Mocha Coconut Cupcakes

Do you ever cringe from embarrassment when you reminisce about certain things from your past? I do- I have plenty of cringe-worthy memories especially from my middle school/junior high years. But what’s worse of thinking back to those cringe-worthy days? Sharing those same moments with others- or better yet reminisce with your school friends about those embarrassing moments! Sounds a bit sadistic, but it’s good to be able to think back to those times and laugh it off.

An old friend of mine from middle school is engaged (to think we were once so young as to giggle at the mention of boys) and I invited her and a few friends to catch up. I love having friends over because it gives me an excuse to make dessert. And ever since I’ve found the recipe for the most amazing chocolate cupcakes there’s no reason to not make cupcakes!

The Mocha Coconut Frappuccino is my favorite Starbucks frappuccino and my new guilty summer indulgence (it’s tied with their Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino- both are soo good.) I wanted to recreate the frappuccino in a cupcake so I altered the original recipe for the amazing chocolate cupcakes just a tiny bit but the real magic came with the mocha-coconut frosting. Since I made the cupcakes the day before my friends came over I stored them in the freezer to maintain their moistness (from what I understand refrigerating cupcakes actually dries them out). The following day I let them thaw in the refrigerator before I served them. And they were perfect! The fact that they were still a little cold along with the mocha-coconut flavor really made it reminiscent of a Mocha Coconut Frappuccino!

Special shout out to my harshest critics (aka my siblings) for taste-testing the mocha-coconut frosting while it was in the works, my sister who helped me with decorating and frosting the cupcakes, and my friend from Robin Hood Photography for taking such a lovely picture of my cupcakes! (Her picture is the one at the very top!) Check out her Facebook page and like it!

Mocha Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

Yields approx. 20 cupcakes


for cupcakes

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces chocolate
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • ½ cup + 1 Tb vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp instant coffee powder
  • ½ cup brewed coffee

for mocha-coconut frosting (adapted from KirstenSU04)

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (adjust to your liking)
  • 4 Tb cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 Tb instant coffee powder dissolved in a splash of hot water
  • ½ cup flaked coconut 
  • chocolate shavings and flaked coconut, for topping (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cream butter and sugar using an electric/stand mixer for 5 minutes, until fully combined. Should look like wet sand.
  3. Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler.
  4. Once the melted chocolate is cool to the touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
  6. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
  7. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder, and instant coffee powder in a separate bowl. 
  8. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition (careful not to over mix).
  9. Mix in brewed coffee until just combined.
  10. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for about 18 minutes. Inserted toothpick in the middle of the cupcake should come out clean.
  11. For the Mocha-Coconut Frosting: cream together butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer. Taste and add more powdered sugar if desired. Mix in cocoa powder, vanilla, and dissolved instant coffee. Once thoroughly combined, fold in flaked coconut. Frost cupcakes once they are completely cooled. Top with chocolate shavings and flaked coconut if desired. 

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