Coconut Buttercream Frosting

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There’s nothing better than this recipe for homemade Coconut Buttercream Frosting. It’s a made from scratch, simple recipe that is perfect slathered on cakes, cupcakes, or right from the spoon.

Coconut buttercream frosting swirled on top of a vanilla cupcake.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting with Coconut Milk

I have for you the best Coconut Buttercream Frosting recipe! It’s creamy and silky. It’s stiff and pipe-able. It’s darn right delicious.

It’s made with powdered sugar, butter, and coconut milk. The end result has a thick, silky texture with a light coconut taste, making it great for any tropical dessert.

Do you see how fluffy it looks? All those air pockets?

This was achieved by beating with my electric mixer for an extra five minutes. It whips up into a thick and fluffy consistency.

Coconut buttercream frosting on a spoon held over a bowl of frosting.

I’ve made cookie butter frosting, salted caramel frosting, and 7-minute frosting. Each one was great but they come nowhere near as delectable as today’s frosting.

This version of easy coconut frosting uses coconut milk instead of coconut extract. The result is a lusciously silky texture that glides across the tongue.

I seriously love how smooth it is. It’s just as silky as my cream cheese frosting!

If you need more coconut flavor, add half a teaspoon of coconut extract.

I’ve updated the recipe with instructions on how to use coconut cream instead of milk for even more flavor.

A stick of butter with a finger print in the top to show how soft it is.

Pro tip – Make sure the butter is super soft! Set the butter on the counter 1-2 hours prior to use.

This is now my new favorite frosting. I want to put it on top of everything.

I’m certain you are going to feel the same way too!

Try it on pineapple cupcakespineapple coconut cake, or this pineapple poke cake!

What tropical dessert would you pair this frosting with? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Or, if you’ve already made it and really enjoyed, I’d like to hear that too!

Whipped coconut buttercream frosting in a stainless steel bowl.

Common questions about coconut buttercream

Do I have to use canned coconut milk?

You must use canned coconut milk. Refrigerated coconut milk is a beverage and is watered down. You can typically find canned coconut milk in the Asian food aisle of the grocery store.

What kind of coconut milk do you recommend?

Regular/full-fat canned coconut milk is best for this recipe.

Can you use coconut cream?

You certainly can! This will give you a richer coconut flavor.

Does the frosting need to be refrigerated or can it be stored at room temp for a couple of hours?

It would be safe for a couple of hours at room temp but definitely no longer than that.

If you plan to use it the next day, refrigerate it and then let it sit for 30 mins to soften before use. You may have to re-whip it if you refrigerate it.

Can I add shredded coconut to the frosting?

You certainly can! Keep in mind the frosting may be difficult to pipe through small piping tips due to the coconut flakes.

Can I use coconut sugar?

I don’t recommend this. Coconut sugar is very coarse and will not work like confectioner’s sugar. Confectioner’s sugar is ground to a powder consistency and mixed with cornstarch. This is what thickens the frosting.

Can I use salted butter?

There’s absolutely no way to tell how much salt is in the butter. You run the risk of having super salty frosting. For best results, use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt if needed.

Can I color this frosting?

Yes! Use a high-quality gel food coloring such as AmeriColor.

More frosting recipes you’ll love

More coconut recipes

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Coconut buttercream frosting swirled on top of a vanilla cupcake.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

There’s nothing better than this recipe for homemade Coconut Buttercream Frosting. It’s a made from scratch, simple recipe that is perfect slathered on cakes, cupcakes, or right from the spoon.


  • 1 ½ cups (339 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups (600 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons canned unsweetened coconut milk, or coconut cream SEE NOTE 1


  1. Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups of confectioner's sugar, beat on medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened. Gradually add in the remaining sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. And the salt and the coconut milk, one tablespoon at a time, beating on medium speed until fully incorporated. You may need more or less of the coconut milk depending on how strong you'd like the flavor.
  4. Turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.


  1. You can use coconut cream with this recipe also. I've tested it and it yields so much more coconut flavor. You may need less coconut cream so be sure to add just one tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches the desired taste and texture.
  2. Soften the butter by allowing it to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours prior to making the frosting. DO NOT soften the butter by heating it in the microwave!!
  3. It is important to shake the can of coconut milk/cream vigorously before opening it. The fats and liquids separate in the can after sitting. You want a combination of both for the frosting, so mix it very well.
  4. If the coconut flavor isn't as strong as you'd like, try adding ½ to 1 teaspoon coconut extract.
  5. You can also add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for more flavor.

Make ahead tip

  1. Frosting will keep for up to 4 days stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Let stand at room temperature to soften before use.
  2. Or it can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Let stand at room temperature to soften before use.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 1gSugar: 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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  1. Mrs S-L Owens-Peters (Sarah) says:

    Could you make buttercream frosting using just butter and coco Lopez creamed coconut? Omitting the icing sugar as I find this creamed coconut extremely sweet but lovely!

    1. Buttercream frosting requires powdered sugar. It will not be stable without it.

  2. Sweetened or unsweetened coconut cream? Thanks!

  3. Can you use powdered Monkfruit sweetner?

    1. I’ve never made buttercream with Monkfruit sweetener but I imagine it wouldn’t work as a 1-to-1 substitute for powdered sugar.

  4. Hi! Would I be able to use the earth balance organic butter in this recipe? Have you ever tried it with non-dairy butter?

    1. I’ve never made buttercream with dairy-free butter so I’m not 100% sure how that will work.

    2. Joella Cleary says:


      You can definitely use non-dairy butters for frosting. In my experience, the texture can be a little looser so you may need to adjust your other ingredients and be careful not to mix too long, as it may split more easily. My middle son had a dairy allergy and I adapted several recipes for him.

      I recommend doing a trial run, down. Maybe cut the recipe in half, or even quarter it. That will give you a good sense of how your ingredients work together.

  5. Do you need to chill the coconut cream in the fridge before opening?

    Once the cupcakes are iced does it need to be kept in the fridge with this frosting or is in a cupcake box ok? How many days will they be ok for?

    1. You don’t need to chill the coconut cream beforehand. And the frosting will keep for up to 4 days stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container whether or not it’s on a cupcake.

  6. Peter Gozinya says:

    Doubled the recipe just in case I needed it. Came out beautifully. Coconut cake for Independence Day celebration.

  7. Is this enough to frost a dozen cupcakes?

  8. Hi, can I use double cream instead of coconut milk?

    1. Double cream is pretty thick and I’m afraid it will not work the same as coconut milk, heavy cream, or milk. Plus the coconut milk is what gives the frosting the coconut flavor.

    2. Jacqueline Woodside says:

      Can I use coconut milk that is boxed instead of canned?

      1. No. It’s not the same consistency as canned coconut milk.

  9. Laura Reno says:

    What size cake will this cover? We like a good amount of frosting on cakes. I’m making a 9 inch round with filling in the middle

    1. I can easily frost a two layer 9-inch cake. But it really depends on how much frosting you like to use. If the frosting is just going on the outside of the cake and not in the middle, you should have enough.

  10. Latisha Eubanks says:

    Thank you for this recipe, the frosting was light, fluffy, & yummy! Everyone really enjoyed it, most of all, it had a nice rich coco nutty flavor!