Coconut and lime cupcakes recipe

(636 ratings)

Our easy coconut and lime cupcakes take less than 40 minutes to make.

coconut and lime cupcakes
(Image credit: Alamy)
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories364 Kcal18%
Sugar30.8 g34%
Fat20.3 g29%
Saturated Fat13.1 g66%
Salt0.54 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein3.3 g7%
Carbohydrates42.3 g16%
Salt0.54 gRow 7 - Cell 2

These creamy coconut and lime cupcakes are baked in just 20 minutes and taste like a little ray of sunshine. 

Our cupcake recipe has been given an upgrade with a lime and coconut sponge and creamy coconut icing. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes but you could halve the ingredients if you only need six. Alternatively, bake the full recipe and freeze some of the un-iced cupcakes for another day. 


  • 120g butter, softened
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • 50g dessicated coconut

For the buttercream:

  • 120g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk




  1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the lime zest. Sift in the baking powder and half the flour with half the coconut milk. Fold in and stir until mostly combined then add the remaining flour and coconut milk. Gently fold in the desiccated coconut.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Place on wire racks to cool completely.
  4. To make the buttercream, cream the butter, gradually add the sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the coconut milk and continue creaming until fully combined. Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the cupcakes and garnish with more desiccated coconut and lime zest, if liked.

Top tips for making coconut and lime cupcakes

Ever wondered how professionals get such even sized cupcakes? Read our tips below to discover the secret! We also have ideas on how to make the cupcakes even more moist and delicious. 

What can I add to cupcakes to make them moist?

The coconut milk in this cupcake recipe gives the finished cakes a light fluffy texture. For added moisture you can add a drizzle or soak. For this recipe a simple combination of lime juice and caster sugar would be delicious but you could also use some coconut rum for a fun boozy twist. 

How much do you fill cupcake cases?

We recommend filling the cases around two thirds full. Once the cakes have baked and risen it should fill the case nicely and leave enough room for you to ice the cake too. For consistent results you can use an ice cream scoop to portion the cake batter.

Alternatively, you could weigh the total mixture and divide by 12 or food writer Jessica Ransom says: ‘I like to use a tablespoon measure when portioning cupcake batter. It’s usually around two and a half scoops per case but I take quite a relaxed approach.’ 

What’s the difference between muffin cases and cupcake cases?

Muffin cases tend to be a little taller and bigger in diameter than cupcake cases. If you only have muffin cases you can still use them but you may find the mixture makes less cakes. 

To zest any citrus fruit food writer Jessica Ransom says it’s hard to beat a microplane grater. They are super sharp and create a really fine grating of zest which is perfect for mixing through cake batter or sprinkling on top for garnish. 

Microplane grater Premium fine grater - View at Amazon

Microplane grater Premium fine grater - View at Amazon

This long lasting, high quality grater is super effective and will quickly become one of your most used pieces of kitchen equipment. You can use it to zest citrus fruits, finely grate cheese, whole spices or even grate garlic cloves to create a soft paste. The Microplane graters come in a variety of colours but we love the hot pink. 

You might also like our lime cupcakes which are moist and easy to bake. We also have some simple lemon cupcakes or Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake is one of our most popular recipes on the site. 

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.