Filed Under: Cakes & Cupcakes

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting

Recipe By Tessa Arias
March 8th, 2013

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting have a light and moist cake with a lusciously rich frosting. The shredded toasted coconut just takes these cupcakes to a whole new level.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I adore the combination of almond, chocolate, and coconut! It’s sweet without being cloying and leaves your taste buds craving more.
Texture: The cake is light and moist while the frosting is lusciously rich. The shredded toasted coconut just takes these cupcakes to a whole new level.
Ease: You might dirty a few bowls and pans in the process of making these cupcakes but it is so worth it and completely doable.
Appearance: Just gorgeous. Shredded coconut makes everything seem more dreamy.
Pros: A nice change from typically boring or bland cupcakes.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes, I actually froze half the cupcakes and frosting to indulge in on another day.

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting have a light and moist cake with a lusciously rich frosting.Β The shredded toasted coconut just takes these cupcakes to a whole new level.

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting

Ever since I finished my bachelor’s degree it’s been wonderful to have enough time to read books of my own choosing. Despite how much I hated the stress of tests and assignment deadlines, a little part of me will always miss the challenge of academics and the extensive knowledge gained on a variety of subjects. Sure, standing over a hot pot trying to make Bearnaise sauce by hand is a challenge, but it’s not the same type of challenge that you face in academic classes. That is why I like keeping my mind at least slightly engaged with books, although lately I’ll admit my reading has been mostly that of entertainment value. I just started reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. There will always be a spot in my heart for young adult fiction (it all started with Harry Potter in elementary school), no matter how old I am. Actually, sometimes I think it’s silly that books are often categorized by age. You’re never too old to get lost inside a good story!

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Buttercream - surprisingly GOOD.

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting

What books are you reading right now? Any recommendations? I’ll let you guys know what I think of this book when I finish! In the meantime, let’s talk about cupcakes. No, not the bland yet sickeningly sugary cupcakes that are probably sitting in plastic containers at your grocery store bakery section. I’m talking about moist, tender, luscious, flavorful, and appropriately sweet homemade cupcakes that will leave everyone asking for seconds. This recipe is exactly that. Try them!

The shredded toasted coconut just takes these cupcakes to a whole new level.

How to make
Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting have a light and moist cake with a lusciously rich frosting. The shredded toasted coconut just takes these cupcakes to a whole new level.


For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup toasted coconut (see note above)


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until well combined and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla, almond extract, and coconut milk and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add in flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  4. Use a spring-loaded scoop or spoon to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tin cups. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar over the butter and beat on low speed until combined. Add the coconut milk and coconut extract and beat until on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, adding more coconut milk to thin the frosting as needed.

To assemble:

  1. Use an offset spatula to spread a thick layer of frosting over each cupcake. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut just before serving.

Recipe Notes

To toast the coconut, place about 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 350Β°F oven, turning a few times, for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
From Sunset and The Little Red House
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — March 8, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I love coconut, but have never toasted it before! This is being put on the must list. Also, I’ve never made a frosting using coconut milk, but it sounds really good. That cupcake stand is so cute, I need one stat!

  2. #
    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — March 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Mmm yum, these look and sound totally gorgeous!

  3. #
    Tracey — March 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I *loved* The Fault in our Stars! I just started reading Defending Jacob by William Landy after hearing good things about it.

    These cupcakes sound amazing, especially that chocolate coconut frosting!

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Yay! I’ll have to check out Defending Jacob after I finish this one. The frosting is to die for πŸ™‚

  4. #
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — March 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    They look so light and delicious! As for books, I’ve heard that How To Love An American Man is good. I have it waiting for me in my nook library. πŸ˜€

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Have you had much time to read since you had Liam? That’s certainly an interesting title!

