Coconut Lime Cupcakes

In the midst of this extremely busy week (everyone seems to be making up for losing time with the snow!), I was finally able to carve out a few hours to bake. Of course this meant that I was baking pretty much in the middle of the night (midnight is way past my usual bedtime!), but I got it done!

This week, I decided to try out my first actual recipe from Pinterest. I pinned this delicious sounding cupcake recipe a couple of months ago for what they described as “Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream.” I was very excited to make these cupcakes because they seemed like a wonderful tropical escape in the midst of this cold and dreary winter, and they did not disappoint! They are truly delicious and refreshing! The coconut and lime flavors are just right, not too overpowering. Unfortunately half of my family doesn’t like coconut, as I was informed, so I’ve had to find others to share these goodies with but hasn’t been too difficult.

There were many different (for my baking) ingredients in this recipe that took me a minute to find in the grocery store (I even had to go to a couple of stores to find a few things). Who knew that coconut cream pudding would be hard to find?! I had one funny hiccup in the baking with the coconut milk too. I have never used coconut milk before and didn’t know what to expect when I opened the can, it was slightly odd that it seemed to be thick but coconut oil isn’t liquid at room temperature so it seemed to make sense. I was even able to take 1/2 cup out of the can without even realizing that there was liquid underneath. I didn’t realize until I was making the frosting that I should have stirred the milk before I used it – oops! I was so upset and afraid that I had ruined things. Thank goodness I had not, and everything turned out fine! Sometimes baking in the middle of the night with new ingredients can be tricky!

I will definitely be making these again! Enjoy!


For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 (18 ounce) box French Vanilla cake mix (see note below)
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package Jell-O Coconut Cream pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk; divided use (see note below)
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
For the Frosting:
  • remaining 9 ounces of coconut milk
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • zest of 2 medium limes
  • 1.5 pounds (about 5 3/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract


For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners or spray wells with non-stick cooking spray.
  2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs and 1/2 cup (4 ounces) coconut milk. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in the shredded coconut.
  3.   Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
  4.   Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
  5.  Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Prepare the frosting.
For the Frosting:
  1.  Place the remaining coconut milk into a medium saucepan with high sides. Over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to medium-low heat and reduce the coconut milk for about 20 minutes. Turn the burner off and allow the coconut milk to cool completely. Cover and chill (about an hour), this will cause the coconut milk to thicken up a bit
  2.   In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and reduced and cooled coconut milk on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. Add in the lime zest and mix to combine.
  3.  Turn the mixer down to low-speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in extracts and mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4.  Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with a dusting of shredded coconut.