Just like your favorite frozen cocktail, these cupcakes have all the sunny, tropical flavors of a pina colada!  You’ll love the way the pineapple, coconut, and rum flavors really shine in this recipe.  

Pina Colada Cupcakes- just like my favorite tropical cocktail! The pineapple and coconut flavors really shine in this recipe :)

Do you have a “splurge” drink?  I mean like a special cocktail that you order when you really want to be indulgent and treat yourself.  Something super-fancy and over-the-top, maybe with a little umbrella in it?

For me it’s definitely a pina colada.  It feels almost like dessert!  So cold and creamy, and I love the tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut.

When I think of the ultimate tropical summer flavors, pina colada takes the cake.  Or, in this case, the cupcake!

Pina Colada Cupcakes- just like my favorite tropical cocktail! The pineapple and coconut flavors really shine in this recipe :)

I love pina coladas so much, I just had to come up with a way to make it into a cupcake.  It took a lot of tries, but I finally nailed it!

The flavors in this recipe are so bang-on.  Adding fresh fruit to your favorite cupcake batter can be a little tricky, especially if it’s really juicy, but I figured out a way to do it where the cake is nice and moist but still strong enough to stand up to a generous swirl of buttercream.

I really think it’s the balance of regular all-purpose flour + cake flour.  The cake flour keeps things nice and light, while the all-purpose flour lends strength.

And the flavors just sing.  It’s pineapple and coconut all the way, with just the subtlest hint of rum.

You might be tempted to leave out the lemon zest, but please don’t!  It’s the magic ingredient here.  It just brings out the pineapple flavor in the most incredible way.

You’ll feel like you’re on vacation!

Pina Colada Cupcakes- just like my favorite tropical cocktail! The pineapple and coconut flavors really shine in this recipe :)

This recipe uses fresh pineapple in the cake and in the frosting as well.  I really think the taste just can’t be beat.  It’s so sweet and sunshine-y!

Now please don’t let a fresh pineapple scare you.  I know they can look a little intimidating, with the prickly skin and spiky leaves, but there is no need to resort to paying exorbitant prices for pre-cut pineapple.  Just show that thing who’s boss.  If you know what you’re doing, it’ll be putty in your hands, and I can prove it with this little video I put together, on how to break down a whole, fresh pineapple in less than 5 minutes!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel!

See what I mean?

Next time you’re feeling like you need a little splurge, think of this cupcake recipe!  It will totally transport you to a tropical island.

Pina Colada Cupcakes- just like my favorite tropical cocktail! The pineapple and coconut flavors really shine in this recipe :)

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Tropical Pina Colada Cupcakes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
46 mins
 

Just like your favorite frozen cocktail, these cupcakes have all the sunny, tropical flavors of a pina colada! You'll love the way the pineapple, coconut, and rum flavors really shine in this recipe.


Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut, Cupcakes, pina colada, pineapple, rum
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 385 kcal
Ingredients
For the cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pineapple puree (approximately 1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and pureed in a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
For the buttercream*
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted butter (4 1/2 sticks),, softened slightly but still cool
  • 3/4 cup pineapple puree (approximately 1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and pureed in a food processor)
  • 3 tablespoons rum
  • 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • maraschino cherries for garnish
  • pineapple chunks for garnish
Instructions
To Make the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 cupcake pans with papers.
  2. Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and mix on low speed to combine.  
  3. Add the butter, stirring on low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (about a minute).  
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula, to be sure all of the ingredients are combined.  
  5. Add the pineapple puree, coconut milk, and coconut extract, and mix on medium-high speed for about a minute and a half, to build the cake’s structure and aerate the batter.  
  6. Place about ¼ cup of batter in each well of the cupcake pans, and bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  
  7. Cool completely and top with buttercream.  
To Make the Buttercream*:
  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a large metal mixing bowl and whisk together.  
  2. Set the bowl over a small pot of simmering water, and heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture becomes translucent and no longer feels gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.
  3. Remove from heat and whip on high speed until the meringue holds stiff peaks.  
  4. Cool completely (There should be no hint of warmth when the hand is place on the side of the bowl.  Place in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes, if necessary.)  
  5. Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, while whipping on medium-high.  
  6. When all the butter has been added, fold in the pineapple puree, rum, and coconut extract.  
  7. Pipe the buttercream on the cupcakes**, and garnish with a maraschino cherry, a pineapple chunk, and a parasol pick.  
Recipe Notes

*For TONS more info on this unique and delicious frosting, check out my Swiss meringue buttercream post.

**I like to use this kind of piping bag with this tip.

©Baking a Moment

Nutrition Facts
Tropical Pina Colada Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 385 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 165mg 7%
Potassium 86mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Sugars 26g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 14.9%
Vitamin C 6.2%
Calcium 2.5%
Iron 3.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Pina Colada Cupcakes- just like my favorite tropical cocktail! The pineapple and coconut flavors really shine in this recipe :)