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These made from scratch Coconut Cupcakes with a hint of lime are light and fluffy. Filled with a sweet coconut cream and topped with a swirl of coconut cream cheese frosting. The perfect mix of tropical and citrus flavoring. A fun summertime dessert recipe! 

Stacked coconut lime cupcakes topped with coconut cream cheese frosting.


All about these Coconut Lime Cupcakes…

  • Tropical Flavors: The combination of coconut and lime creates a fun tropical flavoring that is cool and refreshing. 
  • Filling: Adding a creamy coconut filling to the cupcakes amps up the flavoring and helps keep the cupcakes tender and moist. Make sure you set aside the time to make and add the filling to the cupcakes since this is what truly makes them stand apart from other recipes!
  • Perfect for any summertime occasion: Need a dessert idea for a special summer occasion? Birthday? Bridal Showers? Baby Showers? These cupcakes are perfect for that!! They are impressive and beautiful and will have all your guests asking for the recipe.

Ingredients Needed:

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Cream of Coconut: this will be found in a can, or you can use a squeeze bottle of coco lopez. Cream of coconut is different than coconut cream. This product is a sweetened condensed milk version of coconut. 
  • Coconut Milk: use canned or coconut milk from a carton. This adds more coconut flavoring to the frosting. If needed you can sub with regular milk. 
  • Butter: when baking be sure to grab unsalted butter, this allows for more control in the salt of the recipe. 

How to Make (step-by-step):

How to make coconut cupcakes with a hint of lime, showing batter being mixed.
  • Step 1: Mix dry and wet ingredients separate, in one bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set this aside. In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. 
  • Step 2 & 3: Combine wet and dry ingredients, stir until just combined, then slowly add the milk and lime zest and juice. Avoid over-mixing the batter. 
  • Step 4: Fill the muffin tin to 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 17-19 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
How to make coconut cupcakes with lime, showing batter being added to muffin tin for baking.
  • Step 5: Mix the filling, this creamy coconut filling reminds me of the filling of an almond joy. It’s smooth, luxurious and is loaded with shredded coconut.
  • Step 6: Fill the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut the center out using a sharp paring knife, fill the center of the cupcakes with the filling, you can use a piping bag for this or simply use a spoon. Place the top of the cupcake piece removed back onto the cupcake to give a nice smooth surface for frosting.
How to make coconut lime cupcakes, showing creamy coconut filling being added to centers of cupcakes.
How to make coconut cream cheese frosting, then being added in a swirl on top of the cupcakes.
  • Step 7: Mix frosting. This coconut cream cheese frosting is best made with room temperature butter and cream cheese, mix until smooth and creamy. The coconut extract gives a wonderful smooth, refreshing coconut flavoring.
  • Step 8: Pipe on frosting. The frosting can either be piped on using a piping bag and decorating tip, or use an offset spatula or other flat spatula to spread the frosting around. Decorate with lime zest or shredded coconut.

Expert Tips:

  • Room Temperature ingredients: bring the butter, eggs and milk or creams to room temperature by setting out about 45 minutes prior to baking. This helps the ingredients mix in nice and evenly into the batter. 
  • Sifting: if needed sift your flour for the cupcakes and the powdered sugar for the frosting! This will help cut down on any lumps in either. 
  • Scoop: use an ice cream scoop to help evenly distribute the batter. This ensures a consistency to the size of the cupcakes and helps them to bake evenly. 
Sliced open coconut lime cupcake showing creamy coconut filling in the middle.

Coconut Lime Cupcakes: FAQS

What’s the best way to store cupcakes?

Store these cupcakes in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also place them in the refrigerator and they will last for up to 5 days. 

Are these coconut cupcakes freezer friendly?

I recommend freezing these cupcakes without the filling or frosting being added. After baking the cupcakes, let them cool to room temperature. Then freeze them on a baking sheet overnight. Once frozen, they can be transferred to a sealed freezer safe container or bag. Store for up to 2 months. When ready, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature and continue with the recipe to add the filling and frosting.

What is the best way to decorate coconut cupcakes?

These cupcakes can be easily decorated with the frosting using a decorating tip and piping bag. OR you can use an offset spatula or flat knife to spread the frosting directly onto the cupcakes. Top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and lime zest to let people know the flavoring without asking! 

Tray filled with coconut lime cupcakes.

