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Lemon Coconut Cupcakes {Italian Meringue Buttercream}

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes have a moist coconut cake, a sweet, tart lemon curd filling and are topped with a lemon Italian meringue buttercream!

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes have a moist coconut cake, a sweet, tart lemon curd filling and are topped with a lemon Italian meringue buttercream! Lemon, coconut, Spring, cupcakes…

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes have a moist coconut cake, a sweet, tart lemon curd filling and are topped with a lemon Italian meringue buttercream!

Look me straight in the face and tell me that lemon and yellow don’t make you instantly happy.

That’s what I thought. Insta-sunshine

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes have a moist coconut cake, a sweet, tart lemon curd filling and are topped with a lemon Italian meringue buttercream!

As I was photographing these little guys, I couldn’t stop smiling. Maybe it was the fact that the light was actually cooperating for once, or maybe it was the covert tastes of lemon curd that were making me happy.

Or perhaps it’s because my husband is visiting for the first time in a month!

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes have a moist coconut cake, a sweet, tart lemon curd filling and are topped with a lemon Italian meringue buttercream!

You pair that happy-inducing lemon with a generous dose of coconut, and you have yourself a mini tropical vaca right there in your kitchen. #yourewelcome

In these Lemon Coconut Cupcakes a moist coconut cupcake made with both dried coconut and coconut milk is filled with lemon curd and then topped with a coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream.

And then topped off with some more toasted coconut.

In these Lemon Coconut Cupcakes a moist coconut cupcake that is made with both dried coconut and coconut milk is filled with lemon curd and then topped with a coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream.  And then topped off with some more toasted coconut.

I think I mentioned recently how much I love lemon desserts.

I’ve been having a lemon moment. I want lemon everything.

In these Lemon Coconut Cupcakes a moist coconut cupcake that is made with both dried coconut and coconut milk is filled with lemon curd and then topped with a coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream.  And then topped off with some more toasted coconut.

I had big plans for the extra lemon curd, but I ate it all. Every last tangy sweet drop.

In these Lemon Coconut Cupcakes a moist coconut cupcake that is made with both dried coconut and coconut milk is filled with lemon curd and then topped with a coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream.  And then topped off with some more toasted coconut.

While I was developing this recipe, I took a look at my Lemon Curd recipe (via Ina Garten} and was, like, “huh?” It was the most ridiculously convoluted process ever.

It doesn’t need to be that difficult.

I updated the recipe with precise measurements and I totally changed the cooking process. Now it is made in one pan and it essentially has 2 steps. Easy Peasy.

Thank you culinary school, thank you.

In these Lemon Coconut Cupcakes a moist coconut cupcake that is made with both dried coconut and coconut milk is filled with lemon curd and then topped with a coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream.  And then topped off with some more toasted coconut.

These cupcakes were the lucky recipients of my Italian Meringue Buttercream.

You can flavor the frosting with either lemon or coconut extract depending on which flavor you want to be most prominent.

Clearly I am in a lemony frame of mind, so I dropped a bit of lemon extract into mine and I may have spooned some more lemon curd on top…I know. Out of control.

It wasn’t pretty but it tasted pretty fantastic.
Just a note on frosting: There is an amount of buttercream that looks beautiful on cupcakes and then there is an amount of buttercream you would actually want to eat. This is the former. Frost with care…

Just sayin’…

In these Lemon Coconut Cupcakes a moist coconut cupcake that is made with both dried coconut and coconut milk is filled with lemon curd and then topped with a coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream.  And then topped off with some more toasted coconut.

Also, I used the coconut milk that you get in a carton at the grocery store. It is not that super thick, incredibly rich coconut milk that you get in the can. The coconut milk should be the consistency of whole milk: if yours is super thick, thin it out with some water.

