Coconut Cupcakes with Key Lime Buttercream Frosting are a delectable treat with fresh key lime flavor! A coconut cake is filled with coconut filling and topped with fresh key lime buttercream!
For the cupcakes:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 eggs separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar divided
- 2 tablespoons lime zest*
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice*
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes toasted
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing until well blended. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and beat until combined.
- In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. (You can use a stand mixer or hand mixer.) Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten, then fold in the remaining egg whites until combined. (Be careful not to over mix. You want some egg whites to still be visible in the batter.) Gently fold in the shredded coconut. Divide the batter evenly among the lined muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
To make the filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the coconut cream, cream cheese and sugar. Whip on medium speed for one to two minutes. Slowly fold in the shredded coconut.
To make the frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly add 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add lime zest, lime juice and remaining sugar. Beat for an additional one to two minutes.
To assemble the cupcakes:
- Remove a small amount of the center part of the cupcake using a cupcake corer or pairing knife. Divide the coconut filling evenly among the cupcakes, filling the hole in the middle of the cupcake. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Garnish with sliced key limes, as desired.