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Nanas Coconut & Cherry

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

My Nana used to make a delicious coconut and cherry cake (not gluten free), and when I found out it was National Cherry Day this month it inspired me to recreate it in gluten free cupcake form.

I love being inspired by events happening in the world, and a day to celebrate cherries seems like pretty good inspiration for coconut and cherry cupcakes.

I adore the combination of coconut with cherry. This is packed full of fantastic coconut flavour with loads of juicy glace cherries.

I'm not sure what it is about coconut and cherry together, but my nana was on to something with it!

This recipe is super easy to prep and assemble, and they look fantastic with a simple coconut frosting.

If you love coconut then definitely have a go at these beauties!

It's a good idea to wash your cherries thoroughly before adding them to the mix so they don't all sink to the bottom. This simple step can radically change the outcome of your cupcakes, so I really do recommend it!

Without further ado, there's not much more to say about these fantastically simple and delicious cakes.

Let's get Caking It!



180C (170C fan)

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep: 10 mins

Bake: 18 mins

Assembly: 5 minutes



150g unsalted butter

150g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

150g gluten free self-raising flour

1/2 tbsp ground almonds

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

100g glace cherries

150g desiccated coconut

2 1/2 tbsp sour cream


80g unsalted butter

120g cream cheese

450g icing sugar

Desiccated coconut


Method: Sponge

Don't forget to wait until all the ingredients are room temperature before starting.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Fill 16 muffin holes with cases.

  2. Cream the butter until pale, then add the sugar and cream together until fully incorporated.

  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing with an electric whisk between each addition.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, ground almonds and coconut with a fork, and then add this to the mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.

  5. Wash the glace cherries and chop them, then add half of them to the mixture, and gently fold them in.

  6. Spoon in the sour cream and fold until combined.

  7. Spoon 2 tbsp of the mixture into each muffin case then place the rest of the cherries onto the batter.

  8. Let the mixture sit in the cases for 20 minutes before placing in an oven for 18 minutes. A skewer or toothpick inserted into the cupcakes should come out clean.

Method: Cream cheese frosting

This cream cheese frosting is slightly thicker than the frosting for my carrot cupcakes.

  1. While they are cooling, move onto the cream cheese frosting. Cream the butter and cream cheese together, and gradually add in the icing sugar until it is all incorporated. You can do this either with a standing mixer, an electric hand whisk, or a fork.


  1. Making sure the sponges are completely cool, spread a dollop of frosting on each cupcake and sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top.

  2. Enjoy!

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