Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes

For a sweet coconut treat any time of year, these gluten free coconut cupcakes are delightful and feature a coconut buttercream frosting! 

If you enjoy coconut as much as I do, then you have come to the right place!

I dare say...these are the BEST gluten free coconut cupcakes I have ever eaten. Just teeming with sweet coconutty flavor. They are AMAZING!

Basically, I shoved coconut flavor into every nook and crannie- in the BEST way! These cupcakes are soft, moist, and sweet. They would be perfect for Easter, a baby shower, spring brunch, or a random Sunday afternoon!

I really do not understand when someone says they do not like coconut. What?!? How?!? It's just so unbelievably good in all forms!

Ina Garten has a coconut cupcake recipe, which calls for 2 cups of sugar + sweetened coconut flakes. Love you, Ina- but that is a WHOLE lot of sweetness! Honestly, I don't think you need to use sweetened coconut ever!

And, you could also top these cupcakes with toasted coconut flakes for an even greater depth of coconut flavor!

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Use a gluten free flour blend.
  • Use a cookie scoop or measuring cup for uniform size.
  • Only fill about 2/3 full.
  • Sub some ground coconut flakes for the flour (like I did!) for even more coconut flavor!

Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes with Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Ingredients in Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes

  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Milk (I used almond milk)
  • Vinegar
  • Coconut Extract
  • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Corn Starch
  • Salt
  • Gluten Free Flour Blend


Coconut Buttercream Frosting

For even more sweet, coconut flavor- this frosting is perfect for topping coconut cupcakes!

  • Cream Cheese
  • Coconut Oil
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Butter
  • Coconut Extract
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Milk or Cream

First, grind unsweetened coconut flakes in a small food processor. Then, beat everything in a large mixing bowl until creamy and smooth. Next, use a piping bag with a tip or a knife to spread over cooled cupcakes. Note: Don't use a small tip, as pieces of coconut may become stuck.


What is the secret to moist cupcakes?

  • Use oil instead of butter (though I personally prefer baking with butter)
  • Add another egg
  • Buttermilk > Cream > Milk > Water
  • Consider adding mayo, yogurt, or sour cream


How do I store gluten free coconut cupcakes?

I often store baked goods in the fridge, especially when there's cream cheese involved. Store coconut cupcakes in an airtight container. They will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.

Gluten Free Cupcakes with Coconut

Craving more???

Mini Gluten Free Oreo Cupcakes

Gluten Free Piña Colada Cake

Gluten Free Mini Air Fryer Cheesecakes

Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes

For a sweet coconut treat any time of year, these gluten free coconut cupcakes are delightful and feature a coconut buttercream frosting! 



  • 3/4 c. milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 2 eggs, separated + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 c. butter, partially melted (1 stick)
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes, ground (about 1/2 cup when ground)
  • 1/4 c. corn starch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. gluten free flour blend

Coconut Butter Cream

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes, ground
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1+ Tbsp. milk (I used almond milk)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set bowl aside.
  • Use a small food processor to grind the coconut flakes.
  • In another large mixing bowl (but you can use the same mixer/beaters), beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut extract. Next, beat in the coconut flakes and corn starch. Now, add about half of the milk + vinegar mixture and beat until combined. Then, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup of the gluten free flour. After combined, beat in the remaining milk + vinegar. Next, beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of gluten free flour. Finally, fold-in the egg whites.
  • Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter (a little less) into 12 lined muffin cups. Bake for 14-18 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before icing.
  • COCONUT BUTTERCREAM: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, coconut oil, and butter until smooth. Then, beat in the coconut extract, coconut flakes, and powdered sugar. Add milk slowly and continue beating until desired consistency is reached. Spread or pipe over the cooled cupcakes.


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