And a few tips for making this recipe a little healthier.
Ina Garten on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / NBC

We're always ready for Ina Garten's latest holiday menu—whether it's the decadent Valentine's Day meal she's making for Jeffrey or her simple and fresh Fourth of July spread. And while the entertaining maven didn't drop a menu for Easter this year, she did share that she's getting in the spring mood with some adorably Easter-appropriate cupcakes.

"I'm getting into the Easter spirit with my Coconut Cupcakes!," Ina shared on Instagram. "Kids love them but the grown-ups do too!!"

Garten's recipe for her classic coconut cakes, which originally appeared in her 1999 cookbook, is fairly simple. You'll need quite a few ingredients, but baking fiends likely have many of them on hand already. To copy her dish, gather unsalted butter, sugar, extra-large eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, shredded coconut, cream cheese and confectioner's sugar. You'll end up with 18 or 20 cupcakes at the end of it.

While you're always entitled to enjoy a sweet treat, especially on holidays, there are a few ways to lighten this recipe up a bit. After making her cake batter, Ina folds in 14 ounces of sweetened shredded coconut. You could always replace this with unsweetened coconut—or even do seven ounces of each—to dial back the sugar by about 68 grams.

Though Ina's cream cheese frosting sounds magical, swapping in our five-star recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting can help cut down on saturated fat and calories. Since we use reduced-fat cream cheese, also called Neufchâtel cheese, and cut it with a little Greek yogurt, you'll still get that tangy-sweet flavor that makes cream cheese frosting so tasty. If you use our recipe, feel free to add in a dash of almond extract, per Ina's instructions, for a nutty flavor that will complement your cake. 

And, let's be honest—Peeps can be a little controversial. While they make a cute topper for Ina's cakes, leaving them off could knock 30 grams of sugar off each cupcake. Plus, swapping in some cute marshmallow ears—like in our Bunny Cupcake recipe—will get you a similarly festive look with a little less added sugar. You could even use vegan marshmallows, like Dandies, so those with dietary restrictions can enjoy the treats too.

No matter how you tweak this recipe, it's hard to resist taking inspiration from entertaining-whiz Ina Garten. For more tips you can apply to your Easter spread, check out Garten's tips for a beautiful table setting.