coconut, white chocolate & passionfruit syrup muffins

Be still my beating heart, three of some of my favorite things to eat all in one sticky, sweet muffin. Coconut. White chocolate. And passionfruit or “passion fruit” as Americans write it. I enjoy making muffins – you can add pretty much anything to them. They’re low maintenance & a lot less pretentious than their cousins, the cupcakes. Making a muffin is generally nothing more taxing than dumping ingredients into a bowl & stirring until they just come together in a sticky batter, being careful not to over mix for fear of having smooth, flat muffins – a no-no in the muffin world. 

coconut, white chocolate & passionfruit syrup muffinsIf you’ve never been fortunate enough to try passionfruit I urge you to source some out & try them. The vines grow prolifically in most coastal regions in Australia, so passionfruit was always part of my diet. We had one growing on our back fence until our mate Andy, from far North Queensland who was staying with us, accidentally mowed it down one day unbeknownst to us & then we wondered why the vine that had covered half our back fence for years was starting to die – it was just hanging there, not attached to anything. A sad day indeed. Poor old Andy, he never lived it down & laughed about it almost until the day he died.


Passionfruit has a headonistic aroma & tastes both sweet & tart all at once. It’s primarily used in drinks & desserts. Almost always any pavlova in Australia has passionfruit spooned over the creamy topping. Passionfruit ice cream is to die for so too is passionfruit yogurt. Noosa Yoghurt is sold across the US – it’s Aussie style yogurt but it’s made in Colorado using milk from Colorado cows apparently & they have a passion fruit flavor using the real fruit. Passionfruit is also heavenly in sangria – passionfruit pulp, white wine, vodka & lemon lime sparkling soda like 7-up or sprite & lots of ice. Passionfruit are grown here in the US & are available in most grocery stores in Canada & some here in the US. In a pinch you can use canned passionfruit.

coconut muffins

I love the black, white & yellow cup saucer & plates I used in this shot. They’re Shelley fine bone china from England. This was my great aunt’s. Years ago mum had asked if I would like a cup, saucer & plate from her fine bone china collection she kept on display, safe behind glass. Most of the china I didn’t appreciate because it was quite busy & flowery but I always loved this pattern. I had forgot about it until I discovered it amongst my stuff when my sis & I were cleaning out our parent’s place. So I packed it up very carefully into my carry-on luggage & brought it back with me to my home in the US. It’s so delicate I’m nervous to use it but it’s much too pretty to keep hidden. Initially I thought it was a bit chi chi for something as pedestrian as muffins but this muffin recipe is so good I thought it should be relegated to fine bone china status.

coconut, white chocolate & passionfruit syrup muffins

Coconut, white chocolate & passionfruit is a threesome made in heaven but if you absolutely can’t find or can’t be bothered to find passionfruit then use lime, lemon or orange juice instead. The muffins will still be good just maybe not Shelley fine bone china good.

coconut, white chocolate & passionfruit muffins
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 2 1/3 cups self rising (raising) flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (nibs/bits)
  5. 3/4 cup buttermilk or coconut milk
  6. 1/2 cup melted butter
  7. 1 egg, light beaten
  9. 1/2 cup passionfruit pulp (fresh or canned)
  10. 1/3 cup sugar
  11. 1/3 cup water
  1. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Combine flour, coconut, sugar & chocolate in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk buttermilk, butter & egg in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add to flour mixture. Stir until mixture just comes together; do not over mix. Over mixing will cause the muffins to be flat on top.
  4. Place rounded 1/3 cup measures of mixture into muffin holes. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a small sharp knife into center. Leave in pan.
  5. To make the passionfruit syrup: While muffins are cooking, combine passionfruit, sugar & water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened slightly; do not strain.
  6. Pour about 3 tablespoons of warm passionfruit of syrup over warm muffins. Let stand in pan about 1 hour or until cooled completely. Makes 12.
  1. This muffin recipe needs to have the muffins cooled completely in the pan. If you remove them white they're still hot, they will fall apart. These freeze perfectly, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap them store them in a sealed container.
The Fresh Aussie






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