Vegan Coconut Beach Cupcakes

Can you say C-U-T-E?? These adorable vegan coconut cupcakes will send you straight back to shore! Well, vicariously. I made these for my niece and nephew, ages 4 and 2, consecutively, and they loved them! I brought the remaining ones to work the next day and at the rate they disappeared, I’m sure nobody took a second to miss the eggs and dairy!

Ingredients for Frosting:
1 one-pound bag of confectioners sugar*
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan butter, like Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp Thai Kitchen coconut milk
*(You can adjust the amount of liquids/confectioner’s sugar depending on how thick or thin you want the frosting to be. Thicker frosting usually works better to pile it up high on the cupcakes)

Frosting Instructions:
Melt butter slightly in the microwave. I like it pretty runny because it’s less difficult to mix the sugar into. Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl except the food dye. Make sure there are no lumps – I recommend using a wooden spoon or a stand mixer if you have it. Once your frosting is mixed well, add as much food coloring as you want to make it as light or dark ocean blue as you wish. Place in fridge to keep it chilled or it will run all over your cupcakes when you try to frost them if left at room temp. And that would be sad.

Cupcake Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Cupcake Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill cupcake pan with liners.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, and salt.  Add in the rest of the ingredients, adding the vinegar last. Stir until well combined. Pour into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and bake 30 minutes, or until centers come out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting!! No melted frosting allowed! :-) I suggest placing the cupcake pan with the freshly baked cupcakes into the freezer for about 10-12 minutes. Don’t freeze them, but the freezer usually cools them down quicker if you’re in a rush.

To Make the Cupcakes into Little Beaches:
Frost the cupcake as you normally would, as pictured, by filling the plastic sandwich bag with frosting and cutting the edge (a really small cut) off the bottom of the bag. This is a makeshift “frosting-thingy”, as I call it. I know, that’s not the technical term! Once the cupcakes are frosted, press brown sugar onto half the frosting for the “sand” and stick one of those cute little drink umbrellas into the brown sugar. And aloooooha! You have beach cupcakes :)


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