Coconut Milk Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting and Fresh Pineapple

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Have you heard about the Livestrong event? LIVESTRONG Day is the Lance Armstrong Foundation's (LAF) grassroots advocacy initiative to unify people affected by cancer and to raise awareness about cancer survivorship issues on a national level and in local communities across the country. LIVESTRONG Day 2007 will occur on Wednesday, May 16.

Barabara over at Winos and Foodies is running an official event to help raise cancer awareness called A Taste of Yellow where she's asking all local bloggers to bake using a theme of the color yellow. She, like so many other people, are battling cancer. My mom had a small spout with it, luckily she had a spare can of whoop-ass on hand and beat the crap out of it. Other's however haven't been so fortunate or are still fighting. I had fun and took some pride participating in this event, and I hope all you other food bloggers out there will too.

So yellow as a theme for a cupcake... Well, I wanted to use carambola but I seemed to have missed the season by a week or two and there were none to be found. Thank God for freshly cut pineapple. It's a perfect match for fresh fresh and aromatic coconut cake. Elise was the one who turned me on to this event so we decided to make them together.

The coconut cake is surprisingly light and airy for a coconut cake. Very light. We were both quite shocked by its bearable lightness of being cake. But, then again, most coconut cakes use oil and milk. We used butter and coconut milk. It seems like an obvious thing to do, but I've seen few recipes actually use the coconut milk. While the coconut I used came from a can or a bag (I do not have the tools necessary to hack open a fresh one) the pineapple really should be fresh for this cupcake; the cake becomes brighter, a happy sigh on a summer day sort of thing.

This recipe could easily be adapted to make a layer cake and is a crowd pleaser for the many picnics and potlucks that I'm sure you have coming with the warm weather.

Please also use this cake as a reminder to help fight cancer in any way you can. Volunteering at a local cancer center, donating, or even just listening to someone who needs to release are all wonderful steps you can take. So bake on, and live strong. If you would like to donate to the LIVESTRONG Foundation, please donate here.

Update 6/12/07: I adapted the following recipe for another great coconut milk cupcake recipe utilizing fresh herbal mint and honey here.

Coconut Milk Cupcakes
Makes 20 cupcakes / 350F oven

What You'll Need...
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup of sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 - 3/4 cup of sweetened dessicated coconut

What You'll Do...
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and cream till light and fluffy again, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing.
2) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each to ensure mixing. (Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom every once in a while to get all the rogued butter escaping the mixer).
3) Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In another add 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Turn off the mixer once ingredients are just combined.
4) Fold in the coconut Scoop into cupcake papers and bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 to ensure even baking. Be sure to check witha toothpick to see if the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean, then they're ready.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting and Pineapple
What You'll Need...
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
1/2-1 cup of powdered
1/4 cup of sweetened dessicated coconut
1 pineapple

What You'll Do...
1) Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scraped down the sides and bottom.
2) Slowly add the powdered sugar. Fold in the coconut. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.
3) Cut up a fresh (seriously, take the extra time and use a fresh one, not canned) pineapple. Place small wedges onto the cupcakes and serve. There will be plenty left over. Use it for pineapple salsa, cocktails, salads, or drinks. It's spring outside, there's a ton of fresh uses for pineapple. Go crazy.
(Unfrosted cupcake photo by Elise Bauer)


  1. Looks perfect for spring and summer. I love how it all works together...cream cheese frosting and coconut...yum!

  2. mind me asking, where do u find all these lovely cupcake receipes??!?? i love coconut and pineapple.. a good match!!!
    your colleagues who dont eat your cupcakes is the silliest person in the world!

  3. Suzie- All the cupcake recipes you see in the cupcake menu (excpet the ones with a "CB" attached to the name), are my own recipes. Some all from my own head, a few adapted from other recipes. All original.

  4. Swoon!

    Garrett, these are gorgeous. And they have coconut which is my very favourite thing in the whole world1

  5. Beautiful!
    coconut and pineapple- yummy
    I posted a limoncello cheesecake for my LiveStrong event. A great cause... I'm glad we could do our little part.

  6. I was just thinking of doing a pineapple crumble today with coconut palm sugar topping. guess you just help me decide to go ahead with it! pineapples!=)

  7. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me! They look absolutely gorgeous!

