What Are Coconut Muffins?

Angie Bates

Coconut muffins are any type of muffin which uses coconut as its primary flavor. These muffins are often combined with other flavors, such as pineapple, almond, banana, or blueberry. Coconut muffins normally use grated or flaked coconut both in the batter and as a topping. Although pre-made muffins and mixes may be found commercially, these treats are most often made at home.

Shredded coconut meat.
Shredded coconut meat.

Flour, white or brown sugar, eggs, and baking powder are all primary ingredients in coconut muffins. Salt is normally used, and baking soda, milk, or unsalted butter may be included. Vanilla extract is generally found in these muffins, but some versions may substitute dark rum. Grated or flaked coconut may be either sweetened or unsweetened depending on the version, and some versions may also use coconut milk to add to the coconut flavor. Additional fruit flavorings, such as pineapple chucks, mashed bananas, or unsweetened applesauce, also can be added.

Baking soda might be used to make coconut muffins.
Baking soda might be used to make coconut muffins.

To make coconut muffins, the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt — as well as the baking soda if used — are stirred together. In a separate bowl, the eggs, coconut, vanilla, and milk or butter if used, are whisked together. After both sets of ingredients are mixed, the wet mixture is combined with the dry until the dry ingredients become wet. If the batter is mixed too much, the finished muffins will be heavy and dense rather than light and fluffy.

Some versions may also add a streusel topping to the muffins, creating coconut coffee cake muffins. These streusels are easy to make, normally combining sugar, butter, grated coconut, and cinnamon. The sugar, cinnamon, and coconut are mixed, then melted butter is added and combined with a fork or fingers to achieve a lumpy, grainy mixture that becomes a sweet, crumbly topping when cooked.

A muffin tin should be lined with paper cups or greased and floured before the batter is placed into the muffin forms. The forms are normally filled two-thirds full to allow for rising. Grated coconut is often sprinkled on top of the uncooked muffins before they are placed in the oven. If streusel is used, it is placed on top of the muffins instead of the coconut. Streusel should be gently pressed down into the batter and should cover the top of each muffin.

Coconut muffins normally bake for 20–25 minutes. Although they can be served warm, they should be allowed to cool somewhat before being handled. Finished muffins normally have a very light golden coloring.

Coconut muffins can be flavored with applesauce.
Coconut muffins can be flavored with applesauce.

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