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Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are bursting with lemon and coconut, through and through! With both key ingredients in the cupcake, a sweet & tart lemon curd filling, and a thick, creamy coconut cream cheese frosting on top. These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes will certainly get you in the spirit of spring.

Course Cake
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 18
Author Sarah


For coconut lemon cupcakes:

  • 1 box yellow or lemon cake mix
  • 3.4 oz. box instant coconut cream pudding mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites reserve yolks for lemon curd
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

For lemon curd:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter cut into cubes

For coconut frosting:

  • 8 oz. package cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup toasted coconut


For coconut lemon cupcakes:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, pudding mix, water, egg whites, lemon zest, and oil. 

  2. Line 18 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners.

  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3-full with batter.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until edges are golden, and a toothpick inserted near the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

  5. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

  6. Meanwhile, prepare lemon curd filling.

For lemon curd:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar.

  2. Transfer to a small saucepan.

  3. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring regularly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until smooth.

  5. Transfer the curd to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

  6. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

For coconut frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.

  2. Beat in vanilla and coconut extracts.

  3. Add 4 cups powdered sugar, beating until thick and creamy. Add additional powdered sugar, as needed, to achieve a frosting of medium consistency. Creamy, but thick and pipeable.

To assemble:

  1. Using a small teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, carve a 1-inch ball out of the center of each cupcake.

  2. Using a small teaspoon or small cookie scoop, dollop a rounded teaspoonful of lemon curd into the center of each cupcake.

  3. Frost cupcakes. I used a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, Wilton 1M.

  4. Sprinkle cupcakes with toasted coconut.