Lemon Coconut Cupcakes {vegan}

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

Hi. There’s cupcakes. But first, can we please talk about Les Miserables for a hot minute? My poor, sweet, perfect husband got forced volunteered to go with me to see it. When I first saw the trailer, I was convinced it was going to be horrible, but as time went on, the hype got bigger and bigger, and I started to believe I was actually going to love it.

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

And I’m really sorry, because if you saw it, I’m sure you probably loved it too. But we walked out and Steve said “My favorite part was when he jumped off the bridge because that meant he couldn’t sing anymore.” Spoiler alert: Javert jumps off a bridge. Spoiler #2: I kind of agree. I don’t want to talk about everything that was wrong with the movie, because flaws and all, I still enjoyed all 2.5 hours of it. Well maybe like 2 of them, but what was sooooo funny was listening to Steve go on and on and ON about it the whole car ride home. I’ve never seen him hate a movie so much!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

His other finest quote was “No wonder they couldn’t get anything done in that French revolution! They had to sing about everything first!” If you didn’t love the movie, you should really ask him about it, but if you’re one of the people who cried in the theatre, then it’s probably a subject best left untapped. Okay, musical theatre snobbery is over. Let’s talk about cupcakes!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

You guys know how I’m always talking about perfect flavor combinations. I’m not one to just have one flavor. I like variety. I get bored easily, and I need a lot going on in order to stay interested. I hadn’t ever had lemon and coconut together before (that I can remember), but I had a hunch it was going to be pretty great, and it may not be peanut butter and chocolate, but it is definitely a contendor for my secret mental list. ;)

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes #vegan

The light, citrusy flavor of the lemon complements the rich, creamy coconut flavor in these soft and fluffy cupcakes. They are definitely dessert, but not too sweet, and that slightly tart lemon glaze is the perfect finishing touch. And I promise, the best part is not when they jump off a bridge. Unless the bridge is your hand and they are jumping into your mouth. Worst joke ever?

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

yield 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • zest of 1 extra large lemons
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 2/3 cups canned light coconut milk
  • reduced fat unsweetened shredded coconut and yellow sprinkles for topping (optional)

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • dash lemon extract
  • 1-2 tbs hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 18 muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and lemon zest until fragrant. Add applesauce and coconut extract and beat until combined. Slowly pour half of the coconut milk and beat until well incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture, beating until incorporated, followed by remaining coconut milk. Beat until smooth, then add remaining flour mixture, and continue beating until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  4. Evenly divide batter between cupcake tins (they should be about 2/3 full) and bake for 18-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the glaze,  in a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon extract and 1 tbs hot water. Slowly continue to add more water (and I mean very slowly. A little bit of liquid goes a long way with powdered sugar) until desired drippy consistency. Spread onto cooled cupcakes, and top with sprinkles and coconut if desired.