These fluffy and moist vegan coconut cupcakes are absolutely perfect! With real coconut flavor (no extracts!), the moist perfect crumb texture, and an incredible vegan cream cheese frosting, these incredibly easy coconut cupcakes are perfect for all eaters, whether or not you’re vegan and gluten free! 

BEST Vegan Coconut Cupcakes (Gluten Free!)

Why you need to make these fluffy vegan coconut cupcakes:

​If you’ve tried my vegan coconut cake, then you know these coconut cupcakes are going to be incredible.

I’m talking super moist and sweet vanilla coconut flavor throughout the most perfectly tender cupcake. No coconut extract, just REAL coconut shreds and coconut milk. The best vegan cream cheese frosting. And nutty toasted coconut on top!

These vegan coconut cupcakes are also SO easy to make: you just need a bowl and a whisk! No hand mixer nor stand mixer necessary to make the batter alone. And these vegan cupcakes are perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays, or even Christmas if you’d like! 

Absolutely everyone will love these coconut cupcakes, whether or not they’re vegan. AND you can even make them gluten free!

bitten vegan coconut cupcake

Simple ingredients:

This is all the you need to make these amazing vegan coconut cupcakes:

  • Flour: I have used both all purpose flour and gluten free 1:1 baking flour (for gluten free). Either option works!
  • Sugar: For a classic coconut cupcake look, I used organic granulated sugar. Using organic sugar ensure that your cupcakes are entirely vegan. I specifically use Florida Crystals sugar, but Whole Foods sugar is also vegan. 
  • Coconut shreds: I used unsweetened coconut shreds (or shredded coconut) for the cupcake batter, and toasted coconut flakes to coat the tops of the vegan coconuts.
  • Coconut milk: I recommend using coconut milk from the can (this is full-fat coconut milk, not coconut cream!) but you can also use coconut milk in the refrigerated section!
  • Vegan butter: I used Miyoko’s vegan butter here- you can also use coconut oil!
  • Applesauce: You can also sub in dairy free yogurt! This replaces the eggs found in traditional coconut cupcakes.
  • Vegan cream cheese frosting: The ultimate addition to a coconut cupcake recipe is the cream cheese frosting. You can use vegan buttercream, but honestly, these coconut cupcakes are out of this world with the cream cheese version.
vegan coconut cupcake ingredients on marble

Overview: How to make vegan coconut cupcakes

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Here’s how to make these easy vegan coconut cupcakes:

  1. Whisk together the wet ingredients:

    This is the melted vegan butter, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla to make vegan coconut cupcakes

  2. Add in the dry ingredients:

    Sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Then whisk again just before the flour is completely mixed in. This ensures that you don’t over mix the batter before you add in the coconut shreds!making the vegan coconut cupcake batter

  3. Mix in the coconut shreds:

    Add in the coconut shreds, and whisk again just until combined.finished coconut cupcake batter

  4. Fill the cupcake liners:

    Spoon or scoop the batter to fill the cupcakes about 2/3 of the way full for 12 cupcakes or just before the top of the cupcake line for 10 cupcakes.cupcake batter in cupcake tin

  5. Bake:

    Bake the cupcakes! baked vegan coconut cupcakes

  6. Frost and enjoy!

    Dip the coconut cupcake tops into the toasted coconut and serve!dipping the coconut cupcake into coconut shreds

Tips & FAQs for vegan coconut cupcakes

Can I make these coconut cupcakes gluten free?

Absolutely! Simple swap in gluten free 1:1 baking flour in place of the all purpose flour. I like to add in arrowroot starch to help make the gluten free flour taste more closely to all purpose flour.

Can I sub in a different dairy free milk?

These coconut cupcakes will taste best (and most like a coconut cupcake!) when you use coconut milk. The flavor of the unsweetened coconut shreds will still come through, but if you want the best vegan coconut cupcakes, then you should definitely use coconut milk!

How do I coat the cupcakes in toasted coconut flakes?

I like to lightly shred the toasted coconut flakes (I purchase them already toasted from Edward & Sons!) for just 1 second (literally 1 second) in the food processor. This makes the frosting more easily coated in coconut flakes. Then I pour the coconut flakes into a bowl. Dip the top of the cupcake into the bowl and roll it around. Then the tops of your coconut cupcakes are coated!vegan coconut cupcakes frosting

Can I use coconut oil instead of vegan butter?

Absolutely! If you’d like to swap in coconut oil instead (for even more of a coconut flavor!) then by all means!

What piping tip did you use for the frosting?

I used a round, open tip large Wilton piping tip. You can also just snip the end of a piping bag and pipe the frosting that way!

vegan coconut cupcake bitten

You’re just going to absolutely love these easy vegan coconut cupcakes!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

BEST Vegan Coconut Cupcakes (Gluten Free!)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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BEST Vegan Coconut Cupcakes (Gluten Free!)

Amazing Vegan Coconut Cupcakes (Gluten Free Option)

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 27
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


These fluffy and moist vegan coconut cupcakes are absolutely perfect! With real coconut flavor (no extracts!), the moist perfect crumb texture, and an incredible vegan cream cheese frosting, these incredibly easy coconut cupcakes are perfect for all eaters, whether or not you’re vegan and gluten free! 


  • 2/3 cup (150 g) unsweetened coconut milk (either in a can or from the refrigerated section), room temperature
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 g) all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten free flour with 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) unsweetened dairy free yogurt or applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (113 g)  vegan cream cheese, room temperature*
  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups toasted coconut flakes


  1. Please read through all instructions before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with liners. Measure out all ingredients before beginning. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Mix together and set aside to curdle.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Make the batter: In a medium bowl, use a whisk or hand mixer to mix together the melted vegan butter, sugar, dairy free yogurt, vanilla. Mix until completely combined. Then add in the flour and whisk the flour and dairy free acv mixture into the batter just before it’s completely combined. Add in the unsweetened shredded coconut, and fold or whisk just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  5. Bake the cupcakes: Divide the batter evenly into each cupcake liner, filling each cupcake about 2/3 of the way full. Place the cupcake tin into the oven to bake for about 25-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  6. Cool the cupcakes: Allow the cupcakes to cool in the cupcake tin for 10 minutes. Then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before making the vegan cream cheese frosting.
  7. Make the cream cheese frosting: Add vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a large bowl and beat together with a hand mixer. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream. Add in vanilla and continue to beat until desired texture.
  8. Frost the cupcakes: Spoon the vegan cream cheese frosting into a piping bag and frost each cupcake. Dip the tops of each cupcake into the toasted coconut. Serve and enjoy!


Gluten Free: Swap in gluten-free 1:1 baking flour for the all purpose flour.