Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Coconut Vanilla Muffins

Lightly sweet with mellow hints of coconut and vanilla, these whole-grain muffins are delightful and a happy solution to having a cup of leftover canned coconut milk in the refrigerator just begging to be used. Normally, I throw smidgeons of milk like that into our breakfast smoothies but I had bigger plans in mind for the coconut milk this time.

Muffins, of course.

I started with a simple muffin recipe, cut the sugar in half, swapped out more than half of the white flour for whole wheat, used coconut oil instead of butter and added a little dusting of cinnamon and sugar on top. As with all muffins, the key to success is only giving the batter a few quick stirs to combine. Overmixing = sudden death to tender, fluffy muffins! And sudden death isn’t a good thing, in case you wondered.

The muffins are light and tender and quite fabulous for being on the healthier side of things. We devoured these for breakfast and I’ve already made another batch to keep in the freezer for quick snacks and to use up in school lunchboxes. So while the title suggests only eating them for breakfast, in all reality, these muffins are perfect anytime of the day. I love muffin success stories, don’t you?

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Coconut Vanilla Muffins

One Year Ago: Butterscotch Brownie Bars with Chocolate Satin Frosting
Two Years Ago: Oatmeal Chocolate Moon Pies
Three Years Ago: Fruit Pizza

Cinnamon and Sugar Dusted Coconut Vanilla Breakfast Muffins

Yield: Makes 12 muffins

Cinnamon and Sugar Dusted Coconut Vanilla Breakfast Muffins

I have a small shaker of cinnamon and sugar in my spice cupboard so I didn't measure out how much of the dusting mixture I actually used but it was a very light sprinkle on top of each muffin. Also, you could experiment with other types of milk. I happened to have some leftover canned coconut milk in the refrigerator to use but dairy milk, almond milk or refrigerated coconut milk might work as well (you'll lose some of the mellow notes of coconut by subbing in another type of milk).


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or regular)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Cinnamon and sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (or you can line them with paper liners).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and coconut oil.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
  4. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the batter together until just combined. Don't overmix or the muffins will be tough and dry. It only takes a few stirs to incorporate the batter well enough. The batter will be lumpy and that is ok.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Bake for 16-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out dry or with a few moist crumbs. Don't overbake.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, inspired by this recipe from Baking Bites

77 Responses to Cinnamon and Sugar Dusted Coconut Vanilla Breakfast Muffins

  1. Courtney says:

    Like another poster, I just used the entire can of whole fat coconut milk instead of using part of it plus separate melted coconut oil. This made for a super fast prep and oh my goodness, the muffins turned out so perfectly moist and coconutty! These will definitely be a staple around here!

  2. Jamie22 says:

    Do you make these with refined or unrefined coconut oil? (Hope it hasn’t already been answered!…couldn’t find it anywhere in recipe or comments)

  3. Amy says:

    Yum, these were delicious! Every single recipe I’ve tried of yours Mel has turned out and some are staples in our house…thank you thank you for posting all these great recipes!

  4. Jamie says:

    How do you keep them ‘crisp’ tell the next day? I love the way the texture is when you pull them out of the oven and they cool slightly. Mine get soggy if I save some for the next morning 🙁

  5. Nancy says:

    Best muffins ever! My kids almost always complain when I make muffins, but not these ones. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Tanya says:

    I don’t have whole wheat flour. How much all purpose or bread flour should I use instead?

  7. Jessica says:

    I only have egg whites, do you think this recipe would work with them?

  8. Becca says:

    These are my favorite muffins! They are just the right sweetness to me, even if my three-year-old sprinkles extra cinnamon and sugar on her muffin once she eats the top off. I made a double recipe today and put blueberries in half of them. Thanks for a versatile, reliable muffin recipe!

  9. Jenny says:

    I just made these and followed the recipe. It seemed like there was way too much flour and it took a lot of stirs to get it all mixed in. These were really doughy and had no flavor. You couldn’t taste the vanilla or the coconut and they needed more sugar. Sorry but not a fan.

  10. Raquel says:

    You know how some recipes don’t seem to knock your socks off at first, but then a few days later you are craving that darn recipe like crazy? That’s how this one was for me. I felt like they were just okay when I first made them, but couldn’t get them out of my mind a week later and had to make another batch!! Now I love them! And my little ones do, too. Thanks for your wonderful blog, which has given me so many great recipes. You do a stellar job.

  11. Tracy says:

    I made a half recipe for my home-from-college daughter and we both thought they were light and delicious. She’s requested a full batch to take back to school with her! Thanks for the recipe-it’s nice to have a go-to recipe with things I have on hand.

  12. Hi Mel! I found you on Pinterest (where else?), and I’m so glad that I did. Thank you so much Mel for this absolutely delicious recipe! My little 4 1/2 year olds and I DEVOURED these! I love that you used a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flours. We purchased some coconut flour, so I subbed in 1/2 cup of coconut flour for some of the AP flour, and added 1/4 cup of real maple syrup for part of sugar (the coconut flour container said to replace some of the sugar with a liquid sweetener). Your recipe turned out light and fluffy, and delicious muffins. Thank you again. I look forward to reading through your blog, after they go to sleep : )

  13. Crystal says:

    Oh my gracious! If the batter is any indicator of the deliciousness of these muffins I can hardly contain myself! Excellent recipe as always Mel!

