I’d love nothing more than to dive face first into this pile of frosting covered in iridescent sprinkles.

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream I howsweeteats.com

And never to surface. Drowning in a puff of coconut whipped cream is how I’d like to go, so please keep that in mind, universe.

I mean.

Don’t these just look like a little cup of sunshine?

I want to eat sunshine. I know you do too.

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream I howsweeteats.com

Apparently it’s that time of year again – the time when I do a little dance all about lemon dessert. It only happens once or twice a year, usually on the way into summer because I need to do all the things that lead me to warmer weather.

And now, I’m into it!

If you read any of my previous posts, you’ll know that for years I cursed lemon as an elderly dessert, like only a dessert that a grandma would like, because, um, hello, have you even HAD a chocolate and peanut butter brownie?

Yes, I am that much of a jerk but not really.

I’ve found a time and a place for lemon and right now that time and place is in my face this very moment.

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream I howsweeteats.com

These cupcakes are so light and fluffy and perfect. Not light as in healthy light, but light as in… light light. Like not heavy. You know. The kind of dessert you can still throw down with after pigging out on brunch and cocktails with your mom. Because I think we can all agree that these little things are quite perfect for mother’s day and certainly face smash worthy. And bite size! You can eat multiples.

That’s just how it works.

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream I howsweeteats.com

Let’s see. If you need more mother’s day goodness, here are my top five. This cinnamon sugar French toast with whipped greek yogurt cream. OMG. The yogurt cream is so light and wonderful. Adore. Plus, you can spend the rest of the day screaming obnoxiously that you “made some fraaaaaanch toast!”

Also, this chocolate peanut butter pie, if only because ten seconds ago I mentioned chocolate peanut butter and I am a dolt and now can think of nothing else but the world’s most perfect combination.

This milk chocolate mousse is also a fabulous choice and happens to use whipped coconut cream too. So there’s that.

If you’re in the mood for something savory, you should probably definitely make this whipped feta because WHAT THE HECK it is so good. Like how can something on this earth be that delicious? I have no idea. But it can.

Finally. Finish it off with coconut mango mojitos. Just do it. Because. Now you’re set!

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream I howsweeteats.com

Back to baby cakes.

On top is just some plain coconut whipped cream because it’s perfect. It is. I don’t care what anyone says, it is literally perfect. Yes. Literally. Cue the gigantic eye roll. I said literally!

It’s just so freaking good. Fluffy like regular whipping cream but slightly… thicker? It holds it’s shape a bit better and if you really want to know… four days later I still have a handful of them left in my fridge (oh hi, breakfast) and they continue to look and taste great. After a few days the coconut whipped cream will slightly firm up in the fridge and lose it’s cloud-like texture, but it still tastes pretty darn fantastic.

I just want to crawl up on top of the whipped cream hats and take a big fat nap. Forever.

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream I howsweeteats.com


Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream

Yield: makes 12 to 15 cupcakes

Total Time: 1 hour


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 lemons, zest freshly grated
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract (if desired, not necessary)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice
1 can cold full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tin with liners.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Zest the lemons and set the zest aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides if needed and increasing it to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar and butter is fluffy. Beat in each egg and white until incorporated, then add the vanilla and lemon extract (I actually used a lemon baking emulsion) and lemon zest until combined. Beating on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients until combined, then add in the milk and lemon juice. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and beat until combined.

Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, scoop the batter into the liners filling them 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are set. Let cool completely.

To make the coconut whipped cream, make sure the can has been refrigerated overnight. Turn it upside down, open the can and pour out the liquid (you don't need it for this recipe, I keep it for smoothies, etc), leaving you with the thick cream in the can. Add it to the bowl of your electric mixer and using the whisk attachment, beat it on medium-high speed until thick and creamy. I do not add any extra sugar, but feel free to do so if you'd like. You can beat in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar.

Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream I howsweeteats.com

so goodnight.

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76 Responses to “Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream.”