  8. how adorable are they! And they look so refreshing. Pineapples and coconuts always remind me of the beach, and pina coladas!

  9. Oh yum! I love almost anything coconut- this looks delicious!

  10. Hey garrett ,
    that cupcake looks fit for a king.Coconut , and the milk with fresh pineapple..ooh...can almost taste it.And since u mentioned its light i think i'll take two !How sweet of you to participate in the Livestrong event.

  11. My husband's favorite thing in the world is a coconut cupcake. This is a new one I haven't tried. May have to surprise him with this.

    Looks fantastic.

  12. Jaysuus...those combination of flavors alone are enough to get my attention....its been bookmarked for me to try.


  13. I'd like a can of that whoop ass Garrett. Great entry. Thank you.

  14. They look beautiful, Garrett. Thank you for doing your part for the cause. I also noticed Livestrong kitchen equipment being sold now. :)

    I will definitely make these cupcakes. :) Coconut is one of my favorite things on Earth.


  15. Made these for a picnic this weekend to great reviews. Thanks for such inspiring recipes...Keep it up!

  16. i'm making these right now!

  17. The recipe looks great!... but I was wondering why you would eat something that contains animal fats and processed sugars. Both of which are well-documented feeders of cancer. Maybe using coconut oil instead of butter, and stevia or agave to sweeten the recipe instead. Just my 2¢.

  18. Anonymous: I am with you on the coconut oil and agave. I think they might be neat little kinks to the recipe.

    HOWEVER... eating these things in small doses will not give you cancer. Heck, red meat, wine, non-organic cabbage, sweet-n-low, and dutch processed cocoa have been linked to cancer. But only if you eat insane amounts of them, and by that point you probably kiulled your organs with such a screwy diet.

    Also, please sign your name on your comments and take ownership. It's a personal pet peeve of mine.

  19. "HOWEVER... eating these things in small doses will not give you cancer. Heck, red meat, wine, non-organic cabbage, sweet-n-low, and dutch processed cocoa have been linked to cancer. But only if you eat insane amounts of them," Not such insane amounts of meat have been linked to cancer. Point is, much cancer is linked to bad food. Why perpetuate the cycle/trend when you cna offer alternatives. Part of the problem is people don't think of ways to eat healthily. Sugar feeds cancer. Why eat it at all if you don't have to?

  20. Hi. This recipe sounds wonderful and my first batch did taste great but did not rise. Can you make any suggestions other than not over mixing? Also, sounds like a lot of salt, am I misreading?


  21. Carla, the salt is right. As for sinking, your oven might not have been hot enough.

  22. Coconut cupcakes with cream cheese and pineapple toppings - an excellent combination. I am going to try this recipe. It will make an excellent dessert at any party.

  23. I'm going to use your recipe as a starter for a "we want coconut and chocolate" request. Can't wait to see how they turn out! I'll be filling the cupcakes w/ your frosting (cone method) and frosting with a dark chocolate ganache glaze. Thanks for the coconut milk recipe!

  24. Great recipe!! I am not really into the frosting so I used the fresh pineapples in the batter and made it into a cake! The batter was yummy and I can bet the cake's going to be too (its in the oven right now).

  25. You have a beautiful blog! I was looking for recipes involving coconut milk and was linked to yours. I grew up in Sacramento but currently reside in NYC. However, come June, I'll be moving back to Sacramento. As a foodie and blogger it's so nice to know there's a whole network of local food bloggers.

    Also, I'll definitely be trying this cupcake recipe out soon. I have cans of coconut milk in my pantry just waiting to be thrown into a delicious recipe like this.

  26. My sister Heather, who knew you whilst getting her Masters, made these for a party. I tasted one and I was obsessed. I have made them a few times since then, and I am making them for a Vday party tomorrow. I LOVE THEM TO DEATH! Best cupcake ever. Texture, sweetness (not deathly sugary bleah) and heartiness. Thanks you!

  27. I rarely google for recipes as have my favourite collections I usually go to online, but had some spare coconut milk and found your site. They are by far, the BEST cupcakes I have ever made, even without the frosting!! So thank you :)


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