Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes ~ these easy-peasy tender white cupcakes are topped with the most insanely delicious coconut cream cheese frosting ~ it’s no wonder they were super popular at her famous Barefoot Contessa shop, and they’re perfect for all kinds of spring flings!
When I crave comfort food, but I’m not sure what I want, I turn to Ina. I can pull out one of her cookbooks at random, sit down in a quite spot, and know she’ll sort it all out for me after just a few page turns.
These classic cupcakes were crowd pleasers year after year in Ina’s Barefoot Contessa shop on Long Island, and I’m so not surprised. They’re easy to make and really there’s not a single bad thing I can say about them. The batter is easy to throw together and the cupcakes bake up with perfect little domes. The frosting is to die for, it has the tang of cream cheese without being overpowering. And who can resist big fluffy mounds of coconut?
In honor of spring I baked the cupcakes up in some cute Liberty print cupcake wrappers I found on Amazon. I went crazy and got the plates and napkins, too, and they even had more stuff, like little flags and favor bags, etc. I’ve loved Liberty prints for as long as I can remember (I bet you didn’t know I used to be in fashion design!) so I couldn’t resist. I’ve added the links just before the recipe, below.
TIP: I keep all my decorative cupcake liners stacked in mason jars, it’s an old Pinterest hack that really works great to keep them organized and crush proof
Grocery list for Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes ~
- 8 ounces cream cheese (not whipped)
- 7 ounce bag of sweetened shredded coconut
Pantry staples ~
- vanilla and almond extract
- baking powder and soda
- confectioner’s sugar
The cake is tender and moist, and has half the bag of coconut folded into it. The frosting is topped with the other half, so there’s plenty of coconut presence.
TIP: If you’d like to top your cupcakes with toasted coconut, spread it on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after every minute, until it turns golden brown.
Liberty print paper accessories ~ in today’s post I used the small plates, the small napkins, and the muffin tin liners, and you can click on the images below for more info. For a peek at the complete line, click HERE.
FOOD STYLIST’S TIP: after baking and frosting, slip a second fresh muffin liner onto your cupcakes for a prettier look.
*Recipe lightly adapted from Ina Garten ~ it’s in her BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK. I’ve halved Ina’s recipe, because I didn’t want 20 cupcakes around to tempt me.
Ina Garten's Coconut Cupcakes ~ these easy-peasy tender cupcakes are topped with the most insanely delicious coconut cream cheese frosting!
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (shaken)
- 3 1/2 ounces (half of a 7 ounce bag) sweetened coconut
- 8 ounce block of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 pound confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 3 1/2 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (the other half of the 7 ounce bag)
- Set the oven to 325F
- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. I do this in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each one. Beat in the extracts.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add it to the mixing bowl, alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until combined, and scrape down the bowl. Fold in the coconut. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl to get everything incorporated.
- Fill 10 cupcake liners. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden browned and done through. You can test with a toothpick if you like. The tops should spring back when lightly touched. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove them to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting cream together the soft cream cheese and butter. Add the extract and the sifted sugar and beat until fluffy. Frost the cupcakes generously and top with coconut.
Notes for Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes:
- Do make sure your butter, eggs, and cream cheese are at room temperature.
- We found that 5 cupcakes fit perfectly snugly into a Starbuck’s coffee carrier ~ so you have no excuse not to share with the neighbors or your office mates!