  1. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — May 8, 2014 @ 7:06 am

    Yes please! My mum was unfortunately cursed with allergies to caffeine (including chocolate) and nuts, so dreamy lemon cupcakes it is! :)


  2. #
    Molly @ Yes to Yolks — May 8, 2014 @ 7:35 am

    These are so pretty and cute! I must be a grandma, because lemon desserts are my absolute favorite (not knocking the choco-PB combo, though!). I will make these when I have a crowd to feed because otherwise I’ll eat them all myself. I’d definitely do a coconut-whipped-cream face plant.


  3. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — May 8, 2014 @ 7:43 am

    I’m definitely a grandma, because I have always loved lemon desserts. But I kind of already knew that anyway ;) These cupcakes are fab!


  4. #
    Lisa @ Simple Pairings — May 8, 2014 @ 7:58 am

    A fluffy lemon cupcake sounds delightful! I LOVE lemon desserts – it’s that combination of sweet and fresh zing that is so satisfying.


  5. #
    Jason — May 8, 2014 @ 8:00 am

    I am a huge lime fan,,, so I will give this a shot with a Lime Under the Coconut Cupcake! Limes are a bit cheaper too….


  6. #
    Lynda — May 8, 2014 @ 8:06 am

    Jessica: I have a question on lemon (or any flavor) zest. When a receipe calls for “the zest of one lemon” or however many lemons, how do you know when you have all the “zest”? Do you just scrape off all the yellow, down to the white, and then that’s it? I’m sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but I’ve never zested a lemon before and have seen “the zest from ___ lemons” a lot lately and just want to be sure how to do this……….thanks!


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2014 @ 10:37 am

      you only want the yellow! once you get down to the white, the pith is bitter. so anytime you zest – it’s just the yellow. you should only have to go over each spot on the lemon once!


  7. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onions — May 8, 2014 @ 8:39 am

    I’m with you, I could totally drown in these… MMMmmmm coconut whipped Cream


  8. #
    Nicole @ Just Live It — May 8, 2014 @ 8:44 am

    These sound SO unbelievably delicious! And they’re perfect for Mother’s Day… Spring… OR any day, really. ;) Thank you so much for sharing!


  9. #
    Ashley — May 8, 2014 @ 8:53 am

    LEMON DESSERTS!! Sorry for shouting, but I love them. These are so freaking adorable I’m going to die. Coconut cream is like magic and I kind of love when it sets up in the fridge and turns partially solid. That last photo is what really killed me.


  10. #
    Sabrina - A Spoonful of Photography — May 8, 2014 @ 9:03 am

    Oh, my – these look absolutely HEAVENLY!! I just looove the use of whipped coconut cream for the frosting and am all in for not just a small but totally emberassing dance for lemon desserts in the moment! I can’t get enough to sneak them into cakes, muffins, cupcakes, oatmeal, pancakes and similar – sounds like I’m an old lady for life, haha! Thanks for sharing! :-)


  11. #
    Heidi @foodiecrush — May 8, 2014 @ 9:06 am

    I do the lemon dance pretty much all year long. And it ain’t pretty. Not like these baby cakes. Love the whipped cream shot!


  12. #
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm — May 8, 2014 @ 9:21 am

    Absolutely perfect and gorgeous for Mother’s Day! I also LOVE all the other recipe links! May try the french toast- YUM!


  13. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — May 8, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    Lemons are over running my house right now, so I so grateful for this spark of inspiration!
    The coconut whip? genius!


  14. #
    Emily @ Zen & Spice — May 8, 2014 @ 9:54 am

    These are so adorable. I love the yellow muffin cups! I’ve never tried coconut cream before, does it have a super coconut-y taste?


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2014 @ 10:38 am

      not super coconutty at all – it’s a very light flavor. and if you use it inside of something – like fold it into a mousse or whatnot, you can’t taste the coconut at all!


  15. #
    Cate — May 8, 2014 @ 10:06 am

    I die


  16. #
    Angel Reyes — May 8, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    Hello summer! I think I’m a bit old in the inside. I love lemon cakes, and these look luscious. Plus, I love the idea of coconut whipped cream!


  17. #
    Molly @ Doughvelopment — May 8, 2014 @ 10:34 am

    Love love love lemon desserts! I think you mean light as in airy? Def face smash worthy! I think my mama is gonna love these!!
    I want a necklace of those iridescent sprinkles! ;)


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2014 @ 10:38 am

      yes yes! airy!


