Coconut Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Buttercream

Typically I'm not a big fan of coconut since most desserts either have too much or too little flavor.  We stepped up the coconut punch by using both grated coconut and coconut milk.  Toast the grated coconut by spreading it in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Bake in a preheated oven 325 degrees for about 5 minutes.  Keep your eye on it as it's toasting so that it doesn't get too brown.  You can toast the coconut curls the same way, they'll just take a little longer.  The passion fruit buttercream adds to the tropical flavor with just the right balance of tartness. 
Servings: 24Cupcakes


  • Cupcakes
  • 2cups plus 2 tablespoons(10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2cups sugar
  • 1 1/2sticks unsalted butter - softened
  • 3/4cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
  • 3large eggs
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4cup sour cream
  • 3/4cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • Passion Fruit Buttercream Frosting
  • 4large eggs (you can use pasteurized eggs to eliminate any health concerns)
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1/8teaspoon salt
  • 1pound butter, softened, each stick cut into quarters
  • 1/3 to 1/2cup passion fruit puree (4 - 6 fresh passion fruits or frozen puree - the greater quantity yields a softer buttercream)
  • 4ounces white chocolate, melted, cooled to room temperature
  • Toasted coconut curls to garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In an electric mixer bowl, combine the sugar and softened butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix until combine. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium low until smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the toasted coconut.

Fill the lined cupcake tins 2/3 full with the batter. Bake for 24 minutes or until the top of the cupcake bounces back when lightly pressed. Cool for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Combine the eggs, sugar, and salt in the bowl from an electric mixer. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly, but gently to heat the mixture until it registers 160 degrees (warm to the touch and it will look thin and foamy). Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the mixture on medium high speed with the whisk attachment until light and cooled to room temperature. The bottom of the bowl should be cool to the touch. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter one piece at a time. Once all the butter has been added, pour in the melted white chocolate, then the passion fruit puree. When incorporated, raise the speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until you're ready to frost the cupcakes.

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream using either a spatula or a pastry bag. The cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Garnish with the toasted coconut curls just before serving.

Jill's Wine Recommendation: 2009 Vietti Moscato D’Asti , which is a lightly sparkling, very delicately sweet dessert wine. The floral aromatics and refreshing acidity will work beautifully with the floral notes in the coconut and the tanginess of the passion fruit.


  1. This frosting method of using whole eggs was new to me, and I bake a lot. I had a pack of Goya frozen passion fruit pulp and some white chocolate and gave it a try on cupcakes made from a box. This frosting is delicious and ridiculously sinful. Thanks.

  2. I just made this recipe for a school project and it was disgusting, the cupcake itself was good. The frosting was all wrong, I used used Goya passion fruit pulp and it completely separated from the frosting. I bake a lot have gone through the recipe multiple times and still don’t know what I did wrong

  3. I used goya passion fruit pulp and added just a little bit at a time, allowing it to incorporate before adding more. This was a delicious and silky buttercream! I used only about half of the white chocolate because all I had was some poor quality white chocolate that was not at all pourable when melted, it was kind of clumpy and I was afraid it would make this silky frosting grainy or clumpy.

    I did not make the cupcakes although I am sure they are much better than the boxed cupcakes I made in the interest of time.

    I have made several types of buttercream before- swiss buttercream, french buttercream, flour buttercream, and of course American buttercream. This might be my new favorite recipe, though- the passionfruit flavor is to die for!

  4. I just piped the buttercream and yes, the white chocolate did leave some clumps that clogged the tip and made my cupcakes look strange. will leave out the white chocolate next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *