I’ve cracked the code to make the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes on the planet, and this simple ingredient swap is going to change how you make and eat cupcakes forever! And these tropical cupcakes are so amazing you’ll be making a second batch before long!

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes with frosting

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If you love pina coladas or tropical flavors, then these amazing Pineapple Coconut Pancakes are just what you need! They’re light, fluffy, and filled with amazing flavor. They’re also adorable, with toasted coconut dusting the tops of them.

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes

I love cupcakes, but who doesn’t? They’re bites of cake goodness, and the pineapple frosting on these is incredible! It’s lightly flavored with pineapple and isn’t too sweet. It’s pretty nearly perfect!

frosted cupcakes with coconut

These tropical cupcakes are perfect for spring picnics, summer BBQs or hanging out around the pool, or just sharing a bit of something fabulous with friends and loved ones. You may also love our Pineapple Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

frosted cupcake

Why I love this recipe

  • There’s so much amazing flavor in these cupcakes, and the frosting is incredible!
  • You can bake the cupcakes ahead of time and freeze them. Defrost them before frosting and serving.
  • Cupcakes are just about the cutest thing ever, and these are no exception!

ingredinets for Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes

Gather these ingredients

  • Cake flour – Cake flour is the secret ingredient to the BEST cupcakes!
  • Baking powder – Make sure it isn’t expired.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Coconut extract – Find this in the baking section near the vanilla extract.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Coconut milk
  • White vinegar 

a bite of cupcake

For the frosting:

  • Butter – Softened.
  • Coconut extract
  • Confectioners sugar – Also called powdered sugar or icing sugar.
  • Pineapple tidbits – You’ll need ½ cup finely chopped and some of the juice.
  • Sweetened shredded coconut – Toasted.
  • Macadamia nuts – Chopped; optional.

how to make pineaple cupcakes

How to make the best Coconut & Pineapple Cupcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350-F and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin cups or liners.
  2. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Add the eggs, sugar, oil, coconut, and vanilla extract to a bowl and beat for 1 minute with an electric mixer or add them to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  4. Add half the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar, and mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Combine the coconut milk and vinegar in another small bowl, then add half the coconut mixture to the flour mixture and beat until combined.
  6. Repeat with the remaining flour and the remaining coconut milk and mix until smooth.
  7. Fill the muffin cups ⅔ full with batter.
  8. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes at 350-F until golden brown and they spring back lightly when pressed in the center.
  9. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
  10. Whip the butter until light and fluffy, then slowly beat in half the powdered sugar.
  11. Add the finely chopped pineapple and pineapple juice and mix well.
  12. Add the remaining powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy.
  13. Frost the cupcakes with the frosting, and top with toasted coconut and chopped macadamia nuts.

how to make a whipped pineapple frosting

How to toast coconut flakes

The best and easiest way to toast coconut flakes is in a skillet on the stove. Put them into a dry skillet over medium-high heat and stir them around until lightly golden brown. Remove from the pan right away. Alternatively, you can toast the coconut in the microwave on a paper towel for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

a cupcake with thick coconut frosting

Tips & substitutions

  • Cake flour is the secret ingredient to the best cupcakes. All-purpose flour will not yield the same results so don’t use it in this recipe.
  • You can use vegetable oil or any other neutral oil in the cupcake batter.
  • Scrape down the bowl as needed when making the batter but don’t over mix the batter!
  • Roasted peanuts are a great pick if you can’t find macadamia nuts.

pineapple cupcake

Serving suggestions

These cupcakes are the perfect dessert for tropical-themed dinners like Ginger-Teriyaki Salmon or Grilled Avocado Mango Shrimp. You could also add them to a dessert board, creating a rainbow of colors with other cupcakes. 

cupcake with coconut on top


Cupcakes are best eaten fresh, but these will keep on the counter in an air-tight container for 1-2 days.

taking a bite of cupcake with thick frosting

Check out these awesome cupcake recipes while you’re here

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes with frosting
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Get the Recipe:

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes

These tropical Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes are so amazing you’ll be making a second batch before long, topped with a thick frosting!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Yield: 12
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  • 1-¼ cups cake flour
  • 1-¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil, canola or vegetable
  • ¾ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • pineapple frosting:
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits, use ½ cup finely chopped pineapple + 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • topping:
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with FUN paper or foil liners.
  • Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add in the eggs, sugar, oil, coconut and vanilla extracts and beat for 1 minute until combined.
  • Add half the flour mixture; beat on low speed. Combine coconut milk and vinegar. Add to batter; beat just until combined. Beat in the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining coconut milk mixture just until smooth.
  • Fill paper cups two-thirds full. Bake for 15-18 minutes  or until cupcakes are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched. Cool on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, and then add the finely chopped pineapple and pineapple juice after beating in 2 cups of sugar. Add additional confectioners' sugar and pineapple juice to reach desired consistency.
  • Spoon frosting onto cupcakes. Top with toasted coconut and chopped macadamia nuts.
  • Do not substitute all-purpose flour. Cake flour is so magical in a white cupcake!
  • For topping, toast 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut by heating over medium-high heat in a small skillet for 3-4 minutes. Watch it very carefully, as it will start to toast quickly once it gets going. Or, toast in the microwave in a paper towel for 3-4 minutes, turning, until slightly brown.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
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a delicious Pineapple Coconut Cupcake