Coconut cupcakes are individual coconut-flavored, cup-shaped dessert cakes. They are typically made using the ingredients for a white cake, but may also have shredded coconut and/or coconut milk added to the batter as well as the frosting. Some bakers like to use a yellow cake mix and add coconut frosting that also has a slight yellowish color to it. Most coconut cupcakes are all white in color though and are served for a variety of occasions.
Elegant-looking coconut cupcakes may be featured at weddings. They may be placed onto tiered cupcake holders to create a sculptured, dramatic presentation as an alternative to a traditional white wedding cake. Since shredded coconut on top of white frosting can have a snow-like look, these types of coconut cupcake may be made for a dessert at winter parties. Adding a red or green maraschino cherry to the center of each cupcake is a popular Christmas coconut cupcake style. Shredded coconut-topped cupcakes are also ideal for Easter and edible rabbit features to create ears, eyes, a nose and whiskers can add a whimsical touch to the dessert.
These cupcakes may also be served at children's or adult's birthday parties as well as at a dinner party. For a fancier type of dinner party, cream colored rather than white frosting may be used and the coconut sprinkled on top of it may be toasted. Toasted coconut has a golden brown look to it. Slivered almonds and a butterscotch or rum sauce could also be drizzled on top of the coconut cupcakes for a finishing touch.
Either butter cream or cream cheese frosting is typically used for a coconut cupcake icing. As both types of frosting are typically thinned to the desired spreading consistency with milk, some bakers like to substitute coconut milk. Almond or vanilla extract, or both, are often used in both the batter and the frosting to intensify the flavor of coconut cupcakes. Coconut extract may be more difficult to find in some countries or areas, but is also sometimes added to the cupcakes. Either sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut available for sale in packages is usually used for the cupcakes and icing.
Some coconut cupcake recipes call for a fruit flavor to be added. For example, there are recipes for coconut-lime, coconut-pineapple and coconut-mango cupcakes. Such mixed flavors for coconut cupcakes should not be strong enough to overpower the subtle, yet rich appeal of coconut.