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Coconut Cupcakes are moist, easy, and FULL of coconut flavor – they’re TRIPLE the coconut! Easy because of cake mix, they’re filled with coconut and frosted with coconut buttercream.

yellow cupcakes with white frosting topped with coconut.

Easy Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

A batch of easy triple coconut cupcakes is the key to any coconut lover’s heart. This super easy recipe is heavy on that light, airy flavor that only coconut can provide. Often, recipes made with coconut only give us a hint of that tropical flavor. If you’re craving a treat that just screams “coconut!”, you’re in luck. 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You’ll need less than an hour to bake, fill, and frost these beauties.
  • These start with boxed cake mix as a base (but with a few modifications, of course).

Ingredients Needed

  • Flaked coconut – This is also called Angel Flake, and you get it in the baking aisle. It’s a sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – We’re using this for the fillling. Be sure not to use evaporated milk.
  • Boxed yellow cake mix – makes the cupcakes nice and easy – and moist!
  • Milk – I like using refrigerated coconut milk, but you can use regular milk too.
  • Coconut extract – amps up the coconut flavor of the cupcakes.

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

How to Make Coconut Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven: Line two cupcake pans with liners and preheat your oven to 350°F. 
  • Combine ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine one cup of flaked coconut and sweetened condensed milk. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer set to “low” to combine the cake mix, coconut milk, oil, eggs, and extract, mixing for about thirty seconds. Then, ramp up the speed to “medium” for two minutes. 
  • Bake: Once the ingredients are combined, pour the cake batter into each of the cupcake liners to be about ¾ full. Then, scoop a teaspoon or two of the coconut mixture you made on to the tops of the cupcakes. 
  • Make frosting: While the cupcakes bake, you can start on the frosting. Use your hand mixer to beat the unsalted butter until it is smooth. Then, slowly begin to beat in the powdered sugar, mixing until the butter and sugar mixture becomes crumbly. Finally, add three tablespoons of coconut milk and two teaspoons of coconut extract, mixing until the frosting becomes smooth. If your frosting still seems dry, add a bit more milk until you’ve achieved the desired consistency. 
  • Decorate: Once the cupcakes have baked and cooled, you can frost them using a pastry bag or a spatula. Then, sprinkle a generous helping of shredded coconut on top! 
yellow cupcakes with white frosting topped with coconut.

Expert Tips

  • You can store these cupcakes for up to three days at room temperature, or for up to five days in the fridge. In the freezer, they’ll last for up to two months. 
  • If you aren’t sure how to toast coconut, I’ve got the perfect method; check it out here!


What is the secret to moist cupcakes?

The fattier your ingredients, the more most your cupcakes will be. Don’t skimp on the milk, oil, or butter!

Are cupcakes better with oil or butter?

In cake batter, oil wil keep your cake moister due to the fact that it is 100% fat, while butter is only 80% fat. This doesn’t mean that butter is a bad choice, but oil is often the more reliable one if you’re looking for that perfectly moist cupcake.

How do you put coconut in the middle of a cupcake?

In this recipe, the cupcake bakes up and around the dollop of coconut, so all you have to do is plop it right on top of the cake batter before baking. 

unwrapped coconut cupcake up close

Easy Triple Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Easy Triple Coconut Cupcakes start with a cake mix but don’t taste like it! Coconut cake, a coconut filling, and a rich coconut frosting make this the perfect coconut cupcake recipe.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 24 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 cupcake


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (61g) sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup (74g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 15.25 ounces/432g box yellow cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cups (296ml) coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • cup (79ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (452g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 3-6 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 cup (61g) shredded, sweetened coconut, toasted


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  • Stir together 1 cup coconut and sweetened condensed milk in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Mix cake mix, coconut milk, oil, extract, and eggs with a hand mixer on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly in the cupcake pans (about 3/4 full). Scoop 1-2 teaspoons of the coconut mixture onto the top of each cupcake.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes until the cupcake springs back when touched. Cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, beat butter with a mixer until smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar and mix until crumbly. Add coconut extract and 3 tablespoons milk and mix until smooth. If needed, add more tablespoons of milk to reach desired consistency.
  • Frost cupcakes with a spatula or a pastry bag. Top generously with toasted coconut.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Use any brand cake mix and you can swap chocolate if you want.
  • Learn how to toast coconut.
  • Want to make the cupcakes from scratch? Use my perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. Or use chocolate cupcakes.
  • Store loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, refrigerated for 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on March 8, 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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  1. These sound fabulous! I’m planning to make them this week. I’m just confused about what kind of coconut milk is used in the recipe. Is it canned coconut milk or the beverage kind in a carton? The canned kind has a high-fat content and there is oil in the recipe so I assume it’s the beverage kind. I can’t tell if you have adjusted the recipe for the higher fat content and used the canned coconut milk though. I don’t want them to end up greasy.

  2. when you say add coconut milk to the cake mix how much coconut milk because you already using one cup of coconut milk to set aside with the condensed milk mixture so I’m not sure how much coconut milk am I adding to the cake mix or am I replacing water with coconut milk of what it saying

    1. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to mix coconut flakes with sweetened condensed milk, not coconut milk. The coconut milk goes in the cupcake batter.

  3. Hi Dorothy! Can’t wait to make these beauties! You mention adding coconut extract in the instructions, but no amount is given in the ingredient list. How much should I add? BTW I love your blog!

  4. Triple coconut cup cake idea is really marvelous and the richness of coconut made this first choice for me on Easter. I love to make this at my bakery shop. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe.

  5. Love these cupcakes! Definitely trying them this week for a bbq. Just wondering if the filling can be added after baking instead of baking it with the cupcakes? 

    1. Yes you can! When it’s inside the cupcake before it bakes some of the extra liquid kind of bakes off so they’re not runny inside. I can’t remember how dense the coconut mixture is so once you mix the 2 cups coconut with 1/2 cup SCM, you might want to add more coconut if it seems at all runny. But since there’s nothing that needs to be baked in that mixture you’re good to go with adding it after!

  6. Hi Dorothy, I was wondering if white cake mix could be used instead of yellow? I wasn’t really sure because off the sweetened condensed milk.Thank you.