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Side view of Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes on a cake stand

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

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


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


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


  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.


*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.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 417
  • Sugar: 44.9 g
  • Sodium: 226.6 mg
  • Fat: 21.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 75.2 mg