stop and scrape the bowl with a spatula, then beat the batter on medium high for 2 or 3 minutes or until smooth.
  3. Pour in the shredded coconut and mix on low for a few seconds to thoroughly combine.
  4. Fill each liner 2/3 full of batter. I like to use a medium sized mechanical ice scream scoop to keep cupcakes uniform. Place in the oven for 8 minutes, then rotate. Bake for 6 to 8 more minutes, or until a skewer, toothpick, or knife (or whatever you want to stick in the middle of a cupcake) comes out clean. Dump out on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before frosting.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


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  1. I made these for the staff at my school as a kick off to summer. Everyone raved about them! So tasty! I also made the frosting, it really is the best frosting ever!

    1. I couldn’t find any coconut pudding (don’t think we have that flavour in Canada). I just used vanilla pudding and added a little extra coconut extract. I was worried about the batter being on the thicker side, but it turned out perfect!

    2. Cindy you are amazing, thanks so much for sharing! I am so glad you had a great experience with my recipe. I have to agree it is the best frosting ever! I had the opportunity to live in Toronto Canada for a year and it was fabulous. I love hearing from my friends up north :0)

  2. Beautiful cupcakes! I have a question though, in the recipe you say coconut cream but you also refer to it as cream of coconut. It was to my understanding that these are 2 very different things. So which one do you use? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lori!

      As far as I know coconut cream and cream of coconut are pretty much the same; not to get them confused with coconut milk which is much thinner. I think I used Thai Kitchen brand Coconut Cream in the recipe if that helps :0) I’ll read over the post and make sure that I’m consistent with my wording to help avoid any confusion. Good luck with the recipe Lori, you’ll love them ;0)

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