Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

I made these adorable little bird nest cupcakes for Easter.

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

Easter is now approximately 52 weeks away.

However, there are plenty of other opportunities between now and then to make these delicious Toasted Coconut Cupcakes, minus the bird eggs.

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

A couple months ago, a bird made a nest in the wreath on my front door. For those of you who don’t know, my husband is weirdly obsessed with birds (hence the quails now living in my backyard), so he thought that was just the greatest thing. Since I am terrified of birds, I was highly offended that these birds had the audacity to build their nest in my $50 wreath, thus ruining it, since I was never going to touch their gross nest to remove it.

Right around the time that these little birds decided to build their nest on my front door, Nick was going out of town for 2 weeks. Considering my luck, and hatred of birds, I could just imagine the scenario. I open the front door, the bird gets startled, flies into my house– with vaulted ceilings– and I have no husband home to help me remove the vicious intruder. I’d have to move into a hotel for 2 weeks (rather than risk being dive-bombed in my sleep), and I’d come home to a house covered in poop. That would be my luck.

Seriously, why do people like birds?

Well, I decided not to chance it and I removed the wreath, nest, eggs and all, before Nick left. He was sad about it. I felt guilty for about 0.3 seconds until I visualized the drama with the vaulted ceilings. We were all better off.

I placed the wreath on the side of the house, just in case the birds wanted to come back. Surprisingly, they did. They laid 2 more eggs. And then they abandoned ship.

I still haven’t gotten up the courage (or bought rubber gloves) to remove the gross nest, so the wreath is still sitting on the side of my house. Every time I walk past it, I check the nest and the 4 little eggs are still sitting there. They look exactly like Robin Egg candies and I kind of want to eat them.

Until I remember that they probably contain tiny dead bird fetuses.


These coconut nests are much more my style.

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

Toasted coconut is probably one of the best things in the world. It’s so easy to make and brings huge flavor to the party. I love that it adds a little crunch to these cupcakes. The cakes are sweet and super moist thanks to the shredded coconut and coconut milk hiding inside.

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

makes 12 cupcakes

for the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

for the frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

for topping:

  • 1 cup toasted coconut*
  • Cadbury mini eggs or mini Robin Eggs (optional)

*To toast sweetened coconut: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the shredded coconut and toss together.

Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg white and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture and coconut milk, and beat until combined.

Divide the batter evenly between 12 lined cupcake cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then move the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, until it is all incorporated. Add the vanilla and coconut extracts and mix until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

Frost the cupcakes, then dip tops into toasted coconut. Add the eggs, if using. Serve or store in an airtight container!

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes


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  1. says

    I am completely obsessed with coconut lately. I can’t wait to make these coconut cupcakes!

    And if you came to my house you would be totally freaked out since I have bird feeders and bird baths everywhere! Luckily none have flown in our house yet. That would be pretty scary.

  2. says

    That bird story is so cute, but also something I could see happening to me! Haha! I wouldn’t want to move the nest, but I would even more want to avoid the birds ending up in my house. Glad that didn’t happen. (Have you seen the old Hitchcock movie The Birds? We read it every year when I was a teacher and showed the movie. It was one of my favorite units!)

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