Two years ago, I made piña colada cupcakes. Since I’m not a huge coconut fan, I highlighted the pineapple and let the coconut take the back seat.
But when a friend recently requested this cake for her birthday, her one request was, “don’t skimp on the coconut!”
So, I’m reposting the recipe and this time the coconut is the star! Enjoy!
*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 (3.9 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 shredded coconut
1 ½ cups Crisco vegetable shortening
6 cups powdered sugar (about 1 lb)
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ tbsp meringue powder
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1 cup shredded coconut (or more to taste)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray three 8-inch cake pans with non stick spray.
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 and shredded coconut. Fill with cake pans evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert and cool completely on wire racks.
Meanwhile, make the coconut buttercream by combining shortening, powdered sugar, coconut milk, meringue powder, vanilla extract, and salt 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. Scoop about 1/3 of the frosting into a separate bowl and stir in the shredded coconut.
Use the frosting with shredded coconut to frost between the three layers. Use the smooth buttercream to frost the outside of the cake and garnish with dried pineapple flowers.