Chocolate Frosted Coconut Cupcakes


After a wonderful week spent in Paphos, Cyprus, I return to share with you a wonderfully decadent cupcake recipe.

A week of eating salad, houmous and pita every day for a week had me craving many of my favourite foods. I arrived home on Monday morning ahead of a day filling up to satisfy my cravings – beans and mushrooms on toast, Mat’s roasted Mediterranean vegetable lasagne with his divine garlic bread and an exciting salad of rocket and cucumbers from my garden. I also gorged on a few oat biscuits and continued to fantasize about naughty treats like cakes and vegan pizza! Having lost my first stone of three, I had to curb my enthusiasm and instead share a gorgeous cupcake recipe with you in an attempt to get the urge out of my system!




I met a stray cat who stayed with me all week. I named him Max. I wish I coud have taken him home. The bottom right is a turtle nest cover at Lara Bay where a turtle conservation project is run which includes these nest covers on the beach.

I’m sure Cyprus could have been more vegan friendly had I planned ahead and not been the only vegetarian. It happens that you just have to slip in and make do when you are a vegan amongst 5 omnivores, most of which don’t really understand the concept of veganism and assume the vege burger must be vegan. It also becomes such a huge fuss – you’ve barely sat down before all in your party start darting at you all the things you could have from the menu, none of which you could actually have – a vege burger with cheese in the patty, an aubergine salad ready mixed with mayonnaise and pasta made with egg. You ask the waiter for roasted veg (already a menu item) in pita with fries and salad. You get given a large plate of boiled, waterlogged, frozen mixed vegetables, pita and fries. Now I’d happily eat that, I did, but for 10 euros? Come on.

There were a few disasters.

At a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant in the Coral Bay area, I was aggressively stared at and grunted at as I politely tried to explain my dietary requirements to the waiter, feeling confident after reading on the top of each page of the menu, ‘please inform your waiter of any dietary restrictions’.

I’d seen Tofu Miso Soup on the menu. I asked if the chef would mind making me some tofu and rice. I was told tofu was only available in the soup. I asked if that was because the soup was ready made, he told me it was not (?). The waiter explained to one of the teppanyaki chef’s who appeared to understand – “Oh, full vegetarian”, he said, “Tofu Miso Soup”. Great, but I was ravenous, so I asked if I could have some plain boiled rice and vegetables cooked in the kitchen and not on the teppanyaki grill.

A comment was made that the fire on the grill would remove any trace of the meat cooked on there. I responded that I would not eat from a grill coated in a humans ashes, so why would I eat from a grill coated in cow and chicken ashes? I thereby renamed it (to myself, in my head!) The Graveyard Grill.

My soup arrived smelling of the sea. Whether it was fish stock or actual sea food in there I don’t know but it certainly wasn’t vegan, as confirmed by my fellow diners.

The entertainment was great, the chef made big fires and threw his knife around and played games like catch the bowl of rice but I was sat for the duration with an empty plate and rumbling tummy as the chef threw vegetables, rice, potatoes and meat from the grill on to the plates of all around me. It was more than a little awkward and uncomfortable. Eventually someone noticed and I overheard the conversation that my plain rice and vegetables had been forgotten. I was reassured when the entertaining chef told the waiter (to tell the kitchen chef), that olive oil was OK but no butter.

Then it arrived. Buttery vegetables and egg fried rice. Why was it so hard?

A different restaurant menu offered a chicken caesar salad with bacon bits and parmesan marked with a (V). I’m not making it up.

Thus, I chose to stick with plain, undressed salad, pita and houmous.


I made these cupcakes when my best friend Jess (Mat’s step sister) first brought her fiance over to meet us and have dinner. He was a vegetable phobe. Just a bit of a challenge for a vegetarian. I made squash ravioli with sage sauce, a crunchy coleslaw with lemony garlic bread. All finished with these rich, moist and buttery cupcakes that would give even the most die-hard carnivore an incentive to eat their veggies! Guess what, he asks me to make that meal every time he sees me and I hear Jess has got him eating more veggies!


Ingredients: Makes 18 cupcakes


  • 170g/3/4 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
  • 275g/1 1/4 cup unrefined caster sugar
  • Replacer for three eggs (I use Orgran powder)
  • 1 cup/250ml canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 280g/2 1/4 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 50g/1/2 cup desiccated coconut


  • 7 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 200g/1 cup brown sugar
  • 85g/3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 125ml/1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 35g/1/3 cup desiccated coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Use a hand mixer to cream the margarine until light and fluffy. Add sugar and combine until light and fluffy again, scraping down the sides halfway through to ensure even mixing.
  3. Mix in the prepared egg replacer until fully combined.
  4. Whisk or sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate small bowl. In another mix the coconut milk and vanilla. Combine 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Mix just until combined then fold in the coconut.
  5. Divide the batter between the cases until each is about three-quarters full. Bake for 18-22 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out free of wet batter, dry crumbs are OK.
  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a minute or two in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely whilst you prepare the frosting.
  7. In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Stir in the sugar, cocoa powder and milk and heat, stirring, until mixture is smooth and hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool to room temperature, until thick enough to spread.
  8. Spread the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and sprinkle with the coconut to serve.

Calorie Count :: New Recipe

Adapted from here and here.

