These moist and fluffy coconut muffins are the perfect tropical touch to your breakfast, brunch, or dessert table. Made with shredded coconut, a hint of vanilla, and just the right amount of sweetness, they are packed with flavor and just the right texture to keep your mouth watering for more!
🌟 Why this is the best Coconut muffin recipe
- It is easy to make - This is one of the most straightforward yet detailed coconut muffin recipes. No fancy ingredients or equipment is required.
- It is the most delicious - I use only the highest quality ingredients to give these muffins the freshest, most natural flavor and pleasing texture. I also replace some of the flour with shredded coconut to intensify the coconut taste. You won't find coconut extract in this recipe!
- It is versatile - You can customize and enhance the flavor of these coconut muffins in many ways. See my Variations and Substitutions section below for ideas.
- They are easy to store - You can easily make these muffins in advance and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. They're also great for batch cooking.
- It uses the best technique - Unlike other recipes, I combine oil and butter to make the muffins super light and fluffy. I also use a signature baking hack using baking soda and vinegar to make these muffins super spongy and moist.
📝 Ingredient notes
- Sugar - I use regular white granulated sugar in this coconut muffins recipe. Refer to my sugar guide to learn more about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking.
- Butter - You will need room-temperature, unsalted butter. Unsalted butter gives you complete control of the amount of salt in the recipe. I use butter with 82% fat in all of my recipes. You can also make your butter at home! Do not use melted butter.
- Oil - Oil gives the muffins moisture. I recommend vegetable oil or coconut oil for this recipe.
- Egg - The egg must be at room temperature to emulsify correctly.
- Vanilla extract - For the best taste, use pure vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla extract). You can also make DIY vanilla extract at home!
- Flour - In this recipe, I use all-purpose flour to give the muffins their structure. See my flour guide to learn about the different types of flour in baking.
- Coconut - Shredded, unsweetened coconut is the heart of these muffins. You can also use coconut flakes. For the best results and flavor, use organic coconut.
- Baking powder - Baking powder helps give the muffins their rise. If you don't have baking powder on hand, you can try one of these baking powder substitutes.
- Salt - Salt is an essential ingredient that balances the sweetness. It should not be omitted.
- Milk - Use whole milk with high-fat content to give the muffins the best taste and texture. I use milk with 3% fat in my recipes. The milk needs to be at room temperature before using.
- Baking soda and vinegar - Combining baking soda and vinegar intensifies the muffins' moisture and sponginess. Do not skip these ingredients!
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. How to make coconut muffins
- Preheat your oven to 175C / 347F with no fan. In the meantime, prepare your muffin tin with paper muffin liners or lightly grease the tin with butter.
- Using an electric hand mixer, cream the room-temperature butter and sugar in a large bowl for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Learn more about how to cream butter with sugar properly.
- Slowly mix in each egg one at a time, then add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Slowly pour in the oil while whipping the mixture. In the same manner, slowly pour in the room-temperature milk while continuing to whip the batter.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt (your dry ingredients). Next, add the shredded coconut. Then, fold the dry ingredients into the batter using a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
- In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the baking soda. The mixture will become very bubbly. Immediately fold the vinegar mixture into the muffin batter until thoroughly combined, taking care not to overmix.
💡 Top Tip: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl before adding them to the batter to ensure even distribution.
2. How to bake
- Using a spoon or piping bag, equally distribute the batter into the muffin cups until approximately ¾ full. Lightly sprinkle the top of the batter with the smaller 40g / ½ portion of the shredded coconut.
- Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the center and have it come out clean. Try not to overbake, as they can result in dry muffins.
- Serve fresh out of the oven, or store at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
💡 Top Tip: If the coconut sprinkled on top begins to brown too much during baking, move the muffins to the lower end of the oven.
✨ Flavor variations and substitutions
One of the best parts about these coconut muffins is that there is no one way to prepare them! Kick the flavor of these coconut muffins up a notch with one of these many flavor additions and variations:
Banana coconut muffins - Mix in mashed bananas for a tropical twist on banana bread.
Chocolate coconut muffins - Chocolate and coconut are a great combination! Try them with unsweetened cocoa powder added to the batter, similar to my coconut chocolate bundt cake.
Pineapple coconut muffins - Take the tropical flavor to the next level by adding some diced pineapple to the mix. Add a touch of rum extract for fun pina colada muffins!
Coconut custard muffins - Fill the center with vanilla custard for a cupcake-style muffin.
With nuts – Add some nutty crunch by mixing in crushed pecans or walnuts.
With different toppings – Instead of sprinkling on shredded coconut, try drizzling on a creamy coconut glaze made from powdered sugar and coconut milk. Or, top it with a dollop of my cream cheese frosting.
