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Don’t just drink your pina colada! Enjoy it in the form of a cupcake. These moist pineapple cupcakes with coconut frosting will make you feel like you are on a tropical island.

Angled view of pina colada cupcakes on wood background.

These cupcakes may seem familiar. Not long ago I shared an amazing recipe for pineapple cupcakes with coconut frosting. They have been a huge hit! It has been said more than once that the combination is similar to a pina colada.

So today’s cupcakes are just that, pina colada cupcakes. I made a few tweaks to each recipe and the result is phenomenal. A summery, beachy beverage in the form of a cupcake.

The recipe for the cupcake is the same as my pineapple cupcake recipe, with the addition of rum extract. The extract amps up the pineapple flavor in this sweet cupcake.  Making it more like the favorited tropical drink.

Side view of pina colada cupcakes with coconut frosting, a cherry, and pineapple slice on top.

The frosting I use to top the pina colada cupcakes is similar to the coconut frosting I mentioned above. While I do love the light coconut flavor in that frosting, I wanted the frosting for today’s cupcakes to be potent with coconut flavor. To achieve this, I altered the butter to sugar ratio just a tad. I also used less coconut milk and added a touch of coconut extract.

If you can’t find coconut extract or you prefer a lighter coconut flavor, you can follow the recipe for my whipped coconut frosting instead. It has a lighter, more natural coconut flavor and a silkier texture.

Side view of pina colada cupcakes on a wood background.

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Side view of pina colada cupcakes on a wood background.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Don’t just drink your pina colada! Enjoy it in the form of a cupcake. These moist pineapple cupcakes with coconut frosting will make you feel like you are on a tropical island.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 1 and ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons rum extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

For the frosting

  • 1 and ¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 and ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons canned coconut milk*
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • slices pineapple for garnish, optional
  • maraschino cherries for garnish, optional

Instructions

Make the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars, continue to beat for 3 minutes. With the mixer set to low, beat in the vanilla and rum extracts. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add the flour, mixing just until combined. Beat in the crushed pineapple and it's juice.
  4. Fill the cups of the prepared muffin pan ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Slowly beat in the coconut milk, followed by the extract. Continue mixing until the frosting becomes thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Top the cupcakes with the frosting. Sprinkle the tops with the toasted coconut. Decorated with pineapple slices and cherries if desired.

Notes

*Regular full fat coconut milk is recommended for optimal coconut flavor

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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65 Comments

  1. Hello! These look delicious and adorable! I plan on making them for a friends party soon. How do you get the pineapple to stand up in the frosting? Thanks!

      1. Okay thank you! Just a regular one from the grocery store? Did they stay up for a while? (Only asking because they will be out at a party for a few hours). Thanks!

  2. Well, these look amazing but unfortunately they were a flop for me twice this morning. I followed the instructions to a T. The centres sunk in a little which wasn’t a huge deal. But what was frustrating is that the cooked cupcakes actually didn’t adhere to the liners if that makes sense. Any attempt to remove the cupcake from the pan caused the cupcake to just crumble and the liner falls away from the sides. I used two different brands of paper liners. The only thing I can think that I did differently is that I pureed 8 oz of fresh pineapple because I didn’t have canned. Despite the fact that the cupcakes were falling apart I still ate 3 of them because they are delicious!!!! Full of flavour… I just wish I could figure out why they aren’t stable.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that the cupcakes didn’t turn out for you. I have never experienced what you are describing and I’ve only received positive feedback from others who have made them. The cupcake is the same as my pineapple cupcakes which get rave reviews. I’m wondering if the puree you made contained more liquid than that of an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple. That could easily result in extra moist, crumbly cupcakes that sink in the middle.

    2. Tulin Bell says:

      It sounds like you filled the liners too high and then didn’t bake long enough. When they doom like that it’s because the liner is too full. And using more batter requires longer baking time, which is most likely why they fell in.
      Another thing possible is that that the mixture was too wet from pureeing or you overmixed the batter.
      But as long as they were still delicious ?

  3. Oh boy you know how I feel about these!! Coconut and pineapple!!!! Just love 🙂

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Hayley!

  4. You have me wishing I was on the beach in Maui stuffing my face with these cupcakes. Delicious and so cute. Love those pineapple pieces on top. Cant wait to try these! Pinned!

    1. Thanks, Cyndi! At least we can eat tropical inspired foods to pretend we are in places like Maui! Thanks for pinning!

  5. I seriously cannot even handle how awesome these cupcakes look, Jen! What a perfect way to have everybody’s favorite drink on the dessert table! Muuuuuust try these asap!

  6. I’m so into tropical flavors right now, and these cupcakes sound like they’d perfectly hit the spot. A pineapple cupcake sounds amazing on its own, but the coconut and rum flavors are definitely a fabulous boost to the tropicalness!!! These look lovely!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I think we were on the same tropical thought train. I saw your coconut cream pie with pineapple. Completely drooling over it!!

    1. Yay, for pina coladas! Thank you for the comment love!