Coconut-Lime Cupcakes

This perfect pairing reminds us of summertime.

Coconut-Lime Cupcakes
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
25 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins

There's no disputing it: Coconut and lime just go together. It's a fact. This duo of flavors channels the spirit of the tropics, transporting us right to a spot on the shore. Our Coconut-Lime Cupcakes can be made from start to finish in just over an hour; light and bright, they're perfect for the summertime.

Cake flour keeps these coconut cupcakes extra-tender, while coconut milk is the secret ingredient to make the cupcakes moist. We add lime juice and zest right into the cupcake batter, infusing the cupcakes with flavor at every level. The miniature cakes are sensational all on their own, but when crowned with an elegant swirl of coconut-lime frosting, they simply can't be beat. Tangy cream cheese cuts the sweetness of the frosting, while lime juice brings a note of acid to the equation. You can either smear the frosting on the cupcakes with a spoon or, for a more elegant look, pipe it with a star tip.

Garnish these cute cupcakes with toasted shredded coconut, lime zest, and lime slices; if you're feeling festive, add a miniature drink umbrella, too.



  • 2 ¾ cups bleached cake flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup well-shaken and stirred unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 2 limes)


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons well-shaken and stirred unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar

  • Toasted sweetened shredded coconut and lime slices, for garnish


  1. Prepare the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Beat sugar and butter in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with coconut milk, lime zest, and lime juice, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition. Beat on low speed 1 minute. Spoon batter into baking cups, filling two-thirds full.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove Cupcakes from pans to wire racks, and cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the Frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl, if needed. Add coconut milk and lime juice, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add powdered sugar until combined. Increase speed to high, and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  5. Spoon Frosting into a ziplock plastic bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole, and swirl on cooled Cupcakes. Or spread Frosting evenly over cooled Cupcakes. Garnish with toasted sweetened shredded coconut and lime slices, if desired.

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