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Lemon Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

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Lemon Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

This Lemon Coconut Cupcakes recipe combines the delicious flavors lemons and coconut with a tangy lemon cake base and finished with a decadent lemon and coconut cream cheese frosting.

Single lemon coconut cupcake with cream cheese frosting with the liner pulled down. lemon zest on top of the cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut flakes

Lemon zest, lemon juice and more make these scrumptious lemon coconut cupcakes with their decadent cream cheese frosting. Topped with coconut flakes (sweet and toasted), and more lemon zest and you’ve got an amazing dessert for any occasion.

lemon coconut cupcakes ingredients photo

Make sure to check out our other delicious recipes like these ones:

lemon coconut cupcakes batter in a muffin tin

These lemon coconut cupcakes are perfect for us lemon and coconut lovers as it’s a generous dose of both flavors and is like a tropical treat you can enjoy at home or take out to enjoy with others. 

lemon coconut cupcakes baked in the muffin tin

Do not miss the opportunity to make these Lemon Coconut Cupcakes!  They come together easily and are a fabulous dessert to serve any time. We share a few alternatives if you want more coconut flavor.

Cupcakes on a cooling rack. No frosting

While we call them lemon coconut cupcakes, the cupcake itself is a lemon cake. You get the coconut flavors from the toppings but you can also add coconut flavor to the lemon cream cheese frosting. Make sure to check out tips for these variations. 

Make sure to PIN this delicious lemon coconut cupcakes recipe!

This Lemon Coconut Cupcakes recipe combines the delicious flavors lemons and coconut with a tangy lemon cake base and finished with a decadent lemon and coconut cream cheese frosting.

If you haven’t guessed already I adore lemon desserts and you put that with coconut and I’m twice as happy. Even lemon by itself makes for such yummy goodness. Check out our lemon curd recipe that we used for our No-Bake Mini Lemon Cheesecake recipe and in our easy peasy Lemon Mousse recipe. If you want more lemon recipes we’ve also got our Lemon Poke Cake, No-Bake Lemon Ice Box Cake and our Lemon Loaf.  Told you I was crazy for lemon desserts.

Cupcakes 9 of them frosted and topped with coconut flakes and lemon zest, top down view

Want more coconut flavor in your lemon coconut cupcakes?

If you want more coconut flavor you can add coconut extract to the cream cheese frosting instead of the vanilla extract. You can also add coconut cream instead of the heavy cream or use parts of both. You may need to thicken the frosting if you use coconut cream or coconut milk. If so add more confectioner’s sugar which also makes it sweeter. 

lemon cream cheese frosting on the whisk

What do I do if the frosting isn’t stiff enough to pipe?

This can of course happen if your kitchen is warm, the frosting gets warm from your hands and many other reasons. Fortunately it’s easy to resolve, just put the frosting in the fridge for about 15 minutes or so and the frost your lemon coconut cupcakes.

cupcakes frosted and topped with toasted coconut and lemon zest

How far ahead can I make the lemon coconut cupcakes?

The lemon coconut cupcakes are really best enjoyed the same day but you can make the cupcakes and the frosting a day ahead. The frosting should be stored in the fridge and the cupcakes can be stored at room temperatures. Just frost the cupcakes the day you want to serve/eat them, just make sure to let the frosting come to about room temperature before frosting your cupcakes. You can store any leftover frosted cupcakes in the fridge for up to four days. 

2 cupcakes stacked

Can you freeze cupcakes?

Yes you can freeze them but without the frosting and make sure to use an airtight container. 

Okay whose ready to check out this full recipe for our lemon coconut cupcakes?

Yield: 18

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

Single lemon coconut cupcake with cream cheese frosting with the liner pulled down. lemon zest on top of the cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut flakes

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes combine the delicious flavors of tangy lemons and coconut and is finished with a decadent cream cheese frosting.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes



  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 5 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Toasted Coconut (for garnish on the cupcakes)

Lemon coconut cream cheese frosting

  • 8 ounces (225g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar (if icing is thin add more icing sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) coconut milk or heavy cream (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (see notes)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • Toasted Coconut for topping the cupcakes (we used about a 1/4 cup)


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and make sure they are thoroughly mixed.

Lightly beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add
to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Mix just until it is combined. Fold in the coconut.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, grated lemon zest, vanilla, coconut milk (or heavy cream) and lemon juice until fluffy.

Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth; stir in 1/4 cup of sweetened coconut flakes.

Frost cupcakes; sprinkle with toasted coconut & lemon zest.


If you use coconut milk in the frosting you may need to add more confectioner's sugar to thicken it up. Add it in bits at a time to judge thickness. You can also do a combo of coconut milk and heavy cream.

If you want a stronger coconut flavor in the frosting use coconut extract instead of the vanilla extract.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 4g

Please note that we can not guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information. They are a best guess calculation.

frosted cupcakes cut in half

It may look like a lot of steps for these delicious lemon coconut cupcakes but they are very easy to make. I’ve also toyed with the idea of adding a dollop of our lemon curd on top of the cupcakes or having them inside the cupcakes. Food for thought, literally lol

cupcakes on a black cupcake stand

Do you love the flavor combo of lemon and coconut? Would you make it a stronger lemon flavor or a stronger coconut flavor? You do have some options which we’ve mentioned. 

frosted cupcakes top down view with the middle one up higher

If you make these lemon coconut cupcakes let us know how you liked them and any variations you may have tried that you loved (or hated). We love to hear from you all.

cupcake frosted cupcake liner pulled down


By on January 25th, 2022

About Powered by Mom

I’m Michelle aka Powered by Mom. I’m married with one daughter, my hubby was my high school sweetheart, our two dogs Nyx and Cleo and our cat Oliver. As you can see we’re a family of animal lovers. We love to travel when we can, try different food and activities all over the world and enjoy being together. My passions are writing, travelling, creating new recipes, encouraging people to adopt not shop and just to enjoy life while we can.

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