Coconut Ice Cupcakes

I've you're a true coconut lover, this is your cupcake!

I first made coconut ice candy about eight years ago when I was just beginning to blog. It's a dense coconut confection with pink and white layers. The candy is pressed into a baking dish, and then it's chilled and cut into squares, much like fudge. I've always considered it to be a pretty candy, and recently I had the idea to use it for a garnish atop coconut cupcakes.

These cupcakes have three coconut elements: filling, frosting and candy topping. My favorite of the three may be the marshmallow coconut filling. It's a combination of prepared marshmallow cream and cream of coconut - so easy to make and so good!

The recipe for this coconut ice candy is no-bake! The original recipe I tried so many years ago required boiling sugar syrup to soft-ball stage (240F), but this version is so much easier. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together in a bowl.

This recipe yields exactly 12 cupcakes if you measure the batter by level 1/4 cups. You'll have plenty of coconut ice candy left over after you top your cupcakes, so you may want to consider packaging the squares in cellophane for an Easter basket goodie.

Coconut Ice Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes

Notes: Cream of coconut is not the same as coconut milk. You can find this sweet cream in the drink mixers section at the grocery store. The coconut cream may separate in the can, so be sure to stir it well before using it in this recipe. It's okay if it's a little lumpy when you add it to the recipe.

I use clear vanilla extract in all of the elements in this recipe. It yields a pristine white frosting and white candy coconut layer. If you don’t have clear vanilla extract then regular extract may be used instead.

Coconut Ice Candy
2 cups (255g) sifted pure icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (325g) unsweet desiccated coconut
2-3 drops pink food coloring

Cupcakes and filling
1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups (165g) sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup (4 oz.) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 cup (4 oz.) crème of coconut
7 oz. jar commercially prepared marshmallow cream

1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
4 cups (510g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream of coconut
1 teaspoon coconut extract or 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavoring oil

Make the coconut ice candy: Grease an 8x8-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment so that the paper overhangs two edges.
Place the confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Add condensed milk and vanilla. Stir in the coconut and mix until you can no longer easily get your spoon through the mixture. Use your hands to knead the candy together until well combined. Divide the dough and knead the food color through one portion. Press the pink mixture into the pan evenly and top with the white mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces for cupcake toppers, or large pieces for your candy tray.

Make the cupcakes and filling: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a standard size cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a separate, larger bowl, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla.
Add half the flour mixture to the butter and mix well. Add the milk and mix well. Add remaining flour and mix well.
Pour the batter into the cupcake tins by the level 1/4 cup. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then turn the cupcakes out of the tins and onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely. When cupcakes are cool, cut out a small hole in the centers of each one, big enough for about 1 tablespoon of filling.
Combine the 1/2 cup crème of coconut with the marshmallow cream in a large bowl and beat until well combined. The mixture should be thin enough to fall in a ribbon from a spoon. Fill each cupcake with the mixture. The filling may sink a bit as it settles, so expect this.

Make the frosting: Cream the butter in an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just combined. Add the cream of coconut and extract and mix until white and fluffy. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes and top each cupcake with a piece of coconut ice candy.

link Coconut Ice Cupcakes By Published: Coconut Ice Cupcakes Recipe


  1. Very pretty! Love that candy.



  2. So beautiful and springy! Pink and white make for the cutest cupcakes!

  3. Do you measure the powdered sugar BEFORE or AFTER sifting it?

    1. Hi! In the coconut candy portion the sugar is sifted and then measured. In the frosting portion it is measured and then sifted. Does that make sense?

      Sifted sugar = sift then measure.
      Sugar, sifted = measure then sift.

      I hope this helps!

  4. So super cute! Absolutely love these!

  5. Absolutely love these! Can we store the coconut ice candy in room temperature after it's cut? or does it need to be refrigerated?

  6. help! I tried to make these cupcakes this weekend, followed everything totally to the letter, but the cupcakes puffed up and and then totally collapsed. Not just a little, the cupcakes looked like cups. The only thing that i can think of is that i over-beat the butter, introduced too much air into the batter. Do you have an ideas?

    1. Hi! Sorry that happened to you! There are a few reasons why this could happen. If your pan is too close to the top element, then it can cause a rapid rise and then a total collapse much like souffles. Middle rack in the oven is best. Over-mixing could also contribute. If you try again, I'd stir the batter together with a spatula. It takes longer but it will ensure that you don't overmix your batter.

      Thank you for trying the recipe. I'm so sorry you had trouble!

  7. We made two batches YUMMMM!!!!

  8. Hi! Can this recipe be made into a cake?? Looks so good, but I would love to make a cake version of this for an upcoming birthday :)

  9. Can any part of this recipe be made ahead and frozen?


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