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If you love coconut you’re going to LOVE Coconut Frosting. This easy buttercream recipe is full of coconut flavor and perfect on brownies, cake, or cupcakes!

stacked brownies with white frosting mixed with coconuts.

Best Coconut Frosting Recipe

I am obsessed with coconut all the things and this frosting is definitely one of them! This is an all-purpose frosting recipe you can use on anything and any flavor, from chocolate to lemon cupcakes, vanilla cake to coconut bars!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Coconut frosting isn’t just for coconut cake – it’s good on everything!
  • Just a few simple ingredients
  • FULL of tons of coconut flavor!
  • Freezes great so you can make it ahead.
ingredients in coconut frosting

Ingredients Needed for Coconut Frosting

  • Butter – unsalted, softened butter is what you need to make buttercream. If you use salted butter, that’s fine, but you’ll reduce or omit the added salt.
  • Coconut Extract – This is crucial for adding the coconut flavor in the frosting.

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

How to Make Coconut Buttercream Frosting

  1. Beat butter: In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the unsalted, softened butter until it becomes smooth. 
  2. Add powdered sugar: Slowly and gradually, beat the powdered sugar into the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly. 
  3. Combine all ingredients: Once the mixture is crumbly, add the salt, coconut extract, and vanilla extract. Then, slowly add the heavy cream one tablespoon at a time. Beat in between each addition and it’ll become nice and fluffy.

Ways to Use Coconut Frosting 

The possibilities go on and on when it comes to ways to use this light, airy, rich coconut frosting: 

coconut swirled in a clear jar mixed with coconut.

Expert Tips

  • The key to this buttercream is to add the heavy whipping cream slowly. The perfect consistency may pass you by if you pour too hastily, and then you’ll have to overcompensate with extra powdered sugar.
  • You can use milk or nondairy milk, but the frosting won’t be as fluffy.
  • Start with softened butter for best results.
  • To get a more coconut-y flavor, swap out the heavy whipping cream for coconut milk (if canned, be sure to just use the liquid) or add a tablespoon of cream of coconut before adding the milk. If using cream of coconut, you wont want to add as much milk. 
  • Coconut frosting will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months in an airtight container.


Does coconut frosting need to be refrigerated?

Yes, all buttercream made with butter needs to be refrigerated. As I mentioned above, the temperature of the butter can really control whether you have a pristine, fluffy frosting or a sludgy, melty frosting-like paste.

Can you make frosting with coconut milk?

Yes, you can swap out the heavy whipping cream for coconut milk. However, if you’re using canned coconut milk, just make sure that you’re just getting the liquid out of the can. Nobody likes chunky buttercream! 

Can you freeze buttercream frosting?

Yes, buttercream freezes quite well. Store the buttercream in an artitight container for up to three months. Once you’re ready to use it, move the container to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Once it thaws, you’ll likely have to whip the buttercream again to get it to the desired consistency. 

stacked brownies with white frosting mixed with coconuts.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting Recipe

5 from 4 votes
This is the best easy coconut buttercream frosting – perfect with brownies or cupcakes or cake!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 24 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 4 cups (452g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (see note)
  • 1 recipe brownies (optional)
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  • To make the frosting, beat butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.
  • Slowly beat in powdered sugar until crumbly. Beat in salt and extracts. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Frost brownies or any recipe as desired. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze frosting in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

  • I used heavy whipping cream because I like how fluffy it makes my frosting. You can also use any kind of milk (regular, 2%, nonfat or nondairy) but you’ll need less milk with less fat.
  • For even more coconut flavor, use coconut milk (refrigerated or canned). If using canned, be sure to just use the liquid.
  • You can also add 1 tablespoon Cream of Coconut (i.e. CocoReal) before adding the milk. If you do this you’ll need less milk/cream.
  • If using salted butter omit added salt.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.02mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on February 28, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. The receipe turned out perfect but was disappointed that a Coconut Buttercream Frosting didn’t have any Coconut in it (just the extract).
    So, I just dumped some in there and made it so much better.