Coconut-Lime Cupcakes with Coconut-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Where are my coconut lovers at? I absolutely love this cake recipe, it’s one I stumbled across years ago and haven’t stopped making since. The original recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten- a woman I truly admire in this industry. This cake has a wonderful crust that encompasses a soft and fluffy coconut crumb. And the frosting…I think it’s my favorite frosting I’ve made to date, no joke! A perfect balance of lime and coconut- it’s a really great summer cupcake.

Note: For this recipe I wanted to really enhance the coconut flavor. From a 13.5 fl. oz. can of coconut milk, I separated the coconut cream (the dense white top part) from the coconut water (liquid on the bottom). We’re using the coconut water in the cake, and the coconut cream in the frosting. In order to properly incorporate the coconut cream into the frosting, it needs to be cold, so hold it in the fridge until you are ready to use it!

Coconut-Lime Cake Recipe: Yields about 36 cupcakes, or 2-8″ cake rounds

  • unsalted butter, at room temp.- 12 oz.
  • white sugar- 2 cups
  • eggs, at room temp.- 5 each
  • vanilla extract- 1&1/2 tsp.
  • almond extract- 1&1/2 tsp.
  • baking powder- 1 tsp.
  • baking soda- 1/2 tsp.
  • salt- 1/2 tsp.
  • all purpose flour- 3 cups
  • coconut water from 1, 13.5 fl. oz. canned coconut milk-about 3/4 cup.
  • milk- 1/4 cup
  • coconut flakes- 4 oz. (about 1&1/2 cups)
  • lime zest & juice- 2 each


  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a kitchenaid with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and airy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, letting each egg incorporate fully. (mixture tends to look separated, it will come back together as you keep adding your ingredients).
  4. With the mixer off, add in the vanilla extract, almond extract, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour.
  5. With the mixer on low, start to mix the batter together and slowly pour in the coconut water and milk.
  6. Keeping the mixer on low, add in the coconut flakes and lime zest & juice.
  7. Mix on medium for about 30 seconds to bring the batter together.
  8. For cake pans: fill the pans just over half way full. Bake for about 20 minutes, cover with foil, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. For cupcakes: fill the tins 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 15 minutes, check, and if necessary bake for an additional 5 minutes until cupcakes are golden brown and bounce back to the touch.
  9. Let cake/cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Coconut-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

  • cream cheese, cold – 2, 8 oz. packages
  • coconut cream, cold- 8 oz.
  • powdered sugar- 1&1/4 cups
  • lime zest- 2 each
  • heavy cream- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp.


  1. In a kitchen aid with the paddle attachment, paddle the cream cheese and coconut cream until well combined.
  2. Turn the mixer off, switch to the whip attachment and add in the powdered sugar and lime zest. Mix on low until sugar starts to incorporate.
  3. Turn the mixer on medium and add in the heavy cream, slowly dripping it down the side of the bowl.
  4. Whip on high for about 5 minutes. The frosting will thicken as you whip it.
  5. Let the frosting set up in the fridge for about 15 minutes before piping into cupcakes.

Candied Lime Slices

  • limes- 2 each (use the ones you zested for the frosting)
  • sugar- 1/2 cup
  • water- 1/2 cup


  1. Set oven to 175 degrees.
  2. To make simple syrup: place the sugar and water in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and remove from heat, let cool before dipping in the lime slices.
  3. Slice the limes as thin as possible, dip in the simple syrup.
  4. Place lime slices on a parchment lined tray, and let dry in the oven for about 1-1&1/2 hours. Let cool completely before using for decoration.

Decorating the cupcakes:

  1. Place the cupcakes on a cooled serving platter.
  2. Put the frosting in a piping bag with a star tip, and pipe the frosting starting from the edges to the center of the cupcake.
  3. Garnish cupcakes with candied lime slices and toasted coconut.
  4. Take pics, brag to friends & enjoy!

I can’t get over how pretty these are. They’re rich with coconut and cream cheese, with the lime rounding out the flavors with some nice acidity and sweetness. I know you, your friends & family will love these cupcakes!

Thanks for joining me today, I hope you make and love this recipe as much as I do. Share this recipe with a friend and spread the love! Cheers & happy baking!

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