  14. Mel, I made these this afternoon and they were just ok. I kept thinking, if they just had a little sugar. Now that I’m looking at the recipe on a big screen and not my little phone screen, I see that I completely missed the 1/2 cup of sugar that was supposed to be IN THE MUFFINS, not just the little bit sprinkled on top (facepalm!). I will try again tomorrow.

  15. Coconut Infused Vanilla Muffins | Mimi's Fit Foods says:

    […] Coconut Infused Vanilla Muffins Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  16. Brooke Campbell says:

    My family loved these muffins! It is my new favorite! I love the idea of doubling the recipe to freeze for later. I would love to see you do a post on recipes that freeze well!

  17. Sharri says:

    I made these this morning (used melted butter and Coconut Dream milk I had in my fridge), and my family loved the taste and texture. We all agreed that we’d like them a bit sweeter, so will use a little more sugar next time. Thanks for another yummy one!

  18. Tracey says:

    Made these earlier this week and LOVED them! I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of the coconut milk, and used RED whole wheat flour. They might have been a bit more dense with the red whole wheat flour, but they still turned out really delicious, and were JUST sweet enough. Will definitely be making these again and again!

  19. Jackie says:

    Just removed these from the oven and took my first bite–WOW! Deliciousness!!! Thank you SO much for such an amazingly yummy and healthy (relatively speaking) muffin. I love the amount of sweetness and that only a small amount of sugar went in, and that no butter was used. I melted 6 TBS of coconut butter (which is the pulp and the oil) since I didn’t have coconut oil. Will be making these over and over again, for sure!

  20. Salem says:

    Sorry! Made these again for the third of fourth time! I have been craving them ever since I ate the last muffin from the last batch, and so I broke down and made them today. When I pulled them out of the oven my concern started to bubble, they were shaped weird, and i knew something was wrong. That was confirmed when I bit into a muffin with the consistency of play dough….a little bit lighter maybe. 🙂 I immediately panicked and was going to send you a picture, but as I went back over the ingredient list I realized I had added cornstarch instead of baking soda!!! Who does that?!? They still tasted okay, I may have eaten several still, but trust me, I will be making these again tomorrow ….the right way!! Thanks for my new favorite food! I love these!!

  21. Nicole says:

    Made these today and they are very good. They have a nice texture to them. They work great for my 4 year old who is not a fan of chunks of things, particularly fruit, in her muffins 🙂 Thanks!

  22. Annalisa says:

    I just made these and thought, what am I missing… These aren’t that great. Oh until I
    re-read the recipe and realized I totally forgot to add the sugar!! OOPS!! I’ll be trying them again after reading all the rave reviews… & I’ll pay more attention next time! 🙂

  23. Jodi says:

    I made these last night and used regular coconut milk (13.5 oz can) and instead of dumping the extra ~1/3c, I just used the whole thing and left out the 6T coconut oil as there is already enough of that in the full fat milk. They turned out mighty fine and moist. Thanks for another great recipe to help the mornings move along on time!

  24. Lynn says:

    Saw the muffins on ziplist and asked my boyfriend to make some for breakfast (he is the best cook and baker). We both had two muffins. Light and tasty.
    Next week, we will try a different recipe but I can see these as my favorite.

  25. Catherine says:

    Oh my goodness! I would love to try these! I wanted to start a food blog just like yours, but, I realized that it would just be all of the recipes that I found on here. Everything I have tried is AMAZING!!!! Thanks Mel, from your biggest fan!

  26. Michelle says:

    I made these this morning and served them with cream and raspberries because I had cream that needed to be used. It was like a little raspberry shortcake for breakfast. So yummy! My 4-year-old– who was NOT going to eat them because he ONLY likes pumpkin chocolate chip muffins– loved them and asked for a second.

  27. Melissa C says:

    Thanks for the reply! I gave it a shot and ended up using 1 C of oat flour/blended rolled oats and the rest as ap flour. It worked out really well, and since I figured it seemed healthy-ish with the oats, I decided to throw in some milled flax seed as well! Another hit in my house 🙂

  28. Lindsay says:

    Doubled these today and froze half. They are so, so good! Thanks for yet another great recipe!

  29. Mimi says:

    Mel! These were great! We tried them over the Valentine’s weekend, and we were way pleased with the results! We love coconut, so I threw in some coconut extract to help amp up the coconut flavor. I also used half coconut milk and half buttermilk. They turned out super moist. I shared my adaptations on my blog today along with the nutritional breakdown ( and a link back to you . . . of course! You are constantly a source of inspiration to me! Thank you!

  30. Rebecca says:

    We had these for breakfast with fruit smoothies – it was a fabulous combo. And I have to admit that I was not stingy with my cinnamon and sugar – and they were wonderful!

  31. Melissa says:

    hi Mel! I don’t have whole wheat flour on hand, but I do have some rolled oats that I could turn into oat flour– I was wondering if you think this would be an okay substitute? Or maybe I should just use ap flour for the whole batch? Cannot wait to try these babies!