  5. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — March 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Mmm, these sound phenomenal! The almond cake sounds absolutely wonderful. I love to read as well, and totally agree about the age thing. I read A Fault in Our Stars a few months ago and finished it in about 2 days (would’ve been quicker, but I was in Barcelona, lol!). I listened to it on tape with my dad and best friend as well on a road trip. We all cried! It’s a phenomenal book, definitely one of my more recent favorites. You’ll love it!

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Oh no I anticipate a lot of crying in my future!!

  6. #
    marcie@flavorhtemoments — March 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Yummy! I’m a huge fan of coconut milk, and I know it makes a great cupcake. The almond and chocolate along with it can only make it better! My book club is reading Gone Girl right now. I read it over the summer. It’s dark, but captivating.

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      I had never used coconut milk in a cupcake before – I was happily impressed. I think that’s the next book on my list. I’ve heard so many good things. Thanks for the reminder to read it!

  7. #
    Kaitlin — March 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    John Green is one of my favorite authors, everything he writes is great and The Fault in Our Stars is next on my list. Right now I’m reading Silver Linings Playbook, I saw the movie a couple weeks ago and the book is even better!

  8. #
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — March 9, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I actually haven’t had time to read since Liam’s arrived. I wish I did! πŸ˜€ Hence, why the books are waiting for me in my nook library. Oh, and that book was actually recommended by Jenna from Eat Live Run. Looks good! Can’t wait to hear what you read next so I can add it to my list!

  9. #
    Dito — April 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Hi, I’m from Mexico and I wanna ask you something about this recipe, the flour that we are going to use for the cupcakes is the regular flour or some prepared like Betty Crocker?

    • #
      Tessa — April 11, 2013 at 7:30 am

      I’m not sure what you mean by “prepared like Betty Crocker” but you will want to use regular flour, preferably cake flour.

  10. #
    katie — June 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    This sounds awesome. One question, is it baking coconut milk in a can or more of a coconut milk that is more milk like?

  11. #
    Muna — February 10, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I have tried this recipe and I loved it I did one batch with the almond extract and one without and I liked that one better. thank you so much for sharing I love your site I’m always checking out stuff here <3 πŸ™‚

  12. #
    Muna — February 10, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Hi Dito:

    Betty Crocker bags, boxes or cans have already made muffins or cake mixes so you do not want to use that. Use a flour (just like the regular flour) but it’s made for baking. like this one:

  13. #
    Leah — December 17, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Canned or carton coconut milk?

  14. #
    Amisha — June 2, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I love this recipe – you are right that it is a nice change from the standard fare. I did make one change that turned out pretty well. I substituted the last 1/4 cup cake flour with approx 1/2 cup almond meal. I wanted to give it a stronger almond flavor and thought this might do the trick. It turned out great!

  15. #
    Heather — June 29, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Heyya Tessa!
    Love your blog and find it so inspiring! thank you for sharing so much πŸ™‚
    My mamas birthday is coming up and I’m wanting to make coconut cupcakes with a lemon curd filling and a coconut frosting or vanilla with toasted coconut ontop. I was hoping you had a recipe for this but I didnt find one. Perhaps I could use coconut milk in place of the liquids in the cake portion and I’ve seen people use cold coconut cream whipped for a frosting. What do you think? thanks for your input and your great blog and youtube channel too!

  16. #
    Rose — January 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I don’t have coconut extract for the frosting. Should I use almond extract or hazulnut extract instead or just not use any at all. I want to make these today and your answer would be much appreciated, thank you so much! <3

  17. #
    Dena — February 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I had lots of batter so filled each cup pretty full – cupcakes baked up over the rim – should I just have filled less or should this make more than 12?

    • #
      Tessa — February 23, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      I was recently gifted a new cupcake tin and the cavities are MUCH smaller than my two other brands of cupcake tins. I wish there was a designated size all the manufacturers used! If that’s the case then I would make more than 12. Can never have too many πŸ˜‰

  18. #
    Reecha — October 11, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Can you use almond flour to create a more natural almond flavor.

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