Thai Coconut Curry Cupcakes with Coconut Lime Buttercream Frosting


Lovely Nerdship, it is finally spring in Chicago. I haven’t worn my puffy coat in five days and I sincerely hope I can put it away until at least….October. I actually opened the windows while I was baking yesterday.  It meant that I could hear the violinist that lives across the alley and the knuckles of beer soaked bros that were laughing and fist pumping on their way toward Wrigleyville. It also meant that they could hear me singing the entire soundtrack of “Wicked” at the top of my lungs. I have less than zero shame about that, to be perfectly honest.

It was my dear friend Juli’s birthday this week.  She’s a tough person to bake for since she prefers savory over sweet and she’s not much for chocolate.  After hunting around for ideas, I found a few recipes for curry cupcakes and thought – YES!

The cake part is savory, almost like a spice cake base, and you can definitely taste the heat in it.  That’s balanced by the cool sweetness of the buttercream.


Thai Coconut Curry Cupcakes

with Coconut Lime Buttercream Frosting

{Makes 18 cupcakes}




  • 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 1/2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Zest of 1 lime



First, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. (Singing “The Wizard and I” is optional, but encouraged.)

Next, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, brown sugar, curry powder, Thai red curry paste, paprika, and lime zest.


dry stuff_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-2


Then, cut the softened butter into chunks and mix in.  (“Dancing Through Life” is an excellent accompaniment to this step.)

mixed with butter_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-3

Once that’s done, add in your wet ingredients – eggs and coconut milk.

coconut milk _ egg_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-4


Stir until fully mixed.




Fill each cup about 2/3rd full.


in the tins_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-6


Bake for 18-22 minutes.  I checked mine with a toothpick at the 18 minute mark and they were a little raw in the middle.  At 22 minutes, they were perfect.


batch 1_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-7
cake closeup_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-8
While the cupcakes were cooling, I stood in the middle of my living room and did my very best Elphaba and belted out some “Defying Gravity.”  Then it was time for the best part – making the frosting.

Buttercream Frosting:

If you’ve ever made buttercream before, you know there’s no discernible way to measure how much powdered sugar you’re going to need.  I always like to have at least half a box available and how much you use will depend on how thick or thin you like your frosting.


  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice


Whip your butter until it’s light and fluffy.

whipped butter_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-9

Add one cup of powdered sugar, coconut milk, coconut extract and squeeze the first half of that lime you zested earlier and mix.
milk sugar lime juice_RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-10

Add the second cup of powdered sugar, the second half of the lime and a splash more coconut milk and mix again until your buttercream looks thick enough for spreading.

frosting _RedCurryCupcakes_NerdsAndNomsense-11
Once you know the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost away!  I’m still not very good with the piping bag, so I just used the frosting spreader this time.  Finish with a pinch of shredded coconut on the top of each cupcake.

I made sure to finish the cupcakes before “For Good,” because there’s no possible way that I will not cry during that song. At Juli’s party, these cupcakes disappeared so fast and the birthday girl herself gave them a hearty stamp of approval.



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