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes {Italian Meringue Buttercream}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 28 Cupcakes

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes {Italian Meringue Buttercream}

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes have a moist coconut cake, a sweet, tart lemon curd filling and are topped with a lemon Italian meringue buttercream!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 28 cupcake tins with liners. You can bake in 2 batches if you don’t have enough tins.
  2. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until thick and lighter in color, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  4. Alternately add flour and coconut milk in three additions on low speed beginning and ending with flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the next addition when your batter is streaky; if you wait too long, you will overmix by the time you’ve added the remaining ingredients. You want to stop mixing as soon as the last flour has disappeared. I like to fold in the last addition of flour with a spatula to avoid over beating.
  5. Scoop or pour the batter into the liners ¾ full. I use a large cookie scoop for this task and it works beautifully. Sprinkle some toasted coconut on each cupcake. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. I always start checking at 12 because I’m not a fan of dry baked goods. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick, inserted into the center, comes out with a few clinging crumbs but no wet smears!
  6. Remove from tins immediately and let cool on a wire rack. They must be completely cool before filling and frosting.
  7. For the Assembly:
  8. Cut a hole in the top of each cupcake with a pairing knife and fill each with about 2 teaspoons of curd. I don’t measure, I just fill up the darn hole. It doesn’t matter. The more the merrier. And, no, those little bits of cake don’t go to waste. Those have my husband’s name on them.
  9. Fit a piping bag with your favorite tip (I used an Ateco 883 here), fill with frosting and pipe on the desired amount of buttercream. In my opinion more is not more as with the lemon curd.
  10. Sprinkle with more toasted coconut. Best if served the day they are made.

Notes:

*Coconut flour is not really flour at all. It is just very finely ground, unsweetened coconut. If you can’t find it pre-ground or it is unbelievably expensive, you can make your own by processing unsweetened coconut flakes in the food processor or Nutribullet, which is what I did.

**Melting Butter: I melt my butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals on 50% power until almost all the butter has melted. At this point I remove it from the microwave and stir or swirl the bowl until all the butter has melted. I do not like when the cream separates from the butter, which will happen if you cook it too long or at too high a power (or heat on the stove).

Do not substitute baking soda for the powder in this recipe. There is no acid for it to react with and you will end up with dense, flat and soapy tasting cupcakes. Just no.

You can make both the buttercream and the lemon curd up to a week in advance. Prior to frosting, beat your buttercream in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. There are more detailed instructions for refreshing buttercream in my tutorial.

https://americanheritagecooking.com/2015/05/lemon-coconut-cupcakes-italian-meringue-buttercream/

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50 Comments

  • Julianne @ Beyond Frosting
    May 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    These cupcakes are SO gorgeous and I love that you are changing things up with your culinary school learnings!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Thanks, Julianne! I can’t help it…there is so much I see now and want to do differently!

      Reply
  • Jess @ Sweetest Menu
    May 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Wow! Gorgeous cupcakes Lindsey! They are perfect and your photos? Oh my word. Stunning girl, absolutely stunning!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thanks, love!!! xoxox

      Reply
  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
    May 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    These make me VERY happy. They’d make me even happier if they were in front of me!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:07 am

      lol! I would be lying if I said lemon doesn’t make me think of you, Dorothy!

      Reply
  • marcie
    May 3, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous little rays of sunshine! I love that you used coconut flour in here — I’ve been experimenting with it in my baking, so this is exciting! I just wish I had about a dozen!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:08 am

      I do like coconut flour in baking but not as a 100% sub. I wish I could send you a dozen!

      Reply
  • Diane M.
    May 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Oh My Goodness!!!!!!!! These Cupcakes look so Yummy! I Love Lemon desserts and I Love Coconut so this is the perfect marriage of 2 of my favorite flavors! Looking forward to making these.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Thank you, Diane! Isn’t there just something awesome about coconut and lemon!!? I hope you enjoy them! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Thao @ In Good Flavor
    May 3, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    It’s not a pretty sight, but I’m puckering and drooling over these photos! I want to start by eating all of the lemon curd out of the cupcakes!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Haha! You and me both! I poured more on top because I love lemon curd that much!

