Auntie Em's Coconut Cupcakes

"These are billowy, irresistible coconut cupcakes with a coconut cream cheese frosting. Just the thing to have when you really need a coconut fix. The recipe is adapted from Auntie Em's, ( a hundred year old restaurant located in the Eagle Rock community of Los Angeles. It features home cooking."
photo by ChefLee photo by ChefLee
photo by ChefLee
photo by ChefLee photo by ChefLee
photo by ChefLee photo by ChefLee
Ready In:
18 cupcakes





  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  • In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract and sugar.
  • On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until smooth, careful not to overmix.
  • Gently fold in the coconut.
  • Place 18 paper muffin-tin-liners into muffin-tin cups (or grease the cups with butter).
  • Fill each cup with a generous 1/4 cup of batter, so that it comes 3/4 th's up the side of each cup.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a wood pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove the cupcakes to a rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the butter and continue mixing on medium speed until smooth.
  • Scrape down the bowl again.
  • Add the powdered sugar in three additions at low speed, after each addition scrape down the bowl again.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Frost each cupcakes with 3 teaspoon frosting and sprinkle with shredded
  • coconut.
  • The cupcakes will keep for about 3 days.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
  1. tracy
    The 1 3/4 coconut is divided- why? It says and extra for decorating. What is the plan for the 1/2 that isn’t added to the batter?


  1. cookingbee
    What a great tasting cupcake. Loved the frosting and the coconu in the cupcake as well. Everyone who loves coconut should try this recipe.
  2. ChefLee
    Wonderful, moist cupcakes!!! I love that the coconut is in the cake batter as well as on the icing!! I used Baker's brand coconut in the batter and then I used organic raw coconut shavings, that I toasted, on top. I completely forgot to put in the almond extract until they were baking, which I thought might be a huge error but I thought they tasted great!! They were nice and coconutty and vanilla-flavored! I will probably leave it out next time I make them too!! Thanks for posting this great recipe!!!! Will definitely make again and again!!
  3. pladaza
    This coconut cupcake recipe is wonderful! The shredded coconut is added in the cake batter and the light and fluffy buttercream frosting...YUM! I've had to substitute a few items since my husband is allergic to wheat, gluten and dairy. Surprisingly, it was very delicious and moist! If you are looking to make a gluten & diary free coconut cupcake, I substituted with the following items: white rice flour, organic almond milk, Earth Balance dairy-free butter, Tofutti (soy-imitation cream cheese), and for the buttermilk use warmed almond milk with 1 1/2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Overall, you will enjoy this cupcake either way! :-)


I live in a wooded hillside area of Los Angeles where it feels like being out in the country. I grew up in Rhode Island, and came to LA after graduating from URI. I recently retired from my job as an environmental specialist. So now I have time to collect internet recipes. My hobbies & interests are aquatics, shell collecting, my cats, feeding stray cats, home improvement projects and cooking. I love to travel and, years ago, lived in Mexico for several months. My favorite cookbooks are the ones written by Diana Kennedy; they are all great; and I have them all, some signed by her when I was enrolled in her cooking classes. I have a lot of cookbooks; some of my other fave authors and their books are: Madhur Jaffrey (especially World Vegetarian, World of East Vegetarian Cooking and A Taste of the Far East), Faye Levy, Martha Rose Shulman (especially Mediterranean Light, Provencal Light and Mexican Light) and Paula Wolfert.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes