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The Best Moist Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes | Easy Cupcake Recipe Without Baking Powder

These rich chocolate coconut cupcakes are indulgent, yet simple and quick to prepare. Rich and decadent, the moist chocolatey sponge is topped with smooth coconut frosting and topped with delicately toasted coconut, to marry the two flavors together in one perfect dessert.
chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-buttercream

Table of Contents

Easy Cupcake Recipe Without Baking Powder with Decadent Buttercream
chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-buttercream-close-up

Chocolate coconut cupcakes are the sort of dessert you admire when passing in front of a nicely dressed pastry shop or bakery: a tender chocolate sponge, topped with smooth, yet rich creamy frosting, sprinkled with delicious desiccated coconut, which has been toasted on a slow, low flame.

 

You know once you lock your eyes on such beauty it’s hard to walk past and forget about it and it happened to me all the time while trying to stick to my calories, not deviate from the path. 

 

This recipe is incredibly tasty, moist, and decadent, yet it contains no eggs, no baking powder, no butter (unless you want to use dairy butter for the frosting instead of a vegan option). It effectively is the most luxurious vegan cupcake recipe you have ever set your eyes on and it requires very few ingredients. 

 

You can find the FREE printable card just below the notes I have written to help you make this recipe the easiest and most perfect way, but you are welcome to just scroll through the content and go to the nitty-gritty straight away! 

Ingredients-chocolate-coconut-cupcakes

Let’s talk nutrition! 

Cocoa is one of the most consumed sweets, and it is mostly known for its role in the production of chocolate. 

 

Unfortunately, because it is so associated with highly-fatty and highly-sweet desserts, its nutritional and health benefits are often skipped or ignored. 

 

Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that naturally occur in foods (such as wine, tea, fruits, vegetables) and have been linked to multiple health benefits, like improving blood flow, reducing inflammation, helping with blood pressure and sugar and cholesterol levels.

 

This great food also may improve the mood! Cocoa’s positive effects on the mood and symptoms of depression may be linked to flavanols found in it, as well as the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin (which is a natural mood stabilizer), the caffeine found in it, or also the simple pleasure of eating chocolate, which pleases the senses. 

 

 ~~ If you are in the mood for more chocolatey recipes, keep the oven on and try these delicious Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits

 

chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-buttercream-close-up2

Questions time!

How to prepare chocolate coconut cupcakes with buttercream frosting?

These delicious coconut and chocolate cupcakes are made up of two main parts: the moist sponge and the homemade coconut buttercream frosting. 

1) The chocolate coconut cupcakes

 

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius if using a FAN oven, 400 Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius if using a static oven, gas mark 6.

 

Start by sifting the all-purpose flour and baking soda in a large bowl; mix them well and add the sugar, desiccated coconut, and salt, and mix well again.

 

The ingredients can be easily mixed with a fork, but should you prefer, a stand mixer or electric mixer can be used instead – although not necessary!

 

In a separate container, ether a jug or another mixing bowl, add your wet ingredients: sunflower or vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, water, and your flavoring essence of choice (coconut essence is ideal for these, but I have prepared them with some maple syrup as well, and they taste as delicious).

 

Start adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a bit at a time, mixing in between; once they are all mixed well together, you will have a smooth batter.

 

At last, sift the dark cocoa powder on top of the cupcake batter and mix it in – without necessarily combining it completely, as you can get some nice coconut and chocolate swirls in the sponge.

 

Line the cupcake pans with cupcake liners and fill them halfway; this recipe will prepare 24 medium-sized cupcakes and if you fill the liners more than halfway, like 2/3 full, they will create a very rounded dome during the baking and they will be harder to frost (plus, you will have fewer cupcakes with more calories!). For ease, try using an ice-cream scoop to fill the cupcake tins.

 

Bake the cupcakes in the middle of the oven, on the middle tray, for 16-18 minutes; once they are baked, remove them from the oven immediately and place the cupcake pan on a cooling rack, so that they start cooling down straight away.