      Reply
  • Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
    May 4, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Lindsey, what you have there is my Mum’s idea of the perfect amount of frosting. She is the buttercream queen! I just know she is going to love these cupcakes, and the fact that I am now inspired to make lemon cured from scratch! Thank you for teaching me new skills and bringing some sunshine into our lives!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Haha! Your Mum knows whats up! Lemon curd is so easy! It’s actually dangerously easy. I am sure you will make it and think, “that’s it?!”

      Reply
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    May 4, 2015 at 6:00 am

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  • David @ Spiced
    May 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

    You’re out of control with this recipe, Lindsey! Someone needs to stop you from creating all of this deliciousness. I see it on my screen tempting me to eat every.last.lemony.morsel. I would ask if you saved me one of these bad boys, but I suspect I already know the truth. (And I can’t handle the truth this morning…)

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:11 am

      LOL! Thanks, David! I actually do have one lonely cupcake in my freezer. I’m not even sure it’s still good…

      Reply
  • Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek
    May 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Oooooo. I love these and I haven’t even tasted them…..YET.
    I hope I can make them as good tasting as you made them look.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:12 am

      I am sure they will be fantastic when you make them! Plus, when in doubt, pour some more lemon curd on top and all will be right in the world!

      Reply
  • Shashi at RunninSrilankan
    May 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I gotta agree, lemon=instasunshine indeed! I am in love with all the lemon all the time too – savory, sweet, it doesn’t matter! I am liking your coconut-flakes to flour trick in this recipe lady – I always find it funny that coconut flour costs so much more than coconut flakes!!! These cupcakes sound and look insane – all that lemony goodness – oh my!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:13 am

      I KNOW right?! I actually couldn’t find unsweetened coconut. I looked in 10 different stores. And I certainly wasn’t going to pay $15 for 8oz. Ridiculous.
      I’m glad someone else is on the Lemon train! 🙂

      Reply
  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
    May 5, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes Lindsey, as usual. Gorgeous little rays of sunshine that I want to eat! So happy to hear that your husband is visiting. How fun for both of you! xoxo

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Thanks, Love! It was fun but now he’s gone 🙁 If only I had some cupcakes…

      Reply
  • Jen
    May 5, 2015 at 10:44 am

    These cupcakes are gorgeous! Love lemon desserts. And that Italian meringue buttercream looks finger lickin’.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 6, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Thanks, Jen!! I can’t get enough lemon either (obvi)

      Reply
  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures
    May 6, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Yellow is a happy color! These are so bright, perfect for spring!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Thanks, Laura! Glad you agree!

      Reply
  • Manali @ CookWithManali
    May 6, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Gorgeous cupcakes Lindsey, as always! 🙂 You do make the most beautiful cupcakes! The frosting looks to die for and lemon desserts are my absolute favorite!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Thanks, Manali! I just can’t help myself with the cupcakes!

      Reply
  • Chris @ Shared Appetite
    May 7, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Hahahaha you’re hysterical. You are so right about the amount of frosting to cupcake ratio. And I’m totally digging that wooden backdrop you have the cupcakes on! Hope you and the hubs had fun at Smorgasburg the other day! What did you guys eat?!?!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 10, 2015 at 9:51 am

      SMORGASBURG!!!!! It’s my new favorite thing. We ate fries with dipping sauce, gooey butter cake, the most delicious ice cream sandwich ever, mexican corn that wasn’t all that, this chicken sandwich thing that was insane to the max. Next time I already have a list of things I want to try. Starting with ramen burger and lobster rolls.
      The wooden backdrop is from Erickson on Etsy. They be amazing.

      Reply
      • Chris @ Shared Appetite
        May 10, 2015 at 10:04 am

        That ramen burger is awesome! Totally a must try! And yea, I’m a fan of Erickson on Etsy. I have a few of their boards too!

        Reply
        • AmericanCooking22
          May 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

          That will be our first stop next time! The concept…it just blows my mind!

