The Boastful Baker

because every cook praises her own broth

Either you love it or you don’t.


Coconut Lime Cupcake

I’m referring to coconut. Like cilantro, Brussels sprouts or sushi, coconut is one of those foods that people feel strongly about in one direction or the other. Fortunately I’m pro-cilantro, Brussels sprouts and coconut. No, I don’t like sushi. It’s a raw fish and/or seaweed thing. But that’s not the point today.

Today the point is this: If you love coconut, you will love these coconut lime cupcakes. Assuming that you like limes. But I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who was opposed to limes.

I’ve made these cupcakes numerous times in the past and they’re frequently requested by people who have tried them before. I think they’re second only to carrot cupcakes. This most recent batch was made for a cookout on the 4th of July. Joel requested that I make them despite the fact that we didn’t know how the people at the cookout felt about coconut. Fortunately I think most of the people liked coconut and the rest of them just had to go without a delicious cupcake. Their loss. I also shared some with a neighbor and her mom liked them so much that she requested the recipe. And since I needed to post something on my website anyway, here it is!

Coconut Lime Cupcake

The recipe for these is from the fantastic Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cookbook. If you haven’t ever flipped through this cookbook, it’s worth doing just for cupcake ideas.

I did make a number of changes to the original recipe and my version isn’t vegan as I used real dairy products instead of soy ones. I’ve made them the true vegan way as well and really couldn’t tell the difference. The recipe below is my non-vegan adapted version as it’s a lot cheaper to make them this way. Also, the original called for coconut oil and quite frankly, I am not willing to buy coconut oil as it’s grossly expensive and these cupcakes taste plenty coconutty without it.

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

Slightly adapted from recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Makes 12 regular or about 40 mini cupcakes



  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I use the light variety)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract (if you don’t have it, I’ve subbed extra vanilla before and all was well)
  • 1 tbsp lightly packed, finely grated lime zest
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut

Lime Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest (I like lime a lot and I used more like 1 heaping tablespoon. But that’s your call!)

Optional topping:

  • 1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted in the oven until browned and crunchy



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. If making mini cupcakes, you’ll probably want to bake these in 2 batches.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the vegetable oil and sugar. Add the coconut milk, milk, vanilla, coconut extract, and lime zest. Mix to combine.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until smooth. Add the coconut and mix to incorporate.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes for regular cupcakes and slightly less for mini cupcakes, until the cupcake top springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted through the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely on racks before icing.


  1. Beat the shortening and margarine together until combined well and fluffy.
  2. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and lime juice, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes or so until fluffy.
  4. Add the zest and mix to distribute.
  5. Chill until ready to use.

To Assemble:

  1. Heap the frosting onto the cupcakes or pipe onto cupcakes using a pastry bag and decorating tip of your choice.
  2. If using toasted coconut on top, sprinkle the cupcakes with the toasted coconut and press lightly so that it adheres to the frosting.
  3. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


  1. Hi,

    Thanks to the girls at Cupcakes Take the Cake, I came to see your coconut lime recipe. It sounds delicious! A question for you… Do you think the icing will work if I use butter in place of the shortening and margarine. I just searched the web and found that both would be equal substitutions. I just wanted to get your opinion. I just prefer a buttercream icing that has real butter. Thanks!

    • I haven’t ever tried this particular recipe with butter. I’m sure it would work but I think the frosting would be a lot heavier. With the margarine and shortening, it’s very fluffy and I’m not sure you’ll get quite the same consistency with butter. I’m a fan of real butter in almost everything but for some reason this frosting might be better without it.

      Let me know how it comes out if you do try it.

  2. My friend made me some lime/coconut muffins once and they were the best thing i had ever had. i think these would be even better. will be baking some soon! looks delicious.

  3. count me among the coconut-lovers, especially when lime is also involved. i’m amused by the fact that you’ve UN-veganized a recipe rather than the other way around. :)

  4. Love this latest recipe!It looks good :)

  5. Pingback: Camera and Cupcakes : The Monday Baker

  6. Hi Melissa,

    I made the cupcakes yesterday. I decided to replace only the margarine, and to leave the shortening in. OMG, it’s best icing ever! Overall, the cupcakes are delicious! But the icing is definitely my favorite part. I think I have a new found love for lime. I also made chocolate chip cookies, so I am thinking of using some of the leftover icing to make cookie sandwiches.

  7. Hello,
    I only use oil in chooolate cupcakes and butter in other recipes.

    Are these moist?

    With thanks,

  8. I just made these muffins but I added 1 egg and no lime zest – I baked them for 26 minutes – they were moist and full of coconut flavor. Will make them again & again as my family loves coconut. Thank you.

  9. Pingback: 20 Delicious Spring Cupcakes! | I Heart Nap Time - How to Crafts, Tutorials, DIY, Homemaker

  10. Pingback: Coconut Lime Cupcakes | Recipes Home

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.