Spiced, carrot filled cupcakes topped with light, fluffy coconut frosting and toasted coconut, these Carrot Cake Coconut Cupcakes are the perfect Spring bake.
Hiya everyone, hope you had a good bank holiday weekend. Before we talk about these Carrot Cake Coconut Cupcakes, I want to talk about my big plans for my corner of the internet. As you might notice, things are looking a little different around here. We spent the weekend giving the blog a little refresh. New logo, graphics and colours etc. I’ve added a “jump to recipe” button and you’re now able to pin directly from the recipe card. Talking of the recipe card, I’ve made that more aesthetically pleasing too.
As for the menu bar, I’ve changed things around a bit. Streamlined it and added “blog” to it. When I first started using this theme, there used to be an “older posts” button at the bottom of the first page. This then took you to all my posts.
At some point, in an update, the developer removed that feature. So, the first page showed the top few posts and that was it. I’ve been annoyed with it since and tried various ways to fix it. I didn’t realise I could do something so simple though. I just added a blog link to the menu bar, problem solved!
I’ve also grown a little tired of this layout. It’s served me well for the last 5 or so years. However, I want to freshen things up and better reflect what this website is about.
So, over the next few months, my husband and I will be working on an entirely new site… with a new name. I will share the name closer to the time, but by the end of January 2023 things will be looking entirely different here. Hopefully much more dynamic, user friendly and easier to navigate!!
I’m honestly so excited! I hate getting stuck in a rut, I obviously started doing beauty posts here a few years ago. Since I no longer just do food, this name doesn’t fit as well as it once did. I have wanted to change the name for about 18 months. However, when we looked into it, it seemed like it would be too difficult.
I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last 10 years to build this site up to what it has become. So, I didn’t want to lose all that. Fortunately, my husband is amazing and he thinks there’s a way we can do things where I won’t lose everything!
So, I hope you like the freshen up and find it a bit more user friendly. Next year I hope to make that experience 10 times better!
LET’S TALK ABOUT THESE CARROT CAKE COCONUT CUPCAKES…
I haven’t made cupcakes in ages! I was really craving them the other day. My husband was also desperate for some carrot cake as it’s his favourite. I wanted to do something a little different than I normally do. So, I decided to add desiccated coconut to the batter.
I then thought that coconut frosting with toasted coconut on top would elevate these from great tasting to sublime. Oh my goodness, I was right. The frosting might be my favourite frosting ever.
It’s ridiculously light, silky smooth, sweet, but with a little salt to cut through that sweetness. With added coconut milk and coconut extract, the coconut flavour is delicate and compliments the spiced cupcake perfectly.
To begin with I made a pretty bog standard carrot cake recipe. Plenty of shredded carrot and spices, brown sugar and oil. You don’t need an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for this recipe; just a whisk/spatula and bowl.
To the carrot cake batter, I added desiccated coconut. Wouldn’t be Carrot Cake Coconut Cupcakes without coconut would it? I baked them until golden, let them cool and then made the most dreamy frosting ever.
Vegan butter, icing sugar, salt, coconut extract and coconut milk are whipped together until pale and fluffy before being piped on top of each cupcake. To finish each cupcake off, I toasted some more desiccated coconut and sprinkled it on top.
With the toasted coconut, coconut milk, coconut extract and desiccated coconut in the batter, you get layers of flavour. Sometimes nutty, sometimes tropical. Since coconut can be a delicate flavour, you need to make sure there’s depth to it. Otherwise, with something like carrot cake, which has spices in, the coconut would be lost.
Just try not to fall in love with these utterly divine Carrot Cake Coconut Cupcakes! The perfect balance of flavours and ratio between cake/frosting.
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Carrot Cake Coconut Cupcakes
- FOR THE CUPCAKES:
- 2/3 cup (160ml) vegetable/sunflower oil
- 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (210g) plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 cups (225g) carrots, shredded
- 2/3 cup (60g) desiccated coconut
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 2 sticks (226g) vegan/dairy butter at room temperature
- 3-3 1/2 cups (360g – 420g) icing/powdered sugar* SEE NOTE
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 tbsp coconut milk
- 3-4 tbsp desiccated coconut to garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with liners. Place the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla into a large bowl and whisk until smooth, combined and slightly frothy.
- Add in flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices and mix until there are no lumps of flour and the mixture is smooth.
- Add in the shredded carrot and desiccated coconut, then fold in, until all the carrot and coconut are coated in cake batter.
- Divide the batter between your cupcake liners, filling each one 3/4 of the way. Place in the oven for 18-22 minutes, until risen, golden and an inserted skewer into the centre comes out clean.
- Place a wire rack over some kitchen paper. After cooling for 10-15 minutes, transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, it's time to make the frosting and garnish. Make the garnish first – place 3-4tbsp desiccated coconut into a, small, dry frying pan over a low heat.
- Stir the desiccated coconut continually until it becomes golden. This process can happen very quickly, so keep an eye on it. Bits will start to turn, then it'll all be golden before you know it. Pull it from the heat as soon as you can see it's golden otherwise some bits will catch and burn.
- Leave the toasted coconut to cool while you make the frosting. Place the vegan/dairy butter into a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Sift in the icing/powdered sugar and add in the salt and coconut extract.
- Add in 3 cups of icing sugar to begin with, you can always add more, but you can't take it away! With an electric hand mixer, or your stand mixer, start to mix the frosting on low. Once the icing sugar has combined with the butter, turn the speed up to medium.
- Mix for 30 seconds, then add in 1tbsp of coconut milk. Turn the mixer up to high and beat for 3 minutes. The frosting will pale in colour. After the frosting has paled and is fluffy, assess if you need to add any extra icing sugar. If the frosting falls off of a spoon as soon as you tilt it, add the extra 1/ 2 cup icing sugar and beat for another minute.
- You want frosting that will hold on a tilted spoon, but still able to pipe through a nozzle. It should feel whipped and light. Attach an open or closed star nozzle to a large piping bag. Fill the piping bag 2/3 of the way and pipe a swirl onto each cupcake. Alternatively, you can spoon on frosting and spread it. You will have leftover frosting if you do this.
- After you've finished frosting the cupcakes, sprinkle each one with the cooled toasted coconut, then dig in!
- Carrot Cake Coconut Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 4 days. Or 6 days in the fridge. Best served at room temperature.