    • Mel says:

      Melissa – I haven’t tried oat flour, but if you have tried subbing that in the past, it may be worth a try! Otherwise, all purpose flour would work just fine.

  32. Salem says:

    My sister and I both made these this weekend…and the funny thing is, we had different opinions. How that’s possible, I don’t know, because these are literally my new favorite muffin! I thought they were delicious! Thanks do much for a new great muffin!!

  33. Kim Hill says:

    Hello, saw this recipe and want to try it but what are the weights? I work in pounds and ounces


  34. Marci says:

    Have you ever tried them with all wheat flour?

  35. I don’t know how you did it, but you combined all of my favorite flavors into one muffin! These look wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  36. Becky says:

    These just came out of the oven and are awesome! I had some vanilla sugar on hand and used that to amp up the vanilla. I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar in the muffin tins right after spraying them and before the batter went in. So delicious! Thanks for another winner 🙂

  37. catherine says:

    Decadent muffin heaven! I think I sent myself over the moon by putting a little of the leftover coconut “spread” left in the can (like you would put butter on a muffin)

  38. April says:

    Made these for our Valentine’s Day breakfast this morning (not quite as fancy as stuffed French Toast, I know). I used almond milk instead of coconut & they were delicious!

  39. Oh heck yes. My sad little toast-and-egg routine could definitely use a shake up with these mouthwatering muffins! Great recipe, Mel!

  40. Teresa says:

    I made these this morning for a snow day treat. We do not like coconut, so I used 1% milk and canola oil, rather than try to substitute butter. I also substituted vanilla bean paste for the vanilla extract and it gave the muffins those glorious vanilla specks. They were so delicious and tender. Froze the rest for lunch boxes also!

  41. Nita says:

    Made this for breakfast today and they were delicious. I didn’t have coconut milk so I just used whole. I could still taste the coconut flavor because of the coconut oil. I can’t wait to try them with coconut milk or with almond coconut milk.

  42. Kylene says:

    Made these this morning and my 3 kids loved them! I had to cut them each off at 3 muffins each or they would have eaten the whole batch. Will double it next time!!! A great breakfast for this snowy morning. 🙂

    Oh, and I used whole milk instead of coconut because that is what I had and my kids don’t like coconut flavored things.

  43. Kim in MD says:

    This looks and sounds delicious!

  44. I adore both cinnamon and coconut but have never combined them, what a terrible oversight! I have all of these ingredients on hand so I’m going to make them as an afternoon treat. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  45. Caitlin says:

    I’m not usually one to tweak a recipe but I’m currently living in China and that sometimes means I have to change up a few things. So in case anyone else is wanting to try a few things here’s what I did – I substituted butter for coconut oil (which would be impossible to find here) and used all all-purpose flour (since they don’t have whole wheat flour here) and I turned it into mini loaves instead of muffins (since muffin pans are a whopping $30 for a pan that fits 6 muffins – eek!). Still turned out awesome! It made about 3 loaves and I baked them for about 25 minutes. I sprinkled some extra cinnamon/sugar on each slice after I cut them. They made for a great breakfast! Thanks, Mel!

  46. Sam says:

    Every time you make muffins without the liners they turn out perfect! Give me your secret…whenever I try to bake things in the tin, the sides are fine, but the bottom sticks 🙁

  47. ava says:

    Made these already. Delicious, but I think they could stand to be a bit sweeter – next time I will another tbsp or so of sugar.

  48. Aubri says:

    You read my mind! I served pumpkin muffins for breakfast this morning and one of my kiddos asked for toast. (crazy!) Anyway, I was just about to search for another muffin recipe that he might like. I think that this is just what I need! Excited to try them. Thanks Mel!

  49. Cindy says:

    Do you think coconut milk from a carton will work or is the slightly thicker canned milk a better bet?

  50. Melissa says:

    These look so yummy! Question… what size can of coconut milk? If I used leftovers almond milk how much would I measure out? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Melissa – I think the cans of coconut milk I buy are 13 to 14-ounces. The recipe calls for 1 cup milk so you can measure it that way (it’s a little more than half of a can of coconut milk).

  51. Cyndi says:

    These look yummy. Always looking for something new for breakfast. Wishing I could have one with coffee right now.. 🙂

  52. Sarah says:

    Woke up to this recipe, got up and made them and they are delicious! Your recipes never disappoint!

  53. These sound so good!! Love this recipe!

  54. Looks delicious. I am dying over that cinnamon sugar topping. Wishing I had one for breakfast right now!

  55. These sound delicious!

    I have a dumb question: do you measure your coconut oil before it’s melted or after?

    • Mel says:

      Christina – not a dumb question! I spoon it into a liquid measuring cup in solid form close to what I think it will be (like the 5 tablespoons in this recipe). After melting and settling sometimes I have to add a bit more, but usually I just drop in a little more solid coconut oil and it melts in the stuff that’s already been warmed.

  56. Jenn says:

    I can’t wait to try them! Thanks.

  57. These look great!! Would it sacrifice the flavor/texture too much to use butter in place of the coconut oil?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *