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Glazed Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

These lovely little cakes have the bright sparkle of lemon with a delicate coconut flavour and a beautiful tender crumb. Completely dairy-free with a simple glaze, or go all out and top them with a decadent buttercream. About 4 large, juicy lemons will be enough for this recipe but have a couple extra on hand just in case. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: coconut, cupcakes, dairy free, lemon
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Gayle



  • ¾ cup melted coconut oil, cooled to room temp
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus more if needed)

To finish

  • freeze dried raspberries, chopped (optional)
  • shredded coconut, toasted (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and place paper cupcake liners in two cupcake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, combine the coconut oil and sugar on medium-low speed for several minutes until lighter in colour and texture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until thoroughly mixed, then add the vanilla and lemon zest. 
  • With the mixer on low, alternate the flour and coconut milk by adding half the flour mixture then half of the coconut milk with the lemon juice. Once mostly combined, and the remaining flour then the coconut milk, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared pans using a large cookie scoop or a spoon, ensuring the batter is evenly divided between 24 cupcakes. 
  • Bake for a total of 20-23 minutes, checking around the 18-minute mark to see if the pans need to be rotated for even baking. The cupcakes will look set and spring back slightly when touched. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 

Prepare the glaze:

  • Put the icing sugar into a medium bowl with the salt and lemon zest, then add the lemon juice. Stir until completely smooth – cover and set aside. If your glaze seizes up before you're ready to finish the cupcakes, you can smooth it out by stirring in a little more lemon juice or coconut milk. 
  • Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the glaze, letting the excess drip off before setting aside. If you want to build up the layer of the glaze, let the first layer dry, then dip it again or drizzle more over the top. 
  • While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle cupcakes with freeze-dried raspberries and/or shredded coconut. Fresh berries or even extra lemon zest would also be perfect. Serve while the glaze is soft or wait until it sets for a packable treat. 


* Nutrition facts are an estimate and always calculated without the optional ingredients.