 

sift-flour-in-medium-bowl
Sift the flour and soda
sugar-and-coconut-in-flour-mixture
Add salt, sugar and coconut
dry-ingredients-next-to-wet-ingredients
Prepare the wet mix
Add wet ingredients and mix
vegan-coconut-cupcakes-batter
Coconut cupcake batter
Sift cocoa powder
chocolate-coconut-cupcake-batter
Chocolate coconut batter
chocolate-cupcake-batter-in-cupcake-cases
Batter in tins
freshly-baked-chocolate-coconut-cupcakes
Freshly baked cupcakes!

2) The perfect creamy frosting

 

This frosting recipe needs a bit longer to prepare, as it requires some cooling time, but it is worth every second spent waiting!

 

The first component to prepare for the buttercream is what I call a thickener (although there will surely be a more ‘professional’ name for it), which is made by combining milk and cornstarch. Put the mixture in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil on low-medium heat; as soon as it starts simmering, bring the flame to low and keep on stirring throughout the process.

 

Once you achieve a thick consistency, like a thick custard, remove the pan from the hob and transfer its contents in a bowl, so it starts cooling down. Before moving to the next step, the thickener needs to be completely cool and if bringing it to room temperature takes too long, you can cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.

 

In a food processor, using the attachment with the metal blades, add the sugar and the butter, which will be at room temperature and cut into small pieces. Mix the two ingredients until the sugar completely melts in the butter and you obtain a thick and smooth cream; this step can take up to 15 minutes, but using granulated sugar in the butter will make the result with it!

 

Next, add the same extract you used in the cupcake batter (coconut essence works perfectly, but maple syrup is great too!) and the thickener to the food processor and mix again until peaks form. Beat the butter until pale and creamy, yet thick.

cornflour
Put cornflour and milk in a small saucepan
milk and cornflour
On low heat, allow it to simmer until thick
thickener of milk and cornflour
Once thick, allow to cool down completely
ingredients for the maple syrup buttercream
Ingredients for the maple syrup buttercream
sugar and butter
Add sugar and butter to the food processor
sugar and unsalted butter
Mix until the sugar melts in the butter
add maple syrup and thickener
Add the thickener and the coconut extract
blend buttercream until fluffy
Blend buttercream until fluffy and smooth
maple syrup buttercream
Homemade Coconut Buttercream

3) Chocolate coconut cupcakes with buttercream icing: decorating

 

It is best to use the buttercream immediately, as putting it in the fridge will make it harden.

 

Chose a nice tip and place the coconut-infused frosting in the piping bag; decorate the cupcakes as liked dividing the buttercream equally.

 

On top, these can be decorated in many, many ways, however, I opted for toasted desiccated coconut, as it perfectly balanced the sweet buttercream and rich chocolate sponge, with its toasted aroma. To toast the grated coconut, add it to a large pan and heat it on a low flame, and stir constantly; toast until golden brown and move to a cool plate straight away. If your flame is too high or the coconut toasts for too long it will burn quite quickly, as the oils in it will act fast – so keep an eye on it, and a low flame!

 

Once the toasted coconut has cooled down completely, sprinkle it on top of the cupcakes and enjoy!

 

desiccated-coconut-in-pan
Desiccated coconut in a large pan
toasted-coconut
Toast until golden brown and cool down
chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-buttercream-cut-in-half
Decorate the chocolate coconut cupcakes & enjoy!

These chocolate coconut cupcakes can be prepared a couple of days in advance, and so can the frosting. For best results, store the unfrosted cupcakes on the kitchen counter, in an airtight container; before sealing the container, ensure they have fully cooled down.

 

Should you decide to prepare the indulgent buttercream in advance too, remember this will harden in the fridge, so you will need to take it out a couple of hours before using it; once it reaches the ideal consistency, whisk it for a few minutes to bring back that creamy frosting result.

If you have fully frosted leftover cupcakes, these can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop for a couple of days; please bear in mind that, should the weather be too hot, then it would be best to store them in the fridge, because of the buttercream. In that case, take them out of the fridge at least half an hour before eating. 

There are many reasons as to why cupcakes can result dry, but the two main ones are:

 

1) Overbaking: the cupcakes have stayed in the oven too long and too much moisture has been removed from them. This can happen the first time we try a recipe, especially if we have a new oven or we are using one we are not familiar with; try adjusting the cooking time next time you bake them.

 

2) Too much flour: the dry ingredients such as flour or cocoa powder have been mismeasured and too much has been added, making the batter thicker than needed and the result drier. When making desserts, although using a measuring cup most of the time carries a good result, using a scale with grams or ounces is much more precise and a good choice if available; it is easy to add too much flour mixture when using cups and also just one extra tablespoon can make a big difference if paired with one extra minute in the oven.

Yes, most cupcake recipes can! The cooking time will be longer and it will mainly depend on the shape and size of the cake tin you choose to use.

chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-buttercream-on-blue-background

Amendments and substitutes:

 

There are days when we dream of fluffy cupcakes but don’t have every single ingredient in the cupboard and, without needing to go to the grocery store for anything else, it is good to know about some alternatives (applicable also if you prefer different flavor combinations!):

 

Buttercream: If coconut is not your go-to combo with chocolate, then feel free to skip it in both the cupcakes and the buttercream. Great tasting alternatives as chocolate buttercream for a double cocoa effect (triple if you wish to add some chocolate chips!), strawberry frosting (which can be elegantly decorated with fresh strawberries), or simple vanilla buttercream frosting (in which case use vanilla extract in the foundation recipe for the cupcakes). For something fancier, try pairing them with cream cheese frosting!

 

Non-vegan: this recipe can be followed step by step as it is for a vegan delight or amended to use some dairy and it will give perfectly delicious results anyway! The vegan butter can be swapped for unsalted butter, while the soy milk can be replaced with whole milk (although reduced-fat alternatives will work too!).

 

Vinegar: should you not have cider vinegar, you can use the same amount of white wine vinegar; failing that, as a last resort you can use lemon juice instead, but in a slightly smaller amount (reduce the amount by about ¼).

 

Starch: should you not have cornstarch to prepare the thickener

 

~~ Looking for an alternative to soy milk that is non-dairy? The 12 Best Non-Dairy Substitutes for Milk | What is the best alternative to milk? How to choose it? | 12+ Plant-Based Alternatives

 

chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-buttercream-with-bounty-in-tray
Chocolate coconut Cupcakes with a cheeky Bounty in a to-go tray... party time!

A few tips:

 

Here are a few notes I thought would be useful to make the cupcake baking and decorating straightforward: 

 

Leavening agent: this recipe uses baking soda to react with vinegar to make the cake rise, rather than baking powder; because of this, you won’t want to have the cake batter ready too much in advance before putting the cupcakes in the oven – try to have them ready to go at the same time.

 

Cooling: should you not have a cooling rack, you can easily use a wire rack from the oven, which normally has two – just remember to take it out of the oven before preheating it. If you have any other alternative that gives the option of elevating the cupcakes without fully blocking the bottom part of them, go for it!

 

Frosting recipe: This frosting recipe is delicious however it does take a bit longer than simple butter and sugar frosting. Should you have a favorite frosting recipe that you’d like to use instead and is faster, go for it – but make sure you try this version when you have the time, as it is out of this world!

 

Cupcake cases: this cake is black and white, which offers great contrast, however – if you would like something more vibrant, opt for some decorated, multicolored cases!

 

This is one of the most delicious cupcakes recipes you will ever try and it is a huge hit at birthday parties, as many love Bounty chocolates, yet this recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan!