This entry was posted in Cakes, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Desserts, Egg-free, vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Chocolate Frosted Coconut Cupcakes

  1. delialah says:

    Queen of healthy baking 🙂

  2. Violet says:

    They look so yummy, my mouth is watering!! I’m gonna give it a try when I have time to get some of the ingredients. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  3. Cupcakes look great and Max looks adorable!

  4. sophiazerg says:

    Hi Poppy! Welcome back from your vacay! These cupcakes look so delicious.
    I nominated you for the Shine On Award – check it out here and feel free to participate!
    Sophia 🙂

  5. so sorry to hear it was a struggle to find vegan food. Hope the rest of your vacation was lovely though. Great pics! (and yummy looking cupcakes)

  6. You crack me up Poppy! I wish I could have been there when you said, “…I would not eat from a grill coated in a humans ashes, so why would I eat from a grill coated in cow and chicken ashes?” That’s wonderful! Being vegan can be a challenge when you’re on vacation, that’s for sure! Unless of course you travel to vegan “hot spots” like my hubby and I are doing in a couple of days. Anyway, your cupcakes look delish! Celeste 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      Hahaha…glad to have made you laugh! I’m laughing about it now but at the time I was just hungry!!

      Your vegan hot spots trip sounds incredible Celeste, I hope you have a great experience and can’t wait to hear about it! Poppy 😀

  7. They look amazing!! I can’t wait to try them…although they definitly don’t fit into my LCHF lifestyle, but a little cheat now and again never hurt anyone 🙂 word of warning – do not come to Mexico on holiday. They have a hard time understanding vegetarian food, let alone vegan! Pork lard in everything (which for me is just yummy) 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      Hey Alex! Thanks for the warning about Mexico! I’d love to go there one day so maybe will just cook my own food when the time comes! Excuse my ignorance but I’m unsure of what a LCHF lifestyle is?! Either way, I agree and a little cheat treat is just good for the soul! 😀

  8. Oh gosh this hits close to home right now. I’ve just returned from 3 weeks with my parents in a very vegan-unfriendly locale and it was just as you describe here: lots of questions, puzzled looks, concern, confusion, anger, and animal products popping into and onto things after long and detailed explanations. Sigh. I can only keep hoping that the world will become more open to those of us who choose to forgo the dead and cooked animals.

    • Poppy says:

      Oh I’m sorry for your vegan unfriendly experience Annie! Three weeks must have been tough. I just don’t see what’s so hard to understand after you’ve sat and explained what you can and can’t eat to then be offered an omelette?! You couldn’t make it up its so bizarre! The last meal I had in Paphos promised the best meal id had all week! There were choices on the menu, things that already happened to be vegan. I ordered spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and parsley. It came dressed with a cheesy basil pesto! Frustrating! I’m hoping with you Annie 😀

  9. You’d be lucky to manage as a vegetarian, never mind as a vegan! Glad you survived to make some delicious cupcakes!

  10. Firstly, these cakes look lush. Pinning NOW! Your description of trying to eat vegan while away though made me laugh, although I am so sorry it was so difficult for you. One of my best mates is vegan, and I’m gluten-free obviously, and we often meet up for meals. We are the definition of awkward! But at least we have each other in that moment to cling to as we quiz the waiter or waitress on the menu! It’s definitely harder, for me at least, when I’m the only one in a group asking about this or that and explaining I don’t want the wrong thing to even touch my plate. You’d think they’d all want their customers to be though happy huh?!

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you for pinning! 😀 Glad it made you laugh, I’m sure you can relate! Yes you would think they want to make customers happy but more often than not I find I’m just a pain unless I go to a vegetarian restaurant! Some places have allergy guides so I just ask for that and then don’t have to interrogate the waiter too much! 😀

  11. Thank you for sharing this delicious vegan recipe! I’m definitely going to save it and give it a try because I always feel so sorry when I don’t have treats for my vegan friends 🙂

  12. pjsassifras says:

    Would chia seeds work as an egg substitute?

  13. afracooking says:

    Welcome home! Looks like you had a fabulous time and oooh that cupcake is just magical!

  14. So sorry to hear that you had a hard time ordering in Cyprus! I’ve been there many times, and find it super-easy to eat vegan there, if you “know the ropes.”

    Most Greek Cypriots are Greek Orthodox Christians, and many of them follow the “fasting tradition” of the Church – which means that about 1/2 the days of the year, they eat food that is mostly vegan (shellfish & honey are permitted, but all else is vegan). Which means, nearly all restaurants frequented by Greeks & serving Greek food will have several vegan choices (the Japanese place might have been difficult anywhere in the world, I suppose)

    If you know the word for “fasting” (Nee-STEE-see-mo), you can simply say in English – “Do you have anything Nee-STEE-see-mo? Without fish or honey? (HOOrees Psaree=without fish, HOOrees Mehlee=without honey).

    I hope you’re able to go back sometime, and enjoy some of the phenomenal traditional Greek Vegan dishes – there are tons of them! I think I usually gain weight when we go! : )

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you so much for this detailed info Anna, I really appreciate it! I wish I known before I went but I am gong back next year so this will be of invaluable use. Thanks again! Poppy 🙂

  15. Sophie33 says:

    Good for you to encourage your friend to eat more veggies! Yeah! It looks that you had fun in Cypress except the way you were treated in the restaurants! Shame on them! 😉 xxx These cupcakes with that beautiful frosting look outstandingly beautiful & truly appetizing too! 🙂 MMMMMMMMM! x

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