Preheat oven to 350°F (176˚C) and line a muffin tin with cupcake papers.
Whisk the 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cup cocoa powder, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon ground salt in a medium size bowl until fully combined.
Whisk the ½ cup applesauce and 1 teaspoon baking powder together in your stand mixers' mixing bowl. The applesauce will expand and become light and bubbly.
Add the ½ cup melted coconut oil, ¾ cup granulated sugar, and 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract to the mixing bowl and beat until light and frothy.
Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and blend until the flour is just beginning to combine, then add the ⅓ of the coconut milk to the mixing bowl and beat on a slow speed until just blended. Alternate the flour and milk by thirds until just blended.
On low speed, slowly add the boiling water until combined. The batter should be thin but not watery.
Use an ice cream scoop or a ladle to fill the cupcake papers ⅔ of the way full with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check the centers with a toothpick to make sure they’re done. The toothpick should come out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the pan after 10 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the Frosting
For best results, sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder to remove lumps.
Whip the 8 tablespoon vegan butter, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, ⅓ cup cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract on medium high speed until the butter is completely incorporated and the frosting is creamy and fluffy.
Frost the cupcakes and dip them in the shredded coconut.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They should stay fresh for 4-5 days.