Go Back
+ servings
chocolate coconut cupcake with a bite taken out of it and more cupcakes in the background

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

These chocolate coconut cupcakes are soft and moist, with a rich chocolate flavour. Topped with a fluffy coconut buttercream!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Bake 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 420kcal
Author Gabby


Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

  • 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • cup  vegetable oil
  • cup milk (regular or vegan)
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Coconut Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened (regular or vegan)
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening (or butter, SEE NOTES)
  • 3-3½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½-1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For Decorating

  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut


Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix with a whisk until any clumps are gone.
  • Add the vanilla and coconut extracts, oil, vinegar, and milk, and mix with a whisk until fully combined. Add in ½ cup shredded coconut and mix again.
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • After the cupcakes are done baking, pour ¼ cup of shredded coconut onto a small baking sheet in an even layer. Place the coconut in the oven for 5 minutes or until they are appear golden and toasted. Keep a close eye on them the whole time so that they don’t burn! Transfer to a small bowl and set aside for later.

Coconut Buttercream

  • In the bowl of a standing or electric mixer, whip together the butter and shortening until smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla, coconut extract, salt, powdered sugar, remaining shredded coconut and mix until combined.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top, or dip the frosted cupcakes in the bowl of toasted coconut to coat.


Measuring Flour and Cocoa Powder: Properly measure your flour and cocoa powder using either a kitchen scale or the scoop and level method.
Vegetable Shortening: If you are using a soft, margarine-consistency vegan butter, the vegetable shortening helps the buttercream hold it's shape better. If you are using regular butter or a firm vegan butter, feel free to replace the shortening with all butter. 
Storage and Freezing: Store these coconut cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3-4 days, though they’re best enjoyed the day of!
Freezing: Let cool completely, then wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and place in a large freezer bag or container. Store in the freezer in a spot where they won't get squished. Use within 2-3 months. Let thaw at room temperature completely before frosting.


Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 719IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg