Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

These Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes are a delectable treat for summer! Moist coconut cupcakes are topped with key lime buttercream frosting!

Can’t get enough of these coconut cupcakes? You’ll fall in love with my Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes too!

key lime cupcakes pinterest image

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

There are few flavors that feel more summery that key lime, especially when combined with coconut. It just feels like I should be sitting on a beach somewhere when I eat them. Honestly, that kind of makes them the perfect cupcake for right now because I’d love to be on a beach!

And in addition to being such cute cupcakes, they are so darn tasty! The coconut cupcake is a variation on my Easy Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes and if you’ve tried those, then you know how good these are already. Plus, they are pretty simple to make.

The cupcakes are topped with a key lime frosting that is so smooth and refreshing. There’s lots of flavor from the key lime juice and key lime zest. They are topped with a little slice of key lime and some toasted coconut for a delicious cupcake that screams summer!

close up of key lime coconut cupcakes on a marble/wood standcupcakes with one with a bite taken out

How to make Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

These cupcakes start with the creaming method by creaming together some butter, vegetable oil, and sugar. The butter adds great flavor, while the oil adds some extra moisture to keep these cupcakes fresh for longer. Cream everything together for 3-4 minutes until you see a noticeable change in the light color and texture of the mixture.

Next, add the coconut extract and then the eggs.

Finally, you’ll alternate adding the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) with the milk. Fill your cupcake liners and bake for about 15 minutes or so, depending on your oven.

The key lime buttercream is pretty straightforward and is based on my classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Swap out the vanilla flavor and cream for the key lime juice and zest and you’ve got a great key lime buttercream!

Finish off the cupcakes with a slice of key lime and some toasted coconut and you’re ready for a party or a summer cookout! There’s no doubt that these cupcakes will be a hit!

key lime coconut cupcakes on a marble/wood cake stand with lime slices around the bottomkey lime coconut cupcakes on a marble backdrop

More Great Recipes To Try

No Bake Key Lime Cheesecake
Easy Coconut Cheesecake
Avocado Key Lime Pie
Coconut Macaroon Cupcakes
Key Lime Pie Layer Cake

This post was updated on July 7, 2020. View the old version of this recipe here.

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key lime coconut cupcakes on a marble backdrop
Recipe

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes are a delectable treat for summer! Coconut cupcakes are topped with key lime buttercream frosting!


Scale

Ingredients

Coconut Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp (84g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (155g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp (150ml) milk

Key Lime Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp key lime zest*
  • 12 tbsp key lime juice*
  • Pinch or two of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted, optional
  • Key lime slices, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter, sugar, oil and coconut extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  4. Add the coconut extract and mix until combined.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
  7. Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter might look slightly curdled, but that’s ok.
  8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
  9. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove cupcakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
  11. To make the buttercream, add the butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
  12. Carefully add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and well combined.
  13. Add the key lime zest, 1 tablespoon of the key lime juice and the salt to the frosting and mix until well combined.
  14. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional key lime juice as needed to get the right consistency.
  15. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 847.
  16. Sprinkle some toasted coconut onto the frosting and finish the cupcakes off with a slice of key lime.
  17. Cupcakes are best when stored in an air tight container and eaten within 2-3 days.

Notes

*If you can’t find key limes, you can use regular limes. I used bottled key lime juice and regular limes for the zest and decor.

Keywords: key lime cupcakes, coconut cupcakes, coconut dessert, coconut cake recipe, key lime recipe, recipes with coconut cream, coconut cream cake

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

28 Comments
  1. GiGi

    I just made these!  Easy which is what I like.  I just tasted the batter so far and that was delicious enough to know they will be great!  Just took them out if the oven and will be mixing the half butter and half shortening as others suggested as many if my tasters don’t really like the buttery frosting taste.  I will keep coming back for more recipes.  Thank you for this one!!

  2. Erin

    These look awesome!! I have to make them, because I have a beach right down the road from my house, so the scenario would be perfect…especially if I bring a good book along 😉 (I’m reading the Lavender Tides series by Christian author Colleen Coble, if anyone’s looking for something new to read…they’re amazing so far!). I was wondering if these could be made with cream cheese frosting, made with the like components that are in this recipe? Cream cheese is my preferred frosting because it isn’t overly sweet, and it has that awesome tanginess instead of just tasting like butter and sugar 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      Cream cheese frosting would be fine, you’ll just have to be careful to not add too much key lime juice and thin out the frosting too much.

  3. Ashley

    Would you recommend doing half the butter and half shortening in the frosting recipe? Many of your previous recipes have done this and I really enjoy it, I think it tastes better than all butter. Is it something you’ve stopped doing? Love all your recipes I’ve never had one that didn’t turn out phenomenal!!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t been doing it as much lately, but you can really do that for any of my buttercream recipes. All butter or half and half works the same. So glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the recipes!

  4. monica

    Hi Lindsay,
    I really love your blog and recipes. I was wondering if your coconut cupcakes recipe with key lime can be turned into a cake.

  5. Mimi

    Just made these this afternoon.  The taste was very good – true coconut flavor.  However, I found them to be a bit dense and less moist than I was hoping for.  Coconut cream filling helps with this a bit but I still would have liked them to be a bit fluffier.

  6. plasterers bristol

    Oh boy these sound really good. look forward to giving these ago on the weekend. Thanks for sharing.

    Simon

  7. Beth @ bethcakes

    Gorgeous cupcakes! I love that coconut filling in the middle with the key lime buttercream on top. So pretty! 🙂

  8. Mir

    Your friends make some amazing cupcakes, Lindsay! Love the recipe, Ashley. That filling is amazing. Who could ever resist that?

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12