As I type this, my cousin Lacy is running her first marathon in San Diego! I am so proud of her – she is such an inspiration!

Our go-to cocktail in the summer is coconut rum and cranberry juice. It is so delicious, refreshing, and island-like that I could drink it for breakfast.

Don’t worry. I haven’t gone there.


But sometimes, Mr. How Sweet has me on the verge of going there.

He likes to mix coconut rum, cranberry, and orange juice, but I’ll stop there regarding his passion for fruity drinks. It is a delightful combo, too. He knows his girly beverages.

Malibu rum would be our favorite, but we don’t discriminate.

The same goes for these cupcakes. I used Malibu, but I think any brand would do.

I started with my basic vanilla cupcake recipe and added a slew of coconut flavors – milk, extract and rum.

This could also be made into a cake, and I think a layer of fruit (think strawberries, pineapple, and cherries) would be perfect.


So, grab a cupcake and pretend you’re laying in the sand.


Coconut Rum Cupcakes

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

contents of 1/2 vanilla bean

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup coconut rum (I used Malibu)

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together until fluffy. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and mix until combined.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Add coconut rum and fold in shredded coconut.

Pour into cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 mins at 350. Let cool, then frost.

Malibu Frosting

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 – 2 lbs powdered sugar

1/4 cup coconut rum

1 tablespoon vanilla

Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with rum and vanilla, until desired consistency is reached. Feel free to add more or less sugar or liquid based on how thick you want your frosting.



Mr. How Sweet’s love for coconut stops at rum.

I’ve said it before, but he despises coconut. It’s the texture, people.

If you know someone who likes the taste of coconut, just not the texture, simply leave the shredded coconut out.

I was not that nice.

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78 Responses to “Coconut Rum Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Corinna — August 18, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    Heya! These look amazing, i need to try the recipe! Can u just tell me how many cupcakes u get from it?
    Thanks a lot – and thanks for sharing the recipe as well!


  2. #
    Katie — October 8, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    Are there any substitutions for Coconut Milk that would work with this recipe?


    • Laura — March 8th, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

      I used 1/4 of crushed pineapple instead of coconut milk and they came out perfect! Plus it added a little pina colada taste!


  3. #
    Nick Thompson — October 31, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    Just wanted to say i have just made these cupcake and they are delicious very nice indeed. Thanks for sharing this! :)


    • shaelynn — April 16th, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

      I am going to make these this weekend but wondering if its really 1 1/2 – 2 lbs of powdered sugar? I hardy ever cook so this is why im asking;)


      • Theresa — July 1st, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

        not trying to come across as rude but have you ever made frosting from scratch this way? If not then Yes it is a tremendous amount of sugar but you will see it is needed. Make sure you are getting the powdered sugar not the regular grainy sugar almost 2 pounds of that would be nuts!!! :)

  4. #
    Lisa — April 24, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    love Malibu however not a fan of coconut if I leave it out will it hurt?


  5. #
    Lisa — April 24, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    disregard I found my answer at the bottom


  6. #
    soe — May 15, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

    Thanks for recipes.. its really inspiring.. – cupcake boxes


  7. #
    Diana — July 1, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    Awesome recipe! I did substitute the coconut milk with crushed pineapple. You might need to add just a tad of the juice to the batter if it seems too thick. This recipe makes a little over a dozen cupcakes.


  8. #
    Julie — September 2, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

    Im trying the Malibu cup cakes! I made a coconut cream cheese frosting tho. They look soo delish!


  9. #
    Julie — September 2, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    I am trying the Malibu cupcakes, I made a cream cheese frosting tho. They looks delish , I’m not really a baker, the batter seemed thick to me. Only time will tell, they are baking now,


  10. #
    Defense Law Firm In Pearland — May 4, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

    Outstanding. I agree.


  11. #
    Taryn — May 30, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

    do you use a regular box of vanilla cake mix and add all of the above to it ? OR does all the ingrediants make its own cake/dough?


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  14. #
    Mariah — April 15, 2014 @ 6:03 pm

    How many cupcakes does this recipe make?


  15. #
    Sydney — April 20, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

    Are the coconut shreds sweetened or unsweetened?



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