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Coconut Caramel Cupcakes

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Toasted coconut topped caramel stuffed cupcakes, what's not to love?

For some reason, I have been hoarding coconut ingredients recently and I have no idea why. I have two and a half bags of coconut flour, have gone through two bags of unsweetened coconut flakes in less than a month with no macaroons in sight, and have a couple assorted cans of coconut milk in the pantry. I used a little light coconut milk in my coffee during my Whole30, but all of this has entered the house post-challenge, so clearly that’s not the reason.

Toasted coconut topped caramel stuffed cupcakes, what's not to love?

I might be turning into my mother.

As a kid I remember how she enjoyed Almond Joy bars, or Mounds, coconut macaroons, and even the coconut crusted shrimp they sold frozen at the store. I don’t remember cooking very much with coconut, but we definitely had it around. Maybe I had to incorporate coconut into these ingredients because I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom lately? She’s still healthy and alive, and I call and FaceTime with her pretty regularly, but she’s a middle school teacher and it’s testing season. You may commiserate with her here, I do.

Toasted coconut topped caramel stuffed cupcakes, what's not to love?

It’s a good thing my mother also has good taste. 😉 I think she’d like these cupcakes, even without an inkling of chocolate. These airy yet rich cakes are stuffed with caramel, topped with a coconut buttercream frosting that’s practically perfection, extra toasted coconut, and a drizzle of extra caramel. What’s not to love?

Toasted coconut topped caramel stuffed cupcakes, what's not to love?

Coconut Caramel Cupcake Recipe - delicious, and not too sweet!

Coconut Caramel Cupcakes

Yield: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


Cupcake Batter

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 c (222 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c (157 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp (12 g) coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c milk (140 g)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut (37 g)
  • 1 c caramel sauce, homemade or store bought


  • 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted, divided
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3-4 c (450-600 g) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and fill a one-dozen cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and unsweetened coconut.
  5. Add half the dry mixture to the butter and eggs, then add the milk, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter among the 12 liners and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top of the cupcakes springs back when touched.
  7. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to rest in the pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
  9. Toast the coconut by placing it in a dry skillet over medium low heat. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes until the coconut is golden brown, then remove from the pan and place on a large plate to cool for 5 minutes so you can incorporate it into the frosting without melting your butter.
  10. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  11. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each to incorporate.
  12. Mix in 2/3 c of the toasted coconut, reserving the rest for sprinkling.
  13. If you need to, mix in additional powdered sugar, 1/4 c at a time, to achieve desired consistency.
  14. Place your caramel in a piping bag fitted with a cupcake filler tip and pipe caramel into the center of each of your cooled cupcakes.
  15. Frost the cupcakes with the coconut frosting, then drizzle with additional caramel (switch to a smaller tip and use the frosting left in the bag to make things easy), and sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut.

Did this recipe inspire you?

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Wednesday 29th of April 2015

I spotted these on Pinterest 'cos they look soooo pretty! My best friend loves coconut so it's only fair I make them for her! Thanks for the inspiration. Sammie


Thursday 30th of April 2015

Thank you! I hope she enjoys them :)

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