More Baking Dessert Recipes:

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

4.84 from 6 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Serene
Light and fluffy Coconut Lime Cupcakes with a creamy coconut filling all topped with a swirl of coconut cream cheese frosting. Fun and tropical flavored summer cupcake recipe!
Stacked coconut lime cupcakes topped with coconut cream cheese frosting.


For the cake

  • cup flour (188 g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar (200 g)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk (120 ml)
  • ¼ cup lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tbsp lime zest

Coconut Filling

  • ¼ cup cream of coconut canned
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Coconut Frosting

  • ½ cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk canned
  • tsp salt



  • Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Add Eggs: Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Add Dry Ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until just combined.
  • Add Lime: Turn down to low speed and beat in the lime zest and juice until incorporated. Try to avoid overmixing.
  • Bake: Pour/spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only 2/3 full. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


  • Make Filling: Combine cream of coconut, salt, and vanilla together. Add in powdered sugar and stir until mixed. Add in shredded coconut. Stir until mixed.
  • Fill Cupcakes: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle shaped hole into the center of the cooled cupcakes to create a little hole about 1 inch deep. The piece you removed will be the shape of a cone. Spoon or pipe filling inside each cupcake.
  • Replace Top: Cut off and remove the bottom of the “cone” piece of cupcake you removed so that it can fit on top of the filling. Place on top of the filling to close up the cupcake.


  • Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low at first then increasing to high speed. Once incorporated, add the next cup. When creamy and combined, beat in the coconut extract, coconut milk and salt. Taste. Add more salt or flavoring as needed.
  • Frost: Frost the cooled cupcakes.



  • Cream of Coconut: this will be found in a can, or you can use a squeeze bottle of coco lopez. Cream of coconut is different than coconut cream. This product is a sweetened condensed milk version of coconut. 
  • Coconut Milk: use canned or coconut milk from a carton. This adds more coconut flavoring to the frosting. If needed you can sub with regular milk. 
  • Store Leftover Cupcakes: Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 
  • Make Ahead Instructions: Cupcakes can be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Freezing Instructions: Freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Milk: I highly recommend whole milk for a rich and moist cupcake.
  • Limes: You need about 3-4 medium limes to yield this amount of zest and juice.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Recipe first published February 18, 2014. Updated June 10, 2022 with new images and information. Recipe has been updated over the years to result in a lighter, fluffier cupcake.

Photography by the talented

Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi, What’s the original amount of coconut milk for the frosting? I’m guessing 1/4 cup is the amount after it’s reduced.

    1. Hi Phuong! Yes, you’re right that the 1/4 cup is after it’s reduced, you’ll want to start with at least 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Happy baking!

    1. Yes 🙂 just start with small amounts and if it gets too runny add more powdered sugar. It’s pretty fail proof. Just find the right consistency that you want.

  2. Hi. I’ve just made the filling for the cupcakes and it’s super thick and rather solid. What can I do to fix it so it’s softer? Thanks jazz

    1. Hi Jazz 🙂 just add a little more milk. With the shredded coconut it can be kind of thick, but just play with the amount of milk to get it how you want.

  3. Wonderful recipe! The coconut and lime really do compliment each other perfectly. Definitely felt like eating the whole batch in one sitting. The recipe does make 12 cupcakes, the only thing is when making the frosting you will need more coconut milk; 1/4 cup simply wasn’t enough and left it dry. I ended up using 1/2 maybe even a full cup of coconut milk and it worked out.

    1. I’m not sure what I did wrong but my cupcakes came out the texture of cornbread. They taste great but help!

  4. Hi Serene! These cupcakes are just what I was looking for. I have everything to make them but was wondering, for the coconut milk, did you use the refrigerated kind in a carton or canned? I have both but want to get this right from the start. Also, how many cupcakes does the recipe make? Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Jennifer 🙂 thanks for letting me know I missed putting that information in!! I just updated it so it’ll show up. But I used a can of coconut milk for these when I made them. And the recipe will give you 12 cupcakes. Happy baking!!!!

  5. Serene, I love these flavors! If only it was 80 here.. we’re in the midst of a snow storm!

    1. Oh no!! Well if it makes you feel better we didn’t have 80’s this weekend, we’ve been having some great rainstorms! But these cupcakes would be perfect to help pretend it’s warm 😉

    1. Thanks Jessica!! I’m a huge fan of anything coconut and lime! Those flavors together just make me happy 🙂 I hope you give them a try.