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Lemon Myrtle And Coconut Cupcakes

Indulge in these delightful and summery lemon myrtle and coconut cupcakes. 

The marriage of zesty lemon myrtle and creamy coconut creates an exquisite combination that will transport you straight to a tropical island.

They’re perfect with a cup of tea as an afternoon snack!

The flavors

Lemon myrtle is a fragrant native Australian herb with a strong lemon flavor. It’s sweet and refreshing at the same time.

This is paired with coconut, which adds a tropical twist and a creamy flavor to help mellow out the strong lemon myrtle notes.

The prominent flavor in my recipe is actually coconut, but you can always increase the amount of lemon myrtle you add if you’d prefer this to be the main flavor.

Running low on coconut cream, or want a lighter coconut flavor? Check out my article on coconut cream substitutes for some creative yet delicious ideas.


Preheat the oven to 325F (160C) and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and almond extracts. 

Sift flour, lemon myrtle, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter in three parts. 

Fold in coconut. Fill liners with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

For the syrup, boil ingredients until sugar dissolves, then strain. Poke holes in cupcakes and drizzle syrup over them while warm. If you end up going overboard with the lemon juice, here are some tips for fixing too much lemon flavor.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar, then add whipping cream, coconut cream, and salt. Frost cooled cupcakes and coat with shredded coconut.


Here are tips to get the most out of your cupcakes:

  1. Use room temperature ingredients: For even mixing and a lighter texture, ensure ingredients like butter, eggs, and milk are at room temperature before starting.
  2. Measure accurately: Use proper measuring tools like cups and spoons or a kitchen scale to ensure the correct ingredient ratios.
  3. Sift dry ingredients: Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and other dry ingredients together to remove lumps and evenly distribute the leavening agents.
  4. Mix gently: Over-mixing can lead to a dense and tough cupcake. Mix until just combined and stop as soon as the batter is smooth.
  5. Rotate pans: If your oven has hot spots, rotate the pans halfway through baking for even browning and cooking.
  6. Don’t overbake: Test cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, the cupcakes are done.
  7. Frost-cooled cupcakes: Wait until the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting them to prevent the frosting from melting or sliding off.


If you don’t have buttermilk, you can swap it for kefir.

Or you can make your own by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.

Let it sit for 10 minutes before using.

To ensure that the lemon myrtle flavor really shines through, make sure to use freshly ground lemon myrtle powder.

If you can’t find lemon myrtle, you can substitute it with lemon zest or lemon verbena, but note that the flavor will be slightly different.


These cupcakes are delicious, but if you want to try something different, here are a few ideas:

  1. Lime and Coconut Cupcakes: Substitute the lemon myrtle with lime zest for a refreshing citrus twist on the original recipe.
  2. Chocolate and Coconut Cupcakes: Omit the lemon myrtle, and add 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients for a rich and decadent chocolate variation.
  3. Spiced Coconut Cupcakes: Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the dry ingredients for a warming spiced version of these cupcakes.


Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment is recommended for this recipe, because it ensures even mixing and a smoother batter. 

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or even mix the batter by hand using a wooden spoon, but be sure to mix thoroughly to achieve the desired texture.

Storage & make-ahead instructions: 

Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

These cupcakes can be frozen without frosting for up to 2 months. 

To make the cupcakes ahead of time, prepare the batter and bake the cupcakes as directed, then store them in an airtight container in the freezer.

When you’re ready to serve, simply thaw them at room temperature, prepare the frosting, and frost the cupcakes.

How to make your own lemon myrtle powder

If you happen to have a lemon myrtle tree in your backyard, I’m jealous!

lemon myrtle leaves

To make your own lemon myrtle powder, first you need to wash and dry the leaves.

Then lay them in a single layer on a paper towel straight on your microwave’s glass plate. Cover the leaves with another paper towel, then microwave on high for one minute.  

Check the leaves for brittleness, then microwave at intervals of 20-30 seconds until they break with gentle pressure.

Next you’ll need to ground the leaves into a very fine powder.

For this, I recommend using a mortar and pestle. You can sieve the powder at the end to get rid of any bigger bits of leaf.

Lemon Myrtle And Coconut Cupcakes

Lemon myrtle cupcakes drizzled with lemon myrtle syrup and topped with coconut frosting.
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: australian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 14 cupcakes


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 170 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground lemon myrtle
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 100 g sweetened shredded coconut
  • For the lemon myrtle syrup:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons ground lemon myrtle
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • For the coconut frosting:
  • 340 g cream cheese room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325F (160C).
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, lemon myrtle, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in coconut.
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner evenly with batter. Bake for 20-25, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  • For the lemon myrtle syrup: Bring all ingredients to the boil stirring until sugar is dissolved. Strain lemon myrtle from syrup. Poke holes into the cupcakes with a fork, then either dip cupcakes into syrup or spoon the syrup over the cupcakes. This is best done when the cupcakes and syrup are still warm.
  • For the coconut frosting: Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed about 1 minute. Add the whipping cream, coconut cream, and salt; beat until combined. Frost cupcakes when they are completely cool.


Did you end up using too much lemon? If so – don’t worry! Check out my guide on toning down lemon flavors (it’s useful for all dishes).

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