There is no coconut meat (or as my favorite uncle would say, "hair") in these. Coconut milk is reduced on the stove-top until it's the consistency of creme fraiche. It gives both the cupcakes and also the frosting a delicate hint of coconut flavor.
Happy birthday, BFF.
Vanilla-Coconut Cupcakes, Abigail Johnson Dodge, Bon Appétit April 2009