 

These tender cupcakes are easy to make yet look as if they have been purchased in a bakery… get your wooden spoon, preheat the oven, and get baking! 

chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-buttercream-close-up

The Best Moist Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

Elle
Easy Cupcake Recipe Without Baking Powder with Decadent Buttercream
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 47 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the cupcake sponge

  • 300 g All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
  • 300 g Granulated Sugar
  • 30 g Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2/3 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut grated
  • 120 ml Sunflower Oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Coconut Essencee/Extract or maple syrup
  • 360 ml Water

For the buttercream

  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 240 ml Soy Milk dairy milk if non-vegan
  • 250 g Vegan Butter dairy unsalted butter if non-vegan
  • 250 g Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Coconut Essencee/Extract or maple syrup

For the toasted coconut

  • 2 Tbps Desiccated Coconut grated

Instructions
 

The chocolate coconut cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius if using a FAN oven, 400 Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius if using a static oven, gas mark 6.
  • Start by sifting the all-purpose flour and baking soda in a large bowl; mix them well and add the sugar, desiccated coconut, and salt, and mix well again.
  • In a separate container add your wet ingredients: sunflower or vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, water, and your flavoring essence of choice.
  • Start adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a bit at a time, mixing in between; once they are all mixed well together, you will have a smooth batter.
  • At last, sift the dark cocoa powder on top of the cupcake batter and mix it in - without necessarily combining it completely, as you can get some nice coconut and chocolate swirls in the sponge.
  • Line the cupcake pans with cupcake liners and fill them halfway; this recipe will prepare 24 medium-sized cupcakes.
  • Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven, on the middle tray, for 16-18 minutes; once they are baked, remove them from the oven immediately and place the cupcake pan on a cooling rack, so that they start cooling down straight away.

The perfect creamy frosting

  • The first component to prepare for the buttercream is what I call a thickener, which is made by combining milk and cornstarch. Put the mixture in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil on low-medium heat; as soon as it starts simmering, bring the flame to low and keep on stirring throughout the process.
  • Once you achieve a thick consistency, like a thick custard, remove the pan from the hob and transfer its contents in a bowl, so it starts cooling down. Before moving to the next step, the thickener needs to be completely cool and if bringing it to room temperature takes too long, you can cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
  • In a food processor, using the attachment with the metal blades, add the sugar and the butter, which will be at room temperature and cut into small pieces. Mix the two ingredients until the sugar completely melts in the butter and you obtain a thick and smooth cream; this step can take up to 15 minutes, but using granulated sugar in the butter will make the result with it!
  • Next, add the same extract you used in the cupcake and the thickener to the food processor and mix again until peaks form. Beat the butter until pale and creamy, yet thick.

Chocolate coconut cupcakes with buttercream icing: decorating

  • It is best to use the buttercream immediately, as putting it in the fridge will make it harden.
  • Chose a nice tip and place the coconut-infused frosting in the piping bag; decorate the cupcakes as liked dividing the buttercream equally.
  • To toast the grated coconut, add it to a large pan and heat it on a low flame, and stir constantly; toast until golden brown and move to a cool plate straight away. If your flame is too high or the coconut toasts for too long it will burn quite quickly, as the oils in it will act fast - so keep an eye on it, and a low flame!
  • Once the toasted coconut has cooled down completely, sprinkle it on top of the cupcakes and enjoy!

Notes

The batter ingredients can be easily mixed with a fork, but should you prefer, a stand mixer or electric mixer can be used instead - although not necessary!
If you fill the cupcake liners more than halfway, like 2/3 full, they will create a very rounded dome during the baking and they will be harder to frost (plus, you will have fewer cupcakes with more calories!).
For ease, try using an ice-cream scoop to fill the cupcake tins.

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 230mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 437IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes, Coconut Buttercream
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My Personal Favorites

This opening statement, this blog… they have been a long time coming. 

 

While looking from afar, I am sure my life does not appear as anything else but ordinary (there were probably three moments that changed the course of my story), some choices I made I hope will encourage change for better health for others, as much as they have for me. 

 

As any well-respected story, this is how it starts… 

 

Once upon a time in the late ’80s… 

 

But that would make this page way too long and way too boring, so flash forward… 

 

Elle

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