There is no artificial coconut flavoring in these fluffy, vegan coconut cupcakes, but they’re still bursting with coconut flavor.
I whipped up these cupcakes by special request for my friend Jeanee’s birthday. She asked me to bring cupcakes, and she said that coconut and chocolate were two of her favorite flavors. Vegan coconut cupcakes with chocolate frosting seemed like the obvious move. If you follow me on Instagram, maybe you saw me post this photo them that day:
I didn’t have any aquafaba on hand when I was making these, so I went back to Old Faithful: the Golden Vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. With some adjustments to up the coconuttiness. Instead of soy milk, I used full fat coconut milk, and I replaced the margarine with coconut oil. Guys, these taste super coconutty, with no artificial coloring needed!
I frosted these with chocolate frosting that was *cough* from-a-can *cough*, but if you want to be a purist and make your frosting from scratch, I recommend this recipe from The Misfit Baker. Starr’s recipes are always on point.
The other experiment I tried on these cupcakes is something I learned from Go Dairy Free. Usually, when you make vegan “buttermilk” for baking, the directions say to mix the milk and acid first, then let it curdle. Alisa says that you really don’t have to do that, and you guys. It works! Forget waiting. I mixed up all of the wet ingredients for this together and saved myself waiting time and an extra bowl to wash.
These cupcakes were a total hit with my omnivore friends. One of my friends is allergic to chocolate, so she requested I leave one cupcake unfrosted for her. Even without frosting, she said it was rich and fluffy. YES!
Fluffy Vegan Coconut Cupcakes
adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, makes 12 cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons potato starch (Corn starch would also work, same amount.)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- about 1/2 cup chocolate frosting of your choice (or other frosting! Mix it up, if chocolate isn’t your thing!)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin pan with paper liners.
- Dry ingredient mix: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Wet ingredient mix: In a smaller bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sugar until they’re really well combined. Then add the coconut milk, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Beat with a fork or an electric mixer until the wet ingredients are really well-combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry, and beat again, until well-combined. Some very small lumps are okay, but break up any bigger ones. Divide the batter between your lined muffin tins, filling each cup only halfway. Bake for 20 minutes, then pull them out to cool in the pan until they’re cool enough to handle.
- Once you can touch the cupcakes without burning your fingers, transfer them to a plate, and stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill (or until you’re ready to frost), then spread or pipe on the frosting. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut, then chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- NOTE: You can make these a few hours ahead or even the day before serving, but you want to frost just before serving. If you’re going to store them overnight, keep them in a covered container in the fridge.