This Coconut Buttercream Frosting is super fluffy and can be made in just 5 minutes! It will add that tropical flare you are looking for to all your cakes and cupcakes! Just combine some simple ingredients like coconut milk, sugar, and butter, and you’ll be ready to frost in no time! This is the best frosted on top of coconut cupcakes!

An overhead view of white frosting in a pink bowl on a yellow surface surrounded by shredded coconut.

This rich coconut frosting is thick and fluffy, with a subtle sweetness that is perfect for topping all kinds of cakes and cupcakes. As a trained pastry chef I appreciate how quick this recipe is without sacrificing on flavor!

If you’re looking for even more coconut flavor, you can always add some shredded coconut to the frosting as well as a bit of coconut extract. Topping this icing on top of coconut cupcakes will make you feel like your’e on vacation!

This is a super fun tropical icing that is great for the summer but can be used all year round. Coconut buttercream frosting would also be fun topped over pineapple cupcakes, strawberry filled cupcakes or banana cupcakes!

Pro tip- When making frosting, its important to get the consistency right. Learn how to thicken frosting quickly for the best results!

WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • It’s ready in just 5 minutes!
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
  • It’s a great way to use up any leftover coconut milk you may have from other recipes.
  • Coconut buttercream frosting is a great way to top cakes, cupcakes, brownies, or even bakery-style cookies!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

Ingredients for coconut frosting recipe.
  • Unsalted Softened Butter – The butter needs to be softened to cream. If you forgot to take your butter out, learn how to soften butter quickly.
  • Confectioners Sugar – This special sugar is milled fine so it mixes in easily with the rest of the ingredients while adding a sweet flavor.
  • Coconut Milk – Adds richness, creaminess, and natural coconut flavor to the frosting.
  • Coconut ExtractWhile optional, a bit of coconut flavored extract gives this frosting a bit more pronounced coconut flavor.
  • Kosher Salt – Balances out the sweetness in the frosting and enhances the coconut flavor.

HOW TO MAKE COCONUT BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Add the butter and sugar to the stand mixer: For best results, you’ll need to use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Fit the paddle attachment onto the stand mixer and add the butter and sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar: Using low speed, mix the butter and sugar then turn it to a medium speed as it emulsifiers. Continue mixing for one minute being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add the coconut milk: To the mixture, add coconut milk and coconut extract (if using). Give it another mix on low speed for about two minutes or until the frosting is fluffy and thick. Use right away or store immediately.

TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS

  1. For a stiffer buttercream, add more confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached. For a thinner buttercream, add more coconut milk until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Always start the mixer on low speed before going higher. This will help prevent a sugar and butter mess on your counter!
  3. This recipe will frost 12 cupcakes or fill and frost a 2 layer 9 inch cake.
  4. Coconut milk can sometimes separate when sitting, so just give it a good stir before using.
  5. To get the best results, use full-fat coconut milk. This will give you a richer and creamier frosting. If you’re using coconut cream, you’ll only need 3 tablespoons.
  6. To make a lemon coconut frosting, add the zest of one lemon to the frosting mixture.

Decorating with this frosting

This coconut frosting is really great to fill and frost homemade cakes and cupcakes. There is no shredded coconut in this recipe but you can frost a cake with this frosting as is, then add shredded coconut on top of it for garnish!

To put shredded coconut on top of cake make sure to stick it on right after you frost with the buttercream so that it sticks. If you wait too long the buttercream will harden and the coconut will not stick.

You can add 1/2 cup shredded coconut to the recipe as long as you don’t plan on piping it with a small tip. The coconut can get stuck in the tip and wont let you pipe it out. If you want to pipe it, make sure to use a round big tip like an 804, or 806 tip. A star tip will get stuck!

STORAGE AND FREEZING

Storage: To store coconut buttercream, keep it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. If you live in a warmer climate, store it in the refrigerator to make sure it doesn’t spoil.

Freezing: You can freeze coconut frosting for up to 3 months. Store it in an airtight container and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it.

FAQ

Can I substitute coconut cream for the milk?

Yes but you will likely need less, probably about 3 tbsp. If the mixture is too thick add 2 tsp water to thin it out.

What is the difference between icing and buttercream?

Icing is made with sugar and water (sometimes milk) and it’s used as a thinner glaze on top of cakes or cookies. Buttercream is made with butter (or margarine), confectioners sugar, and milk (sometimes cream) and can be used as a thick frosting for decorating cakes or cupcakes.

Is milk or cream better for buttercream frosting?

It really depends on what you’re going for. Milk will give you a lighter and fluffier frosting while cream will give you a richer and thicker frosting. For this coconut frosting you can use coconut milk or coconut cream.

WAYS TO ENJOY

There are so many ways you can enjoy the flavor of sweet coconut on your favorite desserts! I sandwiched this icing in between thick and chewy lemon coconut cookies, and they were SO good!

Lemon coconut cookie sandwiches filled with coconut buttercream frosting on a parchment lined sheet tray.

Some other things you can do:

An overhead view of white frosting in a pink bowl on a yellow surface surrounded by shredded coconut.
4.95 stars (34 ratings)

5 Minute Coconut Buttercream Frosting

This Coconut Buttercream Frosting is super fluffy and can be made in just 5 minutes! It will add that tropical flare you are looking for to all your cakes and cupcakes! Just combine some simple ingredients like coconut milk, sugar, and butter, and you'll be ready to frost in no time! This is the best frosted on top of coconut cupcakes!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 226g
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar, 454g
  • 4 ½ tbsp coconut milk
  • ½ tsp coconut extract, (optional)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the 1 cup butter and 4 cups confectioners sugar on low speed moving up to medium as the sugar mixes in.
  • Continue to mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the 4 ½ tbsp coconut milk and pinch of salt. Mix on low again moving up to medium and whip for 2 minutes.
  • Frost on your favorite cupcakes or between cookies!

Notes

This is a great filling and frosting for cakes. You can frost a cake with this buttercream and then add shredded coconut on top.
Only pipe this frosting using a large round tip, if you use a small or star tip the coconut will get stuck. 
You can use coconut cream to sub for the milk but will only need 3 tbsp.
Serving: 1portion, Calories: 303kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 126mg, Potassium: 18mg, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 473IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg
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