Chocolate and Toasted Coconut Cupcakes



Mmmm, coconut = sunshine. Maybe it’s the images of tropical islands that appear in your mind, or maybe it’s just from the smell which reminds me of beach holidays and sun tan lotion! Anyway, since the sun was shining and my flip flops were having their first outing of the year, I thought I’d delve into my pack of desiccated coconut. My initial plan was a coconut cake, but time was limited so I opted for these scrummy little chocolate and coconut cupcakes instead.

Toasting the coconut is essential, not only to give that deeper flavour but also to top the velvety white buttercream with a sprinkling.

Chocolate and Toasted Coconut Cupcakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)



Makes 12

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free spread, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5

– Dry toast the coconut in a frying pan until it turns golden


– Fill a cupcake tray with cupcake cases

– Mix together the oat milk, lemon, melted spread and vanilla.

– Stir in the sugar

– Sift in the flour, cocoa, half the toasted coconut, bicarbonate, baking powder and salt.

– Gently mix to form a smooth, very wet silky mix.

– 2/3rds fill the cupcake cases

– Bake for 18-20 minutes until a knife comes out clean

– Cool on a wire rack


Velvety White Buttercream (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)


enough to ice 24 cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup vegetable fat (such as Trex)
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free spread (such as Pure)
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup oat milk

– Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.

– Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the oat milk, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.

– Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes.

– Sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut




Bounty Cupcakes

My jar of desiccated coconut has been staring at me, unloved as of late but wanting to be used in some delicious concoction. Since chocolate and coconut is a match made in heaven, or paradise if you believe the Bounty advert, I thought I’d try and make some cupcakes that tasted like Bounty Bars. Very nice too.

Coconut Cupcakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)


makes 12

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml oat milk
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsps desiccated coconut

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 5

– Place liners in a cupcake tray

– Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and coconut

– In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, bicarb, lemon, vanilla and oil.

– Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix, until well combines.

– 2/3rds fill the liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden and a knife comes out clean.

– Cool on a wire rack.

– Ice with chocolate buttercream and sprinkle with more desiccated coconut


Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits for Anzac Day! These are an antipodean staple – sent to the troops serving in the Anzac forces during the war because they were tasty, calorific and durable. I’d equate them to a coconutty flapjack cookie, perfect as a knobbly addition to the biscuit tin!

Anzac Biscuits (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)


makes 12

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 2 tbsps water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Grease 2 cookie sheets

– Mix together the flour, oats, coconut, sugar and salt.

– In a saucepan, melt together the dairy-free spread, golden syrup and boiling water. Bring to the boil.

– Turn off the heat and stir in the bicarb.

– Immediately pour into the dry ingredients and mix to form a soft dough.

– Place ping pong ball sized balls of dough on the cookie sheets (spread well apart) and flatten slightly.

– Bake for 15 minutes, until starting to turn golden

– Cool briefly on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.


Cocoa and Coconut Flapjacks

My excitement at getting to eat different shop bought lunches whilst at work has quickly faded. I’ve exhausted most nearby options and frankly it’s rather expensive. Homemade lunches are proving to be more interesting and much more satisfying.

Sandwich shops always sell a version of a flapjack, but I guarantee none will be as delicious as these homemade beauties. These are sweet but gooey and sticky, with no hint of dry sawdust texture (if you know what I mean). I wasn’t sure this cocoa and coconut version would work, but it really does, giving a hint of a ‘Bounty Bar’. I’m taking one to work everyday next week, and will actually look forward to my lunch for a change 🙂

Cocoa Coconut Flapjacks (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 24

  • 200g dairy free spread (I use Pure soya or sunflower)
  • 200g demerara sugar
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 400g oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt (preferably fleur de sel)
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbsps cocoa powder

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade

– Line a 30×20 cm (approx.) baking tray with foil.

– Mix together the oats, cocoa and desiccated coconut

– Melt together the dairy free spread, sugar, syrup and salt

– When the sugar has dissolved mix into the oats.

– Spread into the lined baking tray

– Bake for 15-20 mins until golden

– Cool well before cutting into bars/squares. Or freeze whole and cut when defrosted.

– (optional) Drizzle with melted dairy-free chocolate, before cutting into squares.

– Try not to eat too many!! Mind you there are worse things for you.

Totally Tropical Cupcakes

The sun is shining (at last) and it seems like summer may be here, so what better cupcake to make for the last birthday party of the school year than one with a totally tropical vibe – banana and coconut sponge topped with either mango or lime icing.

The combination of banana and coconut transports you straight to Caribbean – a kind of tropical fruit punch in cake form! Chocolate icing would work well, but the addition of lime cordial/juice or mango juice to the icing sugar adds an extra little sunny kick. I think these might become our summer favourites!

Totally Tropical Cupcakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 12

  • 2/3rds cup pureed/mashed banana
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 3 tbsps desiccated coconut

– Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Line a cupcake tray with pretty cases

– Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar and coconut.

– In a separate bowl, whisk together the banana puree, oil and oat milk.

– Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, until well combined.

– 1/2 to 2/3rds fill the cupcake cases.

– Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean

– Cool on a wire rack.

Lime or Mango Icing (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes enough to ice 6 of each fllavour

  • 8 tbsps icing sugar, sifted
  • lime cordial/juice
  • mango juice

– Put 4tbsps icing sugar in a small bowl, add a small amount of lime cordial/juice and stir until smooth and thick. If too thick, add more juice/cordial. If too thin, add more icing sugar.

– Repeat with the mango juice.

– Ice 6 cupcakes with each icing.

– Decorate as desired.

Coconut Macaroons

You may have noticed that I do quite like coconut (but only in sweet recipes, I have yet to find a savoury coconut dish that I love) so coconut macaroons had to be on the ‘to try’ list. Since coconut gives a dish a nutty twang it is a useful substitute for a nut vibe in a recipe.

These are certainly very coconutty and work really well with a coating of chocolate, but it really isn’t necessary if you prefer them plain. Also, they somehow manage to be totally fat-free. I think that means you can have an extra one!

Coconut Macaroons (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, fat-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 12

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • optional: 40g dairy-free chocolate
  • optional: 1 tsp dairy-free spread, such as Pure

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/Gas mark 4

– Line a baking sheet with parchment

– Stir together the sugar, oat milk, syrup and vanilla.

– Stir in the coconut and mix to combine.

– Sift in the flour and stir until well mixed.

– Scoop tablespoon sized balls onto the baking sheet. The mix is fairly sticky so I decided to make quenelles and then slightly flatten.

– Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.

– Cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.

– If liked, melt together the chocolate and dairy-free spread. Stir until smooth and gooey. Spread over the macaroons, however you wish.

– Leave to set and then store in an airtight container.