Vegan Coconut Lime Cupcakes

You take the lime and the coconut…. and put them in a cupcake!!!

I want to be like the woman on the Julie and Julia movie, except I want to cook my way through Isa Moskowitz’s cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  I’ve made the crimson velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, the cookies and cream cupcakes with cookies and cream buttercream frosting, the carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and now these, perhaps my ultimate favorite so far.  The tangy lime butter cream and sweet coconut cake (PACKED with coconut) make a glorious pair.

My tip for this recipe is to use fresh squeezed lime juice.  If you go for that bottled crap, Isa and I will personally arrive at your house to slap your face!  You need limes for the zest anyway, so just hush up and zest/juice 3 limes.

Coconut Lime Cupcakes:
1/3 cup coconut oil (I used canola)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk (I used the light kind in the can)
1/4 cup soy milk (I used almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tbsp lightly packed, finely grated lime zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.

Melt the coconut oil (if using) in a small saucepan over very low heat until melted.  Mix the oil and sugar in a medium bowl, then add the coconut milk, soy milk, vanilla, coconut extract, and lime zest and mix well.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and mix until smooth.  Fold in the coconut flakes and fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full.  (I’ll make a note here: it doesn’t look like you’re going to get a dozen once you start filling the cups.  I actually only filled my cupcake liners 1/2 full and I barely got enough batter to make a dozen.  Trust me, fill all 12 liners evenly and you will get full-sized cupcakes when they are done baking.)

Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until the cupcake top springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted through the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before icing.

Lime Buttercream Frosting:
NOTE: Below is the FULL recipe. I halved this recipe and still had enough to generously pipe frosting onto a dozen cupcakes.  If you make the full recipe you’re going to have a TON of frosting!

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Earth Balance – I beg you, don’t use Crisco!)
1/2 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1 tsp finely grated lime zest

You want to make sure the shortening and margarine are softened before you start this, otherwise it’s just going to get stuck in the beaters of your electric mixer and cause you a lot of frustration.  I DO NOT recommend putting them in the microwave or you’re going to end up with a mess.  I slice both into tablespoon-sized blocks (if you buy the margarine and shortening sticks by Earth Balance, the wrappers are marked by tablespoons) and let them set in the bowl on top of the oven (while the cupcakes are baking) and the heat will slowly soften the margarine and shortening.  You want them soft enough to beat, NOT melty.

Beat the shortening and margarine together until combined well and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes (it will get thick, but keep the  mixer going). Add the vanilla and lime juice, beat for another 5 minutes or so until fluffy. Add the zest and mix to distribute. Chill until ready to use.

Now pipe your icing onto the cooled cupcakes and top with lime slices.  So cute!

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12 thoughts on “Vegan Coconut Lime Cupcakes

  1. Ok my mouth is watering ❤ and I dont want the recipe I want the cupcakes fresh from your oven and frosted!!… on the way to my house.

  2. whoa. can you fix the directions? we couldnt figure out why our batch was not rising…then realized that the directions never said to add/when to add the baking soda, powder, salt, and flour. we added the flour because thought of it, but didnt think to see if there were other ingredients missing in the written directions 😦

  3. Wow- take care not to repeat the same mistake I made and DO NOT use foil wrappers. What a nightmare! Otherwise delicious

    • Thanks, Sophia. Yes, I avoid foil cupcake liners to simplify things. Even though they’re pretty, you need to adjust the baking time differently than with paper liners. If you choose to use the foil liners, I’ve read that you should place them directly on a baking sheet, not in a cupcake pan. Also, make sure to remove the paper liners in between the foil ones before using.

  4. Would it be terrible to use sweetened instead of unsweetened coconut in this recipe? :/ That’s what I have on hand. Thanks!

    • I’ve never used sweetened coconut in this recipe. I guess you might want to cut back the sugar by a couple of tablespoons if you do, but I don’t like extremely sugary cupcakes.

      The only place I can find unsweetened coconut is Whole Foods, but you can order it online too. I like the Let’s Do Organic brand and I buy the shredded, reduced fat option (almost like a powder, not the flakes), although I’ve used the flakes before. I just chopped them up a bit before adding them to the batter. With the finely shredded kind, the coconut “becomes one” with the batter. Instead of getting pieces of coconut, it mixes with the flour and you just get the coconut flavor.

      It just depends on what textures you like and the level of sweetness you want, but I have confidence that you could totally make it work with what you have. 🙂 Let me know how they turn out!

  5. I made these for a bridal shower and they were a HUGE hit! I would love to bake some for my hairstylist but she is gluten free. What type of flour do you think would work best as a GF sub?

  6. Pingback: Vegan Coconut Lime Cupcakes « joebuchel

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