Pina Colada Cupcakes

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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.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

4.35 from 43 votes
Side view of pina colada cupcakes on a wood background.
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.
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serving Size 12

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 1 ⅔ cups (216 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons rum extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 ounces (226 g) crushed pineapple, undrained

For the frosting

  • 1 ¼ cups (282 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups (180 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ cup (56 g) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • slices pineapple for garnish, optional
  • maraschino cherries for garnish, optional

Instructions

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Top the cupcakes with the frosting. Sprinkle the tops with the toasted coconut. Decorated with pineapple slices and cherries if desired.

Notes

  • Coconut milk: Regular full-fat coconut milk is recommended for optimal coconut flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcakes | Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 876IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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69 Comments

  1. Hi where do you buy your pineapple cupcake liners from?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      Hi Kim! It’s been so long I don’t remember exactly where I got these specific ones. But I usually find fun liners in the seasonal sections of Walmart, target, and craft stores. I’ve ordered quite a few from Amazon as well.

  2. Am I able to substitute the rum extract for any other extract because I don’t like the taste of rum please?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      You can add a little more vanilla and leave out the rum extract.

  3. I will like to make these spiked, can you tell me how much rum go add to the cupcakes and the whipped cream?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      You can only substitute equal amounts of rum and rum extract. I’m not sure if this will give you the best flavor but adding any more will throw off the chemistry of the recipe. I don’t recommend adding rum to the frosting. It’s is not whipped cream, it’s coconut buttercream, and rum will make it too thin.

  4. Yes I was meaning the garnish. I could try putting it on in the morning, I just don’t want it to go brown before they’re served! Would be a shame to skip it though as it looks nice! I might try and think of something else to top it off.

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      You can try tossing the pineapple slices in a little lemon juice also. This will prevent oxidation from happening so quickly. But the slices should be fine for a little while before serving.

      1. Thank you! And one another question, I’m struggling to get the rum essence, I’m going to one more shop to have a look today but can I substitute for actual rum or is there an alternative you can suggest?

      2. Jen Sobjack says:

        You can add 2 tablespoons of rum if you can’t find rum extract.

  5. I’m planning on making these next week for a bake off competition, i have been looking for a recipe for a while and as soon as I spotted this one I knew it would be perfect!! Just wondering whether the pineapple will start to go brown if I leave it for too long? Will need to make them the night before

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      Are you referring to the garnish? It may turn slightly. You can always make the cupcakes then garnish them right before serving. Or skip the garnish altogether.