The summer season is fast approaching which means it’s time to start whipping up some summery dessert flavours like these utterly delicious coconut and jam cupcakes. The fluffy coconut sponge is filled with a sweet strawberry jam and topped with a silky swirl of coconut buttercream and toasted coconut flakes. These little bites of summer are refreshingly sweet and fruity combined with sweet clouds of pillow-y soft buttercream. Take a look at my super simple coeliac-friendly recipe below for cupcakes that you won’t believe are gluten-free!
If you’re a fan of coconut, then you’re going to love these cupcakes! Not only are they ridiculously simple to whip up, they taste utterly delicious and look divine! You don’t need to be an expert for these, as I’ll explain in the recipe below.
How do you make these cupcakes?
So, how are easy are these cupcakes to whip up. Well, we start off by creaming the margarine and sugar together in a mixer until thoroughly combined and a light and fluffy texture has been achieved. It is imperative that the margarine, even though always softer than butter to start off with, is at room temperature for this, so that the ingredients are incorporated into the batter correctly.
Once finished with the creaming method, the eggs are whisked in one at a time until a gloopy mixture forms. Be careful not to overmix here but we do want them to be whisked in completely!
The vanilla extract is added next and mixed in too.
In a separate bowl, the flour, salt, Xanthan Gum and baking powder is sifted together and then slowly added to the wet ingredients and mixed in until just incorporated. We don’t want to overmix and lose those nice air bubbles that we’ve achieved in the whisking beforehand but we do want to make sure that there are no pockets of flour left in the mixture.
The desiccated coconut is then folded into the mixture to add the coconut flavours to the sponge.
The mixture is then scooped into 12 cupcake cases (or 6 if you’ve chosen to do a small batch) and baked at 160 degrees in a fan assisted oven for around 20-25 minutes, until slightly golden and springy to the touch.
After cooling, a hole is created in the centre and a dollop of sweet strawberry jam is spooned in.
The coconut buttercream topping is whipped up, piped on and then sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes to finish, just perfect!
What equipment do I need for these cupcakess?
- 12-hole cupcake baking tray
- 12 (or 6 large cupcake cases)- I actually use muffin cases (50 x 44mm) because you can really fill them up and have some decent sized cupcakes at the end
- Piping bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton 1M)
- Baking paper to toast the coconut flakes on in the oven
What ingredients do I need?
Sugar – White caster sugar adds structure and sweetness to these cupcakes and also helps to give them structure
Eggs – Eggs are needed to add structure to the cupcakes and to help them to rise in the baking process, room temperature is essential for all eggs in this recipe.
Margarine and butter – Margarine works wonders in cupcakes, hence why I’d recommend sticking to a margarine spread like Stork rather than a butter. Unsalted butter can be used at room temperature but you won’t get a super light and fluffy cupcake like you would with margarine. Unsalted butter at room temperature is best for the buttercream
Gluten-free flour – A gluten-free flour blend which contains a variety of flours is perfect for gluten-free baking. This ensures the cupcakes contain all of the necessary components needed to create the perfect crumb which a gluten-containing flour would naturally contain. For these cupcakes I like to use a self-raising flour such as Dove’s Farm or Schär- Cake and Cookie Mix C
Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten-free recipes and there are no exceptions here. Doves Farm is my preferred choice but you can use any brand. Xanthan Gum is a gluten replacement for gluten-free baking and helps to replace the lost elasticity that gluten provides, keeping your cupcakes together and stopping them from crumbling into dry pieces later on
Baking powder – Baking powder acts as a leavening agent, helping the cupcakes to rise. Any baking powder will work, just again, check that it is definitely gluten-free as not all brands are.
Salt – A pinch of salt in a recipe enhances the flavours of the other ingredients and offsets the sweetness of the cupcakes
Vanilla extract – A few drops of vanilla extract pairs perfectly with the coconut flavours
Strawberry jam – Any flavour jam can be used as a filling, I prefer strawberry for these but raspberry would work well too with the coconut flavours
Icing sugar – Icing sugar is the main ingredient of the buttercream, adding sweetness and structure
Desiccated coconut – Desiccated coconut is what adds the wonderful coconut flavours to the cupcake sponge
Coconut cream – For the coconut buttercream, I use the cream from an unshaken can of coconut cream. The thick cream that gathers on top of the coconut water is what is needed to create the silky coconut buttercream topping
Coconut flakes – Toasted coconut flakes are sprinkled on top to finish the cupcakes off to perfection
Tips & Tricks
Room temperature ingredients are essential for this recipe to work. Room temperature ingredients ensures that they all can be mixed together thoroughly. If you forget to take your eggs out of the fridge beforehand, place them in a bowl of lukewarm, not hot, water 15 minutes prior to baking to bring them to room temperature quickly.
Uniform-sized cupcakes – I like to use an ice cream scoop to spoon my mixture into the cases. This way the cupcakes are likely to have a more uniform size after baking.
The toothpick test is a great way to check whether your cupcakes are done. As all ovens are calibrated differently, the baking times stated are always suggested a a rough guide. To check if the cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake and if it comes out with no crumbs stuck to it, you can assume that the cupcakes are baked through and ready to come out.
- Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
- Strawberry & Bourbon Vanilla Cupcakes
- Mini Strawberry Pies
- Lemon Curd Linzer Cookies
Coconut & Jam Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 230 g margarine room temperature
- 230 g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 230 g gluten-free flour blend
- 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
- ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
- 12 tsp strawberry jam
For the coconut buttercream
- 250 g unsalted butter softened, room temperature
- 4-5 tbsp coconut cream
- 375 g icing sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes toasted
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 160° Fan and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.
- Cream the margarine and sugar together until paler in colour and light and fluffy in texture.230 g margarine, 230 g caster sugar
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time until completely combined.4 large eggs
- Add the vanilla extract and mix in.¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Sift in the flour, Xanthan Gum, salt and baking powder and mix in until just combined. Be careful not to overmix as this can lead to the cupcakes being rather gummy!230 g gluten-free flour blend, ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum, ½ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt
- Fold in the desiccated coconut.4 tbsp desiccated coconut
- Use an ice cream scoop to spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases and bake on the middle shelf for around 20-25 minutes until springy to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean with no wet crumbs attached.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack until they have reached room temperature, then create a hole in the centre of each one and fill with a teaspoon of jam. Pop the spongy top back on to seal it up again.12 tsp strawberry jam
For the coconut buttercream
- Before preparing the buttercream, toast the coconut flakes for a couple of minutes on a baking tray in the oven at 180° C until slightly brown. Set aside to cool.2 tbsp coconut flakes
- Then, cream the butter on a high setting in a stand-mixer for a few minutes, until paler in colour and light and fluffy in texture.250 g unsalted butter
- Add the coconut cream and whisk again on a high setting until thoroughly combined. It may look curdled at the beginning, but after a minute or two the mixture will become smoother.4-5 tbsp coconut cream
- Add the salt and sift in the icing sugar in batches, whisking each time on a high setting until no pockets of sugar remain. This may take a few minutes of whisking, so do persevere!¼ tsp salt, 375 g icing sugar
- Once the buttercream is nice and silky in texture, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a large open-star tip (my preferred buy you can use any!) and pipe in a swirl on top of each cupcake.
- Sprinkle with the toasted coconut flakes to finish!2 tbsp coconut flakes