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Coconut Buttercream

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Forget everything you think you know about buttercream because this coconut buttercream recipe is about to flip the script! Wave goodbye to the usual, overly sweet frostings that overshadow your desserts. We’re talking a game-changer that’s so light, creamy, and bursting with coconutty goodness, you might just find yourself “accidentally” making too much just to have a little (or a lot) extra to enjoy. 

A swirl of coconut buttercream on a cupcake.

Here is Why This Coconut Buttercream Recipe Works

  • Perfect Sweetness Balance: Unlike many frostings that can be overwhelmingly sweet, this coconut buttercream strikes the perfect balance. It’s sweet enough to satisfy your sugar cravings but not so sweet that it overpowers the delicate, tropical flavor of the coconut. 
  • Rich Coconut Flavor: This recipe is a coconut lover’s dream come true, delivering a rich, authentic coconut taste that’s front and center. It’s like a tropical holiday in every fluffy, creamy bite.
  • Luxuriously Creamy Texture: The use of an ermine technique, where flour is cooked with boiled milk (or, in this case, coconut milk) to create a thick roux, ensures that this buttercream has an ultra-smooth, fluffy, velvety texture. This traditional method, often used in old-school buttercream recipes, provides a luxuriously creamy consistency.
  • Versatility in Use: This coconut frosting isn’t just for coconut cake. Use it for topping cupcakes, filling layer cakes, or swirling onto cookies. It spreads like a dream, and you can pipe it beautifully.

The Ingredients for Coconut Buttercream Ermine Frosting

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this fluffy coconut buttercream frosting recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  • Pantry: All-purpose flour, Sugar
  • Refrigerated: Butter, Coconut cream or coconut milk
  • Flavorings: Vanilla extract, Coconut extract, Salt

For this frosting recipe, make sure to use canned coconut milk or cream, which is rich and thick. Avoid the coconut milk designed for drinking, as it’s much thinner and usually comes in a carton, not a can. The right kind of coconut milk will give your frosting that perfect creamy texture and coconut flavor.

Ingredients used to make coconut buttercream frosting.

How to Make Fluffy Coconut Buttercream

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Cook the flour with the coconut milk on medium heat until it resembles a thick paste, then cool completely.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually mix in the cooled coconut milk mixture, then whip until it resembles whipped cream.
  4. Blend in the extracts.
A collage of four photos showing how to make coconut buttercream.

Variations For Coconut Cream Frosting

Chocolate Coconut Frosting

Add 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the butter. Beat until the butter is light and fluffy then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Coconut Lime Frosting

Add the zest of a lime to the butter and finish the buttercream frosting with 1/2 teaspoon of lime oil for a tangy, tropical flavor.

Nutty Tropical Frosting

Fold in toasted chopped pecans or almonds for a crunchy texture.

And for more coconuty goodness, try our coconut cheesecake bars and coconut cream pie.

Fluffy coconut frosting in a mixing bowl.

Tips for Success

Embarking on your coconut buttercream adventure? Here are some tips to ensure it’s a smooth ride:

  • Ensure the cooked flour and milk mixture is cool before adding it to the butter.
  • Whip the frosting well to incorporate air, making it light and fluffy.
  • Taste as you go – adjust sweetness or coconut intensity as desired.
  • For best results, use super-fine bakers sugar (it is granulated sugar that is extra fine). 

Serving Suggestions

I’ve taken the superstar buttercream from our knockout coconut cake and given it its own spotlight. This isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill frosting. It’s ready to mingle with chocolate, vanilla, and even carrot cake. And as for fruit dipping? Let’s just say it turns a healthy snack into a scandalously delicious treat. 

I piped this dreamy frosting on my chocolate coconut cupcakes, giving them a little hat of frosting, then crowned each one with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes. So good!

Piping coconut buttercream on a chocolate cupcake.

Storing Ermine Buttercream Frosting

Store the buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Allow it to reach room temperature and re-whip before using for best results.

This buttercream is freezer-friendly for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before re-whipping and using.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make this ahead of time? Absolutely! Just refrigerate and re-whip before using.
  • Is it suitable for piping? Yes, it holds up well for piping beautiful designs.

This coconut buttercream is the unsung hero your desserts have been crying out for – a creamy, coconutty masterpiece that’s about to elevate your baking cred to legendary status. Forget those store-bought frostings or the same old plain Jane vanilla buttercream. We’re on a mission to banish the bland, one cake at a time.

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A swirl of coconut buttercream ermine frosting on a cupcakes.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Get ready to mix things up with this unique twist on coconut buttercream! This is an old-fashioned recipe, embracing the cooked milk, ermine style, where, yes, flour is the secret ingredient. Don't knock it till you've tried it!
This method delivers a frosting that's unbelievably fluffy and notably less sweet than your typical buttercream, offering a lush coconut flavor that's just right.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 cups of frosting
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist


  • ½ cup All-purpose flour
  • 13.5 ounce can coconut cream
  • 1-½ cups butter (24 tablespoons)
  • 1-¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1-¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract


  • In a small saucepan, whisk flour into the coconut cream and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It should thicken into a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. I transfer it to the freezer and stir it every few minutes. It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step.
  • While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy. This is an important step. You need to incorporate air into the butter and make sure it is light in color.
  • Slowly add the completely cooled coconut cream/flour mixture a couple tablespoons at a time, and whip it until it looks like whipped cream.
  • Beat in the vanilla and coconut extracts.


Serving: 1/4 cup | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 70mg | Sugar: 17g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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