          Reply
  • Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    May 10, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I love lemon everything too! I so wish I had one of these cupcakes right now. Your Italian meringue buttercream looks like the stuff cupcake dreams are made of!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Thanks, Kristine!!! It’s definitely what my dreams are made of! lol!

      Reply
  • Rachelle
    May 13, 2015 at 11:06 am

    These cupcakes are out of this world gorgeous! They really are like a burst of sunshine! I’m glad you got to visit with your husband too!

    Reply
  • Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat
    May 13, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    These are beyond gorgeous! You had me at lemon!

    Reply
  • cupcake recipes
    July 27, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    OMG! incredible cupcakes! They are just perfect, lemon and colrs used are classy, yellow is color of happiness and friendship

    Reply
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  • Shay
    December 26, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I recently made these over the weekend and I need to know what I did wrong with the cake batter! I made the batter 3 times trying to get it right.
    My first problem was that I only got 12 cupcakes, not 28. The texture on my 3rd attempt was the best but they were kind of crumbly and a little dense?
    But the flavor was really good and I want to make them again!
    And the lemon curd and Italian meringue buttercream were also amazing! Best buttercream ever!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 29, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Hi Shay! It is difficult for me to say without actually being there. I do think you are right on the yield, though I definitely got more than 12. This recipe is an adaptation of another one of my cupcakes and that yield is 18. It think 28 is a typo. These cupcakes are more dense than your standard box mix. The coconut flour and milk make them heavier. If you want to lighten it you can add a little extra baking powder or use room temperature butter instead of melted butter. Isn’t the buttercream divine!?!

      Reply
      • Shay
        January 4, 2016 at 3:06 am

        The buttercream has seriously changed my life!!! It is just amazing! And the lemon curd is perfectly tart….
        I will keep persisting and try a few things!

        Reply
  • sherri
    February 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Made these yesterday for my sis-in-law’s birthday. The buttercream frustrated me though. Not the recipe, but what my experience was. I used store bought egg whites (the ones that come in a carton-pasteurized). I used these because I’m
    concerned with serving eggs ‘raw’. Well, I tried twice – with very ‘sterile’ bowls, etc., and those egg whites just did not want
    to get stiff. Ended up making a stabilized whipped cream – I didn’t have any more eggs! Question to all: what type of egg whites did you use? Concerned with raw eggs?
    Also, I increased the recipe by 1/2 and ended up with 24 regular and also made 12 mini ones.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Sherri! Italian meringue is fully cooked and you don’t need to be concerned about the egg whites if you cook your sugar properly. Pasteurized egg whites as well as store bought egg whites behave differently than those you separate fresh from eggs. In culinary school they would buy the cartons of egg whites and they would whip up faster than regular ones and they resulting egg foam or meringue wasn’t as stable. I think this is your problem. If your whites aren’t whipping up, you can “cheat” and add some salt or more cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is best if you have it. Just keep adding until they start to whip up. If you add too much and ruin it, it doesn’t really matter because they weren’t whipping up in the first place! 🙂 Good luck. Also, just for future reference Italian and Swiss meringues are fully cooked and can be eaten “raw” but French meringues need to be baked if they are going to be consumed.

      Reply
      • sherri
        February 28, 2016 at 8:06 pm

        Wow – Thanks for the education. I really had no idea that by adding in the cooked sugar -to the whipped eggs – would result in ‘cooked’/safe egg whites. Thanks too for the info regarding the Swiss and French meringues. BTW – my family loved the cupcakes-saying they weren’t too sweet. So yum!

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          February 28, 2016 at 8:35 pm

          No problem! Eggs only need to be cooked to 155 degrees F and your sugar syrup that you are pouring in is 235-238F, so it’s more than hot enough. The heat of the syrup is the reason that you have to pour in the sugar slowly and with the mixer running, or you’ll just get scrambled egg whites! Gross.
          I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the cupcakes even without the buttercream – though whipped cream is good on everything!

          Reply
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