Two Peas and Their Pod

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

I don’t bake cupcakes very often, not because I don’t like them, but to be honest, I sort of forget about them. I am always dreaming up new cookie recipes and forget that there are other desserts out there. My heart belongs to cookies:) The other day Josh and I were talking about how we met and how coconut cupcakes played a role in our meeting. Josh hinted that I should make the “famous” coconut cupcakes for him again. I was in a baking mood, so he got his wish:) This time I made Coconut Lime Cupcakes because Josh adores all things lime.

So you probably want to know how we met. Ok, here is the story. Note-Josh may have a slightly different version, but we all know I am always right:) It was a gorgeous spring day in Utah, so my roommate and I decided it would be fun to go on a little hike. We met up with a large group of people from our church and spent the evening hiking. We had a lot of fun and decided to invite a few people over for dessert after the hike. We just made some killer coconut cupcakes and knew they would be a hit:)

I didn’t really talk to Josh on the hike, but he ended up coming over with his roommate for dessert. We had a good time visiting and eating cupcakes. There were no sparks, no love at first sight, at least not on my end:) We did become really good friends and started hanging out almost every day. A few months later, we were watching a basketball game and Josh blurted out…so when are we going to start dating? I started cracking up. I didn’t think he was serious-he really was my best friend and I didn’t think he was interested in dating me. I’ve always had a lot of guy friends and didn’t think anything of it.

Well, he was serious and told me he was interested in dating me ever since he came over for dessert. To make a long story short, he ended up asking me on an “official” date. He showed up at my door step with a rose and we went out for sushi. That first official date led to many more dates and we were married about a year later.

Now, we joke that the coconut cupcakes were the reason Josh fell head over heels in love with me:) How could he resist me after taking a bite of such a decadent cupcake? :) The coconut cupcake recipe is adapted from Ina Garten. I made a few changes this time around to make them Coconut Lime Cupcakes. I added lime zest and juice to the cupcake batter. I also made a coconut lime buttercream frosting and sprinkled coconut on top. The cupcakes are dense, with a refreshing kick of lime. Josh loved the lime twist on his favorite coconut cupcake.

These Coconut Lime Cupcakes will always be a favorite in our house! They are perfect for Spring and would be a great dessert to serve on Easter Sunday. And if you trying to win someone’s heart, make them these cupcakes. They worked on Josh:)

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

Rich and refreshing coconut lime cupcakes with a creamy coconut lime buttercream frosting. Our favorite cupcake recipe ever!


2 cups granulated sugar

Zest of 1 large lime

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

5 extra-large eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup shredded coconut

For the Coconut Lime Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
6 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 cup coconut, for sprinkling on top of cupcakes


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lime zest. Rub together with your fingers, until fragrant. In the bowl of an stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar mixture together on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla, coconut extract, lime juice, and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Stir in coconut.

4. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to wire cooling rack and cool completely.

5. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, vanilla, and coconut extract until creamy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with lime juice, beating until combined.

6. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut.

Coconut cupcake recipe adapted from Ina Garten

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92 Responses to “Coconut Lime Cupcakes”

  1. DessertForTwo — March 26, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

    Awwwww I love ‘how we met’ stories! This one is so cute!

    Our story is kinda similar. We met at work, and even though I thought he was very smart and handsome, I resisted even thinking about him because I didn’t want a relationship. Then, I found out we went to the same church, and I let down my guard instantly. I decided it was a sign from God! One year later, engaged :)

  2. Jessica @ How Sweet — March 26, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    Ah, what a sweet story!

  3. Lucy Lean — March 26, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    I love your twist on Ina’s recipe – and fun reading your cute meet story, LL

  4. Cassie — March 26, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

    Such a cute story! Thanks for sharing it! :)

  5. These look so pretty and sound wonderful! Love the lime and coconut together!

  6. marla — March 26, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

    Such angelic and pretty cupcakes!! Love :)

  7. I love how certain foods remind people of special memories. Thanks for sharing this with us. I love the combo of coconut and lime. I cannot wait to try!

  8. chelsea @ serves two — March 26, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    awww i love stories of how people met :) very sweet story. and very delish cupcakes!

  9. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — March 26, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    omg I want one!

  10. Urban Wife — March 26, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    What a sweet story! I always love hearing how food plays into people’s love stories. :) And these cupcakes look wonderful, even for a coconut non-lover such as myself. These might just be the ones to make me like coconut!

  11. Jessica @ HG — March 26, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

    My heart belongs to cake over your cookie obsession so these are right up my alley! And I’m due for a coconut delight soon- these look great!

  12. MikeVFMK — March 26, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    Great story and so cute! And these cupcakes look amazing. Love the flavours!!

  13. Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 26, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    I, on the other hand, am not a huge cupcake person, which is why I’m not one to make them very often. Oh, that’s not true. I do love a good cupcake. I just SUCK at putting the icing on and I get frustrated. So, I have an idea… why don’t YOU just make them for me? Ok? I like that plan 😉

  14. vanillasugarblog — March 26, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    awww how sweet.
    just perfect for you two!

  15. Joanne — March 26, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    Okay, so that is just about the cutest story EVER. You guys are so adorable. And give me so much hope.

    I love your coconut lime cookies to no end…so these MUST be made!

  16. Tessa — March 26, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

    This is such a sweet story! Love that he remembers these cupcakes. I have to agree with him. They look great!

  17. susan — March 26, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

    how a cupcake led to marriage – that could be a book title!!

  18. Deborah — March 27, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    I love hearing stories like this!! And I’ve always believed that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. :) I think I’ve actually made this coconut cupcake recipe before – I need to try this lime version!!

  19. Well it’s no surprise that a delicious sweet was the spark that brought you two together!

  20. Cookin' Canuck — March 27, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    I loved reading the story of how you two met. So, did you have a coconut cake for your wedding in honor of those cupcakes? These look wonderful, by the way.

  21. honeywhatscooking — March 27, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    what an absolutely sweet story. like ina says, the way to a man’s heart is through food. i love the sound of these cupcakes, never tried coconut lime, this will be on my baking todo list. :-)

  22. Jasanna — March 27, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    These look sooo tasty!!! :)

  23. Ashley — March 27, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    I’m a Miami-ian living in Boston and these make me want summer! Or some sort of key lime pie or cocktail. Yum! Can’t wait to try them!

  24. Elizabeth — March 27, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

    I love coconut and cake together!

  25. Missy — March 27, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    Good story. Nice to see you both today, as always. :)

  26. Kiran @ — March 27, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

    Love anything and everything coconut — absolutely swoon over your love story :)

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  28. Chels R — March 28, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    I thought this looked familiar to the Barefoot Contessa’s! Cute story and I love the cupcakes. So cute!

  29. Kristina Vanni — April 2, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    What a great story! These look light and ‘springy’. Perfect for the season!

  30. Lisa — April 4, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

    Made these today and they are excellent! Very rich. It made 2 dozen and an 8×8 pan which I used to make cake push pops. Yum!

    • Two Peas replied: — April 5th, 2012 @ 10:14 am

      Glad you liked the cupcakes! I bet the cake push pops are super cute!

  31. Beth — April 12, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    These were a hit as Easter dinner dessert. I used key limes instead of regular limes. The frosting coconut was tinted green and a couple jelly beans were added. Cupcakes were delicious. Totally different texture than a box mix. Thanks!

  32. Priyanka — April 17, 2012 @ 12:01 am

    What do you think about using coconut milk instead of buttermilk? I want a strong coconut taste. Will that substitution work well?

    • Two Peas replied: — April 17th, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

      I haven’t tried coconut milk, but I am sure it would work. Enjoy!

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