These gluten free coconut cupcakes are topped with a thick and creamy cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut for a delicious dessert any coconut lover will enjoy!
One bite of these moist coconut cupcakes and you will be hooked too! If you love cupcakes as much as we do, you will want to try all of my best gluten free cupcake recipes!
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The kids and I have been coconut fanatics for years. We like to bake with coconut flour, we are crazy for Almond Joy candy bars, and we try to sneak coconut into lots of recipes like these Gluten Free Cowboy Cookies and these Gluten Free Caramel Magic Bars.
I am digressing because coconut gets my mind thinking of dessert, and dessert makes me hungry :-).
For this recipe, I use unsweetened shredded coconut. There is sugar in the cupcakes and frosting...I think sweetened shredded coconut would tip the scales and make this recipe too sweet.
Unsweetened shredded coconut is also great in my homemade Coconut Macaroons cookies too!
This gluten free coconut cupcake recipe can be used for any holiday. Add in white chocolate bunny ears and sprinkle on colorful sprinkles, and they are perfect for Easter. For winter, they look just like snowballs.
How to make bunny ears
Using a silicone mold is really simple when making bunny ears. Melt white chocolate and use a spoon to drop melted chocolate into each bunny ear. Use a toothpick to make sure all of the areas are covered. Allow hardening. Twist the silicone mold to release the hardened chocolate bunny ears.
(I found the silicone bunny mold that I used at Michaels store. I tried to find it on Amazon for you but it seems to be only at Michaels.)
My favorite chocolates for melting to make molded chocolate shapes are white chocolate chips, or Ghirardelli white chocolate melting wafers.
I tried to keep the ingredients to a minimum with this recipe to keep it simple. Note if your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain Xanthan Gum, you will need to add 1 teaspoon.
This is important to keep your cupcakes togther...otherwise they will crumble apart. (I mention this in the actual recipe, but some readers miss it so I am adding it here as well.)
As you can see inside, these gluten free coconut cupcakes are moist and delicious inside, no dry or dense cupcake here!!
How do you keep cupcakes moist?
The secret to keeping my cupcakes moist, light and fluffy is not overmixing the cake batter. I find overmixing the batter tends to make denser cupcakes that are more brick-like. I think this happens more with gluten free baking than regular baking.
The rich coconut flavor of these cupcakes comes from using canned coconut milk. It adds a beautiful coconut flavor, without making the cupcakes overpowering!
Add your dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to blend.
Gluten Free Flours
I have tested three gluten free flour blends in this recipe. I liked King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure, Nameste GF Flour, and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend. This doesn't mean other blends won't work, I just haven't tested any others. Try to avoid flour blends that are high in starch.
As always, if your blend does not contain Xanthan Gum, you will need to add 1 teaspoon.
In a smaller bowl, add your wet ingredients and whisk to blend. Mix until the batter is just barely mixed. Try not to overmix the batter.
When the cupcakes are finished baking?
I like to use the toothpick test to see if my cupcakes are done baking. Insert a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake. If the toothpick comes back clean, the cupcakes are finished baking. If you see crumbs or batter, you need to bake them a little longer.
Make the cream cheese frosting and use an ice cream scoop to put it onto each cupcake. Pour the shredded coconut into a bowl. Dip the cupcake upside down so the frosting is in the coconut. Press down to shape the frosting into a rounded mound.
Can I use less sugar?
Yes you can! One reader used only 1/3 cup of sugar and she then used vanilla coconut yogurt instead of canned coconut milk.
Can you make them dairy-free?
You can make this easy coconut cupcake recipe dairy-free by substituting the butter for coconut oil. You will want to use vegan butter and cream cheese for the frosting. You can also use vegan butter to make a buttercream frosting by following this gluten free lemon filled cupcake recipe for buttercream.
(Optional, add the white chocolate ears and sprinkles.)
More delicious gluten free cupcake recipes to try:
- These are the best gluten free chocolate cupcakes ever. Topped with a chocolate buttercream frosting.
- If you love carrot cake, these gluten free carrot cake cupcakes are delicious with a creamy cream cheese frosting.
- Pink lemonade is the best in this gluten free pink lemonade cupcake recipe.
- If you are looking for something fun, these gluten free churros cupcakes are great...you can even make the tiny gluten free churros that are on top!
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk
For Frosting and Decorations
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 stick butter
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set out your butter and cream cheese to ensure they are at room temperature.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
- In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just barely mixed.
- Add cupcake liners to a muffin tin and fill each 3/4 full with cupcake batter.
- Bake 20-22 minutes until done. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
- Add your butter, cream cheese, and vanilla to a mixer. Whip until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add water slowly so your frosting doesn't get too soft.
- Use an ice cream scoop to put frosting on each cupcake. Dip the cupcake upsidedown into the shredded coconut to top each.
Don't over-mix your cupcake batter, it will make your cupcakes denser. Also, if your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain Xanthan Gum, you will need to add 1 teaspoon.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 593Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 2gSugar: 58gProtein: 5g
**If your gluten free flour blend doesn't include Xanthan Gum, please add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon! **Please note this nutrition information is calculated by a recipe plugin and is an estimate based on the ingredients used in this recipe.