Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are from scratch and filled with sweet lemon curd. Topped with a creamy lemon frosting and shredded coconut, your family will beg for the recipe on Easter!

If you love coconut cake, these cupcakes should be high on your baking list. Of course our lemon coconut cake is equally delish!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes recipe on cooling rack.

Why This Recipe is Best

These beautiful cupcakes have a surprise sweet lemon curd filling in the middle, a smooth and creamy lemon frosting and are covered in shredded coconut. What’s not to love?!

  • The lemon curd and lemon extract deliver BIG lemon flavor to these cupcakes.
  • The cupcakes stay super moist and have a lovely soft crumb that holds together well for the frosting.
  • The fluffy lemony frosting and the coconut topping make these cupcakes next level delicious!
Lemon Coconut Cupcake for Easter

Ingredient Notes

  • Cake Flour – This kind of flour is finer than all-purpose and makes the cupcakes so light! You can use all purpose flour if cake flour isn’t available, but the texture will be quite different. (Learn how to measure and substitute flour.)
  • Ricotta Cheese – The ricotta cheese helps make the cupcakes soft, but there’s not even a hint of cheese taste.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract when possible for best flavor. You can even make your own vanilla extract.
  • Lemon Curd – This fun filling in the middle of the cupcakes is sweet and adds a pop of citrus flavor. Try homemade lemon curd for the best flavor!
  • Lemon Extract – This gives amazing, bright lemon flavor without having to squeeze a ton of lemons. Use real PURE lemon extract for best results (not imitation flavoring).

Cupcake batter in liners

Easy Instructions

STEP 1. Mix the dry ingredients. Combine the sugar, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in the butter and mix until well blended.

STEP 2. Mix and add the wet ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, ricotta cheese, vanilla and milk. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium until smooth and combined.

STEP 3. Bake and cool the cupcakes. Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes and remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before adding the lemon curd and frosting.

STEP 4. Add the lemon curd filling. Cut out a small circle/cylinder shape from the middle of each cupcake and fill with 1 Tablespoon of lemon curd. Replace the cupcake cylinder.

STEP 5. Add the frosting and coconut. Make the frosting and spread evenly over the top of each cupcake. Immediately press the coconut into the frosting, gently, to adhere.

Cupcakes with center carved out and filled with lemon curd.

Tips and Tricks

  • Measure the flour correctly. For best results, always spoon flour into a measuring cup and level off the top. Too much flour will make the cupcakes tough.
  • Cool the cupcakes completely. Make sure the cupcakes have cooled ALL the way down before you add the lemon curd or the frosting. Otherwise, it will be a runny mess!
  • Frosting swap – You can swap out the lemon frosting for cream cheese frosting (with or without lemon). So good!

Lemon Curd filled Coconut Cupcake on plate

Recipe FAQs

How do I tell when the cupcakes are done?

Some people swear by the toothpick test, but I prefer to touch the tops of the cupcakes. If it bounces right back, the cupcakes are done. If it stays indented, they need a little longer.

How do I store lemon coconut cupcakes?

These cupcakes can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze cupcakes?

Yes! You can freeze the cupcakes before or after adding the lemon curd and the frosting, for up to 3 months. If freezing with frosting, place on baking tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Slide partially frozen cupcakes into an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Yield: 15 cupcakes

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

These Lemon Coconut Cupcakes are from scratch and filled with sweet lemon curd. Topped with a creamy lemon frosting and shredded coconut, your family will beg for the recipe on Easter!


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup (approximately 12 ounce jar) lemon curd

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in butter, and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until well blended. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta cheese, vanilla and milk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and beat on medium until smooth and combined.
  4. Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes and remove to cooling rack when done. Cool completely before adding lemon curd and frosting.
  5. When cool, cut a small circle around the middle of the top of each cupcake, going down about ¾ of the way into the cupcake creating small cylinders. Remove the cylinders and set aside. Fill each cupcake with 1 Tbsp of lemon curd.
  6. Press the cylinders lightly on top of each cupcake. Don't worry if they don't fit perfectly as you will be adding frosting to the top!
  7. For the frosting, beat butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add in powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract. Beat for an additional 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  8. Use a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop to top each cupcake with frosting. Spread evenly over the top and immediately press the coconut into the frosting, gently. Store in covered container in the refrigerator until ready to eat, and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 491Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 4g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on March 28, 2018

Comments & Reviews

  1. The recipe for Lemon Coconut cupcakes does not give an amount for the Buttery sticks. Please let me know.

  2. We love lemon curd, so these would be a hit at my house. I’ll have to give the Country Crock sticks a try.

  3. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors for Spring and cupcakes are always a great idea!

  4. Lemon curd is the BEST!  I love that the buttery sticks can be used right away, that makes baking so much easier!

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