Egg-free muffins – For eggless muffins, try one of these many egg substitutions.
Gluten-free muffins – For gluten-free muffins, swap out the all-purpose flour with one of the alternatives in my flour guide.
🎓 Expert tips
- Always preheat your oven before baking for the best and most consistent results.
- The butter, eggs, and milk must be at room temperature. Otherwise, the batter will break. To help bring the eggs to room temperature more quickly, set them in a bowl of warm water for five minutes.
- Do not pour the eggs, oil, and milk into the batter all at once. Whip them in slowly to prevent the muffin batter from breaking and curdling.
- To avoid overmixing the batter, use a rubber spatula when combining the dry and wet ingredients.
- For a mess-free and even distribution of the batter in the muffin tin, use a small cookie scoop or piping bag.
🥣 Equipment notes
A digital scale is highly recommended when measuring your ingredients to achieve the most accurate and consistent baking results. Since some oven models can vary by a degree or two, a digital oven thermometer is recommended to ensure your oven has reached the proper temperature.
Once you prepare the batter, you will need a 12-cup muffin pan for baking the muffins.
If you have leftovers or want to make them in advance, store them in an airtight container or under a cake stand with a lid at room temperature for up to three days. To refrigerate, let them cool completely and place them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week. See my guide on how to store muffins for more tips on keeping them fresh.
Let the muffins cool completely, then individually wrap each in plastic food wrap and aluminum foil. Place them in a sealed plastic freezer bag and freeze them for up to three months. Thaw the muffins at room temperature.
To intensify the coconut flavor even more, you can substitute coconut milk for whole milk in a 1:1 ratio.
Coconut extract is an acceptable alternative if you do not have shredded coconut. However, you will have to replace the shredded coconut with another dry ingredient (flour in our case) and make sure to use natural coconut extract, and not artificial one.
While some recipes use sweetened shredded coconut, I do not recommend it for this recipe, as you would need to adjust the other ingredients to achieve the same flavor and texture. If that is the only one you have, you will want to reduce the sugar in the recipe.
🧁 More Muffins & Breakfast Recipes
- 200 g (1 cups) Granulated sugar
- 113 g (½ cups) Unsalted butter room temperature
- 113 g (½ cups) Oil
- 2 Egg
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 190 g (1½ cups) All purpose flour
- 140 g (1¾ cups) Coconut shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 240 g (1 cups) Whole milk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon White vinegar
- 40 g (½ cups) Coconut shredded unsweetened coconut
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Prepare your muffin tin with muffin liners and pre-heat oven to 175C / 347F (no fan).
- In a large bowl, cream room temperature butter and sugar with an Electric hand mixer for a few minutes until light and fluffy, then whip in the egg one by one slowly, then the vanilla extract.
- After, slowly pour in the oil while continuing to whip the mixture, then in the same way, slowly pour in the room temperature milk and keep whipping the batter.
- Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt), and also add the shredded coconut. Then, switch to a rubber spatula and fold the dry ingredients in. Do not overmix at this point.
- In a small bowl, mix vinegar with baking soda, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the vinegar mixture into the muffin batter just until combined.
- Pipe or spoon and muffin batter into the cavities of your muffin tin equally until about ¾ of each. Hint the top of the muffin batter with the smaller amount of 40g / ½ cup shredded coconut.
- Bake the muffins for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not overbake the muffins as they can dry out.
- Serve the muffins fresh or store them at room temperature for 2-3 days in an air-tight container.
- All ingredients must be at room temperature to properly emulsify: eggs, butter, and milk.
- The baking soda and vinegar mixture is my signature baking hack to make muffins and cupcakes super moist and fluffy, do not skip it.
- You might be able to make more or less mini muffins with this recipe, depending on the size of your mini muffin cases.
- A digital scale is required for a consistent, happy baking experience.
- Do not overwork the muffin batter, after the wet ingredients are whipped up, switch to a rubber spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients.
- Always pre-heat your oven and consider using a digital oven thermometer for the best results.
- When whipping in the eggs, oil, and milk, make sure they are all at room temperature. Otherwise, the batter will break.
- Also, make sure that you whip in the eggs, oil, and milk slowly. Do not pour these wet ingredients in all at once as that can also break the muffin batter and it can curdle.
- Baking these muffins takes 22 minutes in my oven however focus on the texture, not the time. Apply the toothpick check (it should come out clean) to avoid muffins underbaked, however, do not overbake them as that would result in a dry texture.
- If the coconut on top was browning too much during baking, move the muffins to the lower end of your oven.