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Triple the coconut deliciousness make these homemade Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes the ultimate treat for coconut lovers. You’ll love the moist cake, creamy filling, and fluffy frosting. This easy cupcake recipe is the perfect spring and summer dessert!
Perfect Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes
Many coconut cupcake recipes out there simply flavor the cake itself. Others might include a coconut frosting or decorate the tops with coconut. But these, my friends, are the ultimate Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes for serious coconut lovers.
Just like my Gluten Free Coconut Cake, there is coconut in every nook and cranny of these cupcakes. The batter has coconut milk and coconut extract. They are stuffed with a creamy coconut filling. That whipped coconut frosting is like a dream. And if that’s not enough, you can load it up with sweetened coconut flakes on top.
The bright flavors make these perfect for any spring or summer celebration. They will be absolutely perfect on your Easter dessert table or to serve to mom for Mother’s Day!
For the gluten free coconut cupcakes
- Yogurt: Just plain Greek yogurt keeps them moist.
- Oil: You’ll need a neutral oil like vegetable oil or bump up the flavor with melted coconut oil.
- Coconut extract: Adds that coconutty flavor, but don’t overdo it.
- Egg: One large one brought to room temperature
- Coconut milk: The canned kind.
- Flour: Be sure to use a 1:1 baking blend that contains xanthan gum. I usually use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 or King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure.
- Sugar: Just regular granulated sugar.
- Baking Powder: To bring fluffiness and a good rise to the mix.
- Salt: Balances the sweetness.
For the coconut filling
- Powdered sugar: Also called confectioners sugar.
- Heavy cream
- Coconut extract
- Sweetened shredded coconut: Save some to decorate the tops of the cupcakes
For the coconut frosting
- Powdered sugar
- Unsalted butter: Softened to room temperature
- Heavy cream
- Coconut extract
The coconut cupcake recipe is based on my Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes, just swapping out the milk and extract. So you can check out that recipe if you need any more details about how to make them. But everything you need should be right here and in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. And the frosting and filling are super easy!
Make the gluten free coconut cupcakes
Make the batter: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, coconut extract, egg, and coconut milk. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until combined. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Bake the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-well cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Once the batter is ready, fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until cooked through. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the filling and frosting
Make the filling: In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream, coconut extract, and shredded coconut. Stir until completely combined.
Make the frosting: Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream and powdered sugar, and mix on low speed until fully combined and the frosting forms soft peaks. Add in the coconut extract and mix.
Assemble the cupcakes
Fill the cupcakes: Once cupcakes are cooled, cut out the center and set aside the piece of cupcake. Use a piping bag or spoon to fill the center hole with the filling and place the piece of cupcake back inside to close up the hole.
Frost the cupcakes: Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Pour the sweetened shredded coconut into a small bowl. Holding the cupcake upside down, gently press the frosting into the shredded coconut until the top is coated in coconut.
Tools for Success
Normally I give you my Tips for Success. But here, it’s all about the right tools.
- Coring the cupcakes: For cutting the center out of the cupcake, you can use a small paring knife, and apple corer, or a cupcake corer.
- Piping frosting and filling: You can use a spoon to fill and a small offset spatula to frost the cupcakes. But piping bags and some tips will make it easier. A Wilton 2A tip will allow you to quickly pipe the frosting in a circle shape before you dip it in the coconut.
- Go chocolaty. Chocolate and coconut make a great combo, so keep the filling and frosting, but make gluten free chocolate cupcakes instead. It’s like a Mounds candy bar!
- Swap the frosting. If you want to tone down that coconut flavor, try a simple vanilla frosting or tangy cream cheese frosting on top.
- Use a different filling. You can put the lime in the coconut or add another citurs by filling the middle with lime, lemon, or even grapefruit curd.
- Toast the coconut. For a nice toasty flavor, spread some sweetenend coconut flakes on a baking sheet and place in a 325°F over for 5-10 minutes. Stir every 3 or 4 minutes until it is lightly golden brown, then cool on the baking sheet.
The fully assembled and decorated cupcakes can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. If you refrigerate them, they will last a little longer.
Decorated cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months as long as they are tightly sealed or the container is wrapped well. However, it is often best to freeze the unfilled and unfrosted cupcakes, then finish them when you are planning to serve them.
More gluten free cupcake recipes
- Super-fun Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
- Gorgeous Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Kid-favorite Gluten Free Oreo Cupcakes
Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoons coconut extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 1/3 cups 1:1 gluten free baking flour, such as Bob's Red Mill or Pillsbury
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 5 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 tablespoon sweetened shredded coconut
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
- sweetened shredded coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12-well cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, coconut extract, egg, and coconut milk.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until just combined.
- Cover the mixing bowl with cling film and allow to sit for 20 minutes. This allows the gluten-free flour time to absorb more liquid.
- Once the batter is ready, fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until cooked through. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream, coconut extract, and shredded coconut. Stir until completely combined. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, add the butter and beat with a hand mixer until light and creamy.
- Add the heavy cream and powdered sugar and mix on low speed until fully combined and frosting forms soft peaks. Blend in the coconut extract and mix. Set aside. Note that you may have extra frosting.
Assembling the cupcakes
- Once cupcakes are cooled, use a paring knife, apple corer, or cupcake corer to make a hole in the cupcake by cutting a small circle approximately 1/2 an inch in diameter and 1 inch deep. Set aside the piece of cupcake.
- Fill the center hole with filling and place the piece of cupcake back inside to close up the hole. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
- Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Or add frosting to piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes ( a Wilton 2A tip works well).
- Pour the sweetened shredded coconut into a small bowl. Holding the cupcake upside down, gently press the frosting into the shredded coconut until the top of the cupcake is coated in coconut.
- Serve immediately and enjoy! Cupcakes can be stored in a closed container at room temperature for approximately 3-4 days.