This recipe originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in September 2012.
Since I started making tropical drink inspired cakes and cupcakes, my mom has been asking for me to make piña colada cupcakes. So when we went for a visit recently, I brought along these cupcakes.
At first I wasn’t overly thrilled about these cupcakes, since I have no love of coconut and prefer to avoid it. But the coconut flavor was so beautifully subtle in these cupcakes (and in the frosting) that even I enjoyed a few!
That said, these are a real crowd pleaser, especially if you are serving these to guests that aren’t huge on coconut. But if you are a coconut lover, I recommend adding a teaspoon of coconut extract to the cake batter and frosting and/or adding some shredded coconut to the cake batter.
*I used 1 (20 oz) can of crushed pineapple, drained with the juice reserved for the pineapple and juice in the recipe. I had both pineapple and juice leftover, which I froze for a later use
Piña Colada Cupcakes
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (4ish oz) box vanilla instant pudding
¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup rum
¼ cup reserved pineapple juice (see recipe note)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup crushed pineapple (see recipe note)
1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
4 cups powdered guar (about 1 lb)
5-6 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp meringue powder
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
Dash of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two muffin tins with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, coconut milk, canola oil, rum, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth and combined. Fold in the crushed pineapple. Fill each liner about ¾ full of batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the coconut buttercream by combining all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low for 1 minute, or until combined. Then turn to medium speed and mix for another 1-2 minutes or until smooth and light, adding coconut milk as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with dried pineapple flowers.
Makes 28 cupcakes