Lemon Coconut Cupcakes (Italian Meringue Buttercream)

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  • 1 cup All-purpose flour 
  • ¾ cup coconut flour* 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ cup butter, melted** 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • ¾ cup coconut milk 
  • Sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • Lemon or coconut extract, to taste 

Lemon Curd Recipe:

  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 ½ cups sugar 
  • Zest from 3 lemons 
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed 
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 

Italian Meringue Buttercream:

  • 2 cups sugar (375g), divided 
  • 2/3 cup water (150g) 
  • 5 large egg whites (150g) 
  • pinch salt, optional 
  • pinch cream of tartar, optional 
  • 2 cups butter, cubed (4 sticks or 1 pound), cool but not cold 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • For the Chocolate Variation:
    1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted but not hot

*Coconut flour is not really flour at all. It is just very finely ground, unsweetened coconut. If you can’t find it pre-ground or it is unbelievably expensive, you can make your own by processing unsweetened coconut flakes in the food processor or Nutribullet, which is what I did. 
**Melting Butter: I melt my butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals on 50% power until almost all the butter has melted. At this point I remove it from the microwave and stir or swirl the bowl until all the butter has melted. I do not like when the cream separates from the butter, which will happen if you cook it too long or at too high a power (or heat on the stove). 

  • Do not substitute baking soda for the powder in this recipe. There is no acid for it to react with and you will end up with dense, flat and soapy tasting cupcakes. Just no.
  • You can make both the buttercream and the lemon curd up to a week in advance. Prior to frosting, beat your buttercream in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. There are more detailed instructions for refreshing buttercream in my tutorial.

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