These gluten free coconut cupcakes with coconut icing are a coconut lovers DREAM! The base is an almond coconut cake that's dense and moist while the dairy free coconut frosting is just a handful of ingredients! These easy coconut cupcakes are SCD, Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, and refined sugar free.
Confession: This is the first cupcake recipe EVER on my little blog! Crazy, right?! I have so many gosh darn delicious dessert recipes but for some reason...no cupcakes!
The paleo coconut cupcakes are dense, full of coconut flavor, and incredibly moist while the dairy free coconut icing adds more coconut goodness!
Cupcake Ingredient Tips
Almond Flour - Blanched finely ground almond flour will yield the best results.
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut - At the store you may notice that different brands shred their coconut to different consistencies. For this recipe I used Bob Red Mills unsweetened shredded coconut because it is very finely shredded. However, feel free to use a large shred if that's what you prefer.
Coconut Milk - You'll want to use full fat unsweetened canned coconut milk. My go-to is Native Forest Simple Coconut Milk.
Honey - A lighter, sweeter honey like clover will lend a subtle sweetness without turning the batter too dark.
Begin by mixing the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls before pouring the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and whisking until well combined.
This part is really important... it takes coconut flour a bit of time to fully absorb the wet ingredients, so allow the batter to sit for up to 1 minute before giving the batter one final whisk.
Scoop the batter into lined muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Icing Suggestions and Substitutions
Palm Shortening - I like using Spectrum Palm shortening but the Nutiva brand will also work. If you prefer to avoid shortening and your system can handle dairy, then grass fed unsalted butter can be used instead.
Coconut Cream - While the coconut cake calls for coconut milk, this icing calls for coconut cream! What I suggest is you put a can of coconut milk in the back of your refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Carefully pop the top of the can and scoop out the hardened cream for the frosting. The remaining liquid can be used in the cake batter!
Place the shortening, honey, coconut cream, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Whisk the ingredients on medium speed until well combined and smooth.
If the icing becomes too runny, place it in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to harden up a bit then whisk again.
Use a knife or piping bag to frost the cupcakes.
Since the icing is made with coconut cream, it will get very soft if left out in a warm room. For this reason it's best to store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle the cupcakes with unsweetened shredded coconut and enjoy!
Looking for more desserts with coconut?
- Lemon Almond Flour Cake with Lemon Coconut Frosting
- Coconut Peppermint Fudge
- Dairy Free Vanilla Cashew Ice Cream
- Coconut Flour Vanilla Mug Cake
- Almond Flour Coconut Cake
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Coconut Cupcakes With Coconut Icing
- 1 ¼ cups finely ground blanched almond flour
- 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 6 Tablespoons full fat canned coconut milk
- 6 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil melted but not hot
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup shortening (either palm or vegetable)
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- unsweetened shredded coconut to garnish tops of cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Allow the batter to rest for no more than 1 minute before mixing again.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them until ¾ full.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Remove all the cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place a can of full fat canned coconut milk in the refrigerator to chill for 8 to 12 hours or overnight. Remove the can from the fridge making sure not jostle it too much! Scoop ¼ cup of the hardened coconut cream out of the can and place in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the rest of the icing ingredients to the bowl and whisk until well combined and a bit fluffy.
- Use a knife of piping bag to frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle the cupcakes with unsweetened shredded coconut and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Make sure all coconut cupcake ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.
- Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator and remove just before serving.