  18. #
    Caitlin — May 8, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    My mom’s latest obsession is mango mojitos, so I definitely just found your coconut mango mojito recipe last night and plan on making some for her with her mother’s day dinner. Cocktails for the win! Thanks for the recipe!


  19. #
    Heather — May 8, 2014 @ 10:56 am

    These look perfect! I just bought a bunch of lemons, because the sun got me in the mood. Can’t wait to try these :)


  20. #
    Sarah — May 8, 2014 @ 11:24 am

    What a perfect springtime recipe! This makes me want to finally try making coconut whipped cream.


  21. #
    Danae @ Recipe Runner — May 8, 2014 @ 11:54 am

    I am all about lemon desserts right now! These cupcakes are like little bites of sunshine with a cloud of delicious coconut frosting on top, absolutely delicious looking! I’m in love with those pearly sprinkles, the perfect finishing touch.


  22. #
    Victoria — May 8, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

    It must be springtime lemon fever! I made a lemon cake last week and i’ve been what else to make with all the lemons I stole from my parent’s tree. :)

    Side note, I don’t see where you said to add the lemon zest. With the butter and sugar?


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

      so sorry missed that – i add it with the extracts.


  23. #
    Jess — May 8, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    I am all about the lemon right now too. But how does your coconut cream stay so white? I guess I’ve always put it on top of a dark chocolate cake, but it seems like within hours it’s turned brownish and even though it tastes okay, it’s a really unappetizing color. Do you do anything special to yours?

    Also, that peanut butter pie…my husband, who is Spanish, hates peanut butter and makes disgusted faces every time I eat a PB&J sandwich. But…that pie is on his top ten list of things I’ve ever made. Like seriously. I didn’t tell him there was PB in it, and he didn’t notice because he was too busy stuffing his face with it. Thanks for a great recipe!


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

      ah so glad he likes that pie!

      hmmm … i make coconut whipped cream pretty much all the time and have never had an issue with it turning brown, ever. could it just be the chocolate cake crumbs mixing in with it? i have never heard of it turning brown! my stays white regardless if it’s in the fridge or out!


      • Jess — May 8th, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

        Hmm…maybe I just have really low quality coconut milk. Where I live there’s only one brand, so…I guess I’ll have to experiment with it some more, or at least try it on a white cake! Thanks!

  24. #
    Annie @Maebells — May 8, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

    These look heavenly! We are huge lemon fans in this house, so much so that we even had lemon wedding cake! I love the addition of the whipped coconut cream!


  25. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 8, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

    So so pretty and they look so fluffy! And the last pic with the bite mark, oh I want to just dig into that frosting and make bite marks, too :) pinned


  26. #
    Victoria Bakrdjian — May 8, 2014 @ 1:03 pm

    I am so with you in the lemon dessert department! I have a really hard time choosing between a chocolate and a lemon dessert when given the choice. And with coconut frosting… I need to make this soon! (Even though I just made some lemon cupcakes for Easter. Different frosting, though!) ;)


  27. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — May 8, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    I am all about the lemon desserts right now! I just want lemon, lemon and more lemon.

    And coconut frosting? All about that too. It might be my second favorite after buttercream.


  28. #
    Leslie — May 8, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

    At what point do you add the lemon zest?


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

      oops left it out – i add it with the extracts. fixed it, thanks!


  29. #
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project — May 8, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

    I’m craving sweets right now and these look so amazing! I like how they’re topped with coconut cream! Yum!


  30. #
    Alysha — May 8, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

    Jessica – if I wanted to make a whole cake instead of cupcakes what would you suggest for baking time? My mom loves lemon but I’m not a huge fan and I just know I’ll end up with the left over cupcakes if I make a dozen, so I was thinking maybe an 8inch round? or a loaf pan? siiigh…they’re so cute maybe I’ll just end up with cupcakes


  31. #
    Sammi @Sammi Sunshine — May 8, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

    Dying! Lemon desserts are my weakness. You topped it with coconut cream and… Bam! I’m in heaven! A&E has a lemon greek yogurt that I buy and stick in the freezer, so when I want a little lemon treat, I can pull that out and satisfy my craving!

