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Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Curd


These cupcakes are a whole lot of fun. Slathered with meringue frosting and topped with toasted coconut, they are fluffy balls of sweetness. Inside you’ll find a surprise lemon filling that balances out the flavor of the tender coconut cake.

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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (16 Votes)


  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, plus 1 cup, lightly toasted (see Note) for garnish
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Servings 12
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 50mins


Step 1

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners, or grease with butter and dust with flour.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until well combined. Beat in the 1 cup coconut. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Continuing to beat on low speed, add the buttermilk and then the remaining flour mixture.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full. Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Using a paring knife, create a hollow about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep in the center of each cupcake. Fill each hollow with a spoonful of the lemon curd.

Spread the filled cupcakes with a thick layer of the frosting (or pipe it on with a piping bag). Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup toasted coconut. The filled and frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 12 cupcakes.


In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan, whisk together the whole egg, egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until incorporated. Strain into another bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on top of the curd and refrigerate until chilled. The curd will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 cup.


In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/3 cup water. Set the bowl over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium-high speed to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the water and continue to beat until the mixture cools, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until blended. This frosting does not keep well, so use it right away. Makes enough to frost 12 to 18 cupcakes.

To toast coconut, spread it in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake at 325°F, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 5 to 10 minutes.

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