Citrus Coconut cupcakes with Lemony Coconut “Butter”cream

These cupcakes have been a hit with my friends and co-workers! It took me a while to get the recipe just right – citrus and sugar doesn’t always see eye to eye. Sometimes, they taste like burning…yuck!!
However, the awful tastes I subjected myself to did not deter me and the end result is the gem below. I am confident this recipe is well worth a try and can please any crowd!

Prep Time: 30 minutes (batter and buttercream)
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours

Citrus Coconut Cupcakes


  • 1 1/2 cups Unbleached AP flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Zest one grapefruit
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon



Start by combining all of the dry ingredients a large mixing bowl.


In a separate mixing bowl combine the soy milk, lemon juice and ACV. Whisk and let it sit for a few minutes. The soy milk will start to thicken up right away –  it’s magic! Mix in the oil, water, vanilla and grapefruit juice.


Pour into the dry ingredients. Zest grapefruit and lemon over batter. Combine until nice and smooth.


Grease your cupcake pan:

–   Dip a piece of paper towel into a little bit of oil (whichever you prefer) and rub onto the baking pan
–   Sprinkle all over with flour
–   Shake around pan until everything is coated
–   Shake upside down over the sink to rid of extra flour


Equally divide batter in baking pan. This recipe will yield 12 regular sized cupcakes, approximately ΒΌ cup of batter in each cupcake section.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Lemony Coconut “Butter”cream


  • 2 cups  powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter – Becel, Earth Balance, etc.
  • 2 tbsp chilled coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut extract

In a chilled bowl beat the vegan butter with an electric mixer on the lowest speed until it is soft and smooth.


Continuing on low, add the icing sugar in a spoonful at a time allowing for the mixer to blend both ingredients nicely.
Do not dump the 2 cups in all at once. You will have an absolute mess on your hands! More importantly, no buttercream 😦


Lastly, add in the coconut cream, lemon juice, coconut extract and lemon zest. Continue to mix all of the ingredients until it is thick and fluffy again.


Pop that baby into the fridge and let it chill for about 20 minutes. It will stiffen up once chilled, so please use discretion when you feel like it may be too runny.

Always make sure to test one cake with a knife or toothpick to ensure they are fully baked. Nothing is worse than frosting cold and raw cupcakes!


Take the cupcakes are out of the oven and let them hang out on a rack to cool off.

** Do not frost cupcakes when they are still warm, the icing will melt and it will not end well! **


Once the cupcakes are cool frost your them however you see fit. I personally do not own a piping bag and probably never will (I don’t have to patience) so my go-to icing method is with a butter knife. Don’t worry, no one will judge you either way….you’re giving them cupcakes for god sake!




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