    Sammi Sunshine
    A Food Blog


  32. #
    Niki — May 8, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

    These look delicious! I want to take one right off the screen!


  33. #
    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — May 8, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    These look so summary and to die for! I loooove lemon (how could you not? lol) and these cupcakes, goodness, I want them asap!


  34. #
    Larry — May 8, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

    I’m like, totally obsessed with lemon cakes/desserts/AND IM SURE THESE CUPCAKES! My mom used to make this lemon cake dessert thing and ugh, I miss it so much. Loves.


  35. #
    Jessica — May 8, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

    Yes yes, we share the same awesome name : )

    Your pictures are BE-A-UTIFUL! Do you just go off of the natural light pouring into your home or do you use extra lighting?? I’m in the beginning stages of creating my own food blog (!! FINGERS CROSSED !!) and i’d love your feedback on lighting, i swear your pictures are always perfect and perfectly edible!! : )


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

      thanks jessica!
      yes, i only shoot in natural light. i use my dining room window and shoot on the dining room table! i don’t use any other kind of lighting. occasionally i will use a light bounce (white piece of cardboard), but not always (i didn’t with these, that’s why they are a little more shadow-y).


      • Jessica — May 9th, 2014 @ 10:31 am

        Thank you so much! They NEVER look artificial yet they look perfect for any magazine lol LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

  36. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — May 8, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

    Whipped coconut cream is the best. I love how this is so summery and bright!


  37. #
    Jessica @ Sweet Menu — May 8, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

    Oh yum! I love these, look how white the icing is! And how cute are your bright yellow patty cake liners!


  38. #
    Jenna — May 8, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

    These are gorgeous. I want one in my hand and one in my mouth right now.


  39. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — May 8, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

    These look so good — perfect for Spring!


  40. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 8, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

    I neeeeeever make cupcakes for some reason. It’s silly, really. I love them so much! This recipe is so unique and so fun, friend!! I could die in that frosting too! xx


  41. #
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments — May 8, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

    Ahhh. Loving lemon lately. And paired with coconut, it’s a perfect match. Gorgeous!
    Have a beautiful day Jessica!


  42. #
    Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes — May 8, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

    Wowy. I am so much more excited for summer after reading this. I need to make these asap!


  43. #
    ami@naivecookcooks — May 8, 2014 @ 7:14 pm

    haha take a big fat nap! You are too cute! <3


  44. #
    Tracy | Pale Yellow — May 8, 2014 @ 7:38 pm

    These look perfectly delightful and springy! I’m smitten!


  45. #
    JanetFCTC — May 8, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

    Drowning has always been a phobia of mine, but I’m with you on this one… what a way to go. These look sooooo good!


  46. #
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — May 8, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

    Yes they do look like cups of sunshine. I was glad to read that you had Come to Mama—-it is Mother’s Day—-in regard to giving lemon desserts their proper respect. This is not putting chocolate and peanut butter down of course. In fact I like to pair chocolate and lemon together. There is no doubt with the picture of the cupcake with the big bite in it—-now who ate that?—-these cupcakes
    are light and simply, but spectacularly topped with just the right frosting.


  47. #
    LC — May 9, 2014 @ 12:26 am

    Perfecto! Give me!!!


  48. #
    Shiran @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet. — May 9, 2014 @ 8:58 am

    These cupcakes look perfect Jessica! I love that you use coconut cream as the frosting. It’s a great idea!


  49. #
    Alyssa — May 9, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    These would be PERFECT for my mom for Mother’s Day! I’m having her over for dinner on Sunday and would love to serve these for dessert… how many cupcakes does this recipe make? I just made chocolate cake, so the last thing I need is leftovers, lol.


    • Alyssa — May 9th, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

      Okay nevermind I just realized it’s at the top of the recipe – d’oh! This is what happens when I’m food-blog-stalking at work while pretending to work.


  50. #
    Kristen — May 9, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

    You grabbed me with FLUFFY and then totally had me at coconut whipped cream. i would love to have these after brunch on Mother’s Day. Sadly, my mom doesn’t like anything coconut, which is completely absurd to me. Maybe she won’t mind a lemon “muffin” while they rest of us eat these?!



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