Coconut carrot cake cupcakes feature an incredibly soft browned butter carrot cake interior with plenty of toasty nuts, flaked coconut, and a silky cream cheese frosting.
I was once in the group of people that thought carrot cake was overrated. Apparently all it takes to flip that mindset COMPLETELY around is a batch of these cupcakes.
It’s just kinda hard not to be obsessed with vegetables snuck into your cake and ending up with an absolute GEM of a dessert, ok?
These cupcakes pretty much have it all. I’m talking brown butter, coconut, cream cheese frosting, toasty nuts, AND vegetables. All around just a dream.
Suffice to say, I have reversed my criticalness of carrot cake and just embraced the whole dang thing.
Favorite new cupcake alert? You know it, and it’s about to be yours as well. Just in time for Easter and any spring events you might have planned!
These Coconut Carrot Cake Cupcakes feature…
- A supremely moist carrot cake interior with a rich browned butter flavor
- Crunchy nuts and soft flaked coconut studded inside
- A classic silky cream cheese frosting
Making the Coconut Carrot Cake Cupcakes
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Carrots – you will need 1-1/2 cups finely-grated carrots (about 3 medium carrots) Speed up the process by using your food processor!
- Coconut – I recommend sweetened flaked coconut for this recipe.
- Nuts – optional, but we love the crunch toasted walnuts or pecans give these cupcakes.
- Browned butter – one of my secrets to getting a deeply flavorful + soft cake interior!
- Greek yogurt – also a key ingredient to getting a super soft cake.
- Spices – ground cinnamon and just a bit of nutmeg.
- Basic baking ingredients – light brown sugar + regular sugar, flour, eggs, baking soda + powder, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
- Cream cheese – you will need this for the frosting.
- Powdered sugar – also needed for the frosting.
Tips for a Perfectly Moist Carrot Cake
First and foremost, the browned butter adds an impeccable rich flavor and enhances the soft texture of the cake. If you’ve never made brown butter before, I go over it in detail in the recipe!
Finely grating the carrot also makes ALL the difference in these cupcakes. Use the finest-grate attachment on your food processor or use a box grater for easily grating the carrot.
Other ingredients contributing to the texture include Greek yogurt, eggs, and light brown sugar. Put it all together and you’ve got one seriously moist cupcake!
Carrot Cake Add-Ins
For this recipe, I recommend using coconut and nuts as your add-ins, however, if you’re not a fan of either of them, you can easily just leave them out!
I know some people also enjoy raisins in their carrot cake so if you’re a fan of that, feel free to throw in 1/2 cup raisins!
If you choose to go the nut route, make sure you toast them before adding to the batter. This helps them stay crunchy in the batter!
To toast your nuts, stir nuts around in a nonstick pan over medium heat, tossing occasionally until they’re fragrant. Cool slightly, then add to the batter.
Frosting and Decorating Cupcakes
This is the fun part! I show you exactly how to make the silkiest cream cheese frosting that’s an absolute dream for frosting and decorating.
Scoop your frosting into a piping bag with whatever shape of tip you like. Frost cooled cupcakes high with frosting and then for a little pop of color + texture, I like to sprinkle extra toasted nuts and coconut on top.
I still just can’t get over how amazingly soft and moist these cupcakes are. It’s INSANITY!
They literally MELT in your mouth they’re so soft, perfectly rich and spiced, and then you hit that silky cream cheese frosting and its game over.
Feel free to get fun with the decorating or just keep it simple! Either way these cupcake gems are gonna steal the show and you’re definitely gonna end up eating a cupcake for breakfast.
More springtime desserts you might want to bake next!
- No Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- Citrus Browned Butter Shortbread Cookies
- Lemon Curd Strawberry Cheesecake Tart
Browned Butter Coconut Carrot Cake Cupcakes
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- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1-1/2 cups finely-grated carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, divided
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chopped nuts for garnishing, optional
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally until a deep golden brown, about 8-12 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool 5 minutes.
- Beat sugars into browned butter until smooth the mix in eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Set aside for a moment.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold flour mixture into liquid mixture until batter is just combined. Gently fold in coconut, grated carrot, and nuts if using.
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter, gently smoothing tops. Bake cupcakes at 350F 20-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted in middle of cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment OR a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream softened butter and cream cheese together until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes of mixing.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla to butter-sugar mixture and mix an additional 2-3 minutes until frosting is completely smooth and creamy.
- Spoon frosting into a piping bag and frost cooled cupcakes. Garnish cupcakes with chopped toasted nuts if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!