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These pineapple cupcakes are moist, buttery, and loaded with the flavor of fresh pineapple. They are paired perfectly with pineapple buttercream frosting as a tropical treat.

Pineapple cupcakes on a marble round.

I am a huge fan of fruity desserts – if you have been reading along with this blog for any length of time, this is hardly a newsflash. I want fruit in all my desserts. It’s an obsession that I can’t control.

While I love all fruits, there is something particularly addictive about pineapple. It is juicy, refreshing, bursting with flavor, and tastes like vacation.

When I first came up with my pineapple cupcakes recipe, I made batch after batch to develop the best recipe possible. I had seen the recipes for cupcakes that call for store-bought box cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple. It’s probably delicious, but you know how we do it here. We bake from scratch.

After many attempts, I finally landed on these moist, buttery cupcakes that were bursting with pineapple flavor. Trust me, they are fabulous! They’re even better with pineapple frosting swirled on top!! Or, if you are going for a pina colada vibe, and why wouldn’t you – use my whipped coconut frosting.

This recipe base isn’t limited to making cupcakes. I’ve used the base for my pina colada cupcakes and it turned out amazing. And I did something similar with my pineapple upside-down cake.

Stop what you are doing right now and go bake these cupcakes. It will be the best 30 minutes you’ve ever spent. They are amazing!

Recipe Snapshot

TASTE: Vanilla and pineapple flavored cupcakes.
TEXTURE: Moist, buttery, and fluffy.
EASE: Remarkably easy for how delicious they are.
TIME: Just about a half hour.

What You’ll Need


  • Butter: Unsalted sweet cream butter is what I tested the recipe with and it’s fantastic.
  • Sugar: This recipe calls for a blend of light brown and regular granulated white sugar for sweetness and moisture.
  • Eggs: The eggs help hold the cupcakes together as well as add richness.
  • Vanilla: I used homemade vanilla extract but any high-quality pure vanilla will work. Vanilla bean paste is also a great option if you want more flavor.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works well in this recipe.
  • Leavening: Baking powder is used in the recipe so the cupcakes rise tall and fluffy.
  • Salt: Just a little salt is added to balance the flavors.
  • Crushed pineapple: From a can is fine. Don’t drain it – it gives the cupcakes their fruity tropical flavor.
Pineapple cupcake with the paper liner pulled away.

How to Make Recipe Name

It is easy to make these vacation flavored cupcakes at home, from scratch. They are so much better than any cupcakes you would pick up at the market.

  1. Prepare to bake. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  1. Mix the wet ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy. Turn the mixer to low, beat in the vanilla, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the crushed pineapple and its juice. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. 
  1. Bake. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. 
  2. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Top with buttercream frosting of your choice.

Handy tip:

Test your baking powder! If the baking powder is no longer effective, the cupcakes will not rise. Add ½ teaspoon of baking powder to ¼ cup of warm water. The baking powder should fizz moderately if it is fresh. You’ll need to replace the baking powder if there’s no reaction.

Close up of pineapple cupcakes.

Tips For Success

  • Measure the flour correctly! Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level with the back of a knife. For more accurate measurements, it’s best to weigh the ingredients.
  • The recipe calls for one 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple. Crushed pineapple will be broken down much more than pineapple chunks. Make sure you are in fact using crushed pineapple.
  • Use the entire contents of the can of crushed pineapple. The juice and all the pineapple bits!


Storage & Freezing

Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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Close up of pineapple cupcakes.

Pineapple Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

These pineapple cupcakes are moist, buttery, and loaded with crushed pineapple. They are paired perfectly with pineapple frosting for a tropical treat.

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
  • ¼ cup (53 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8-ounce can (234 g) crushed pineapple, undrained

For the frosting

  • 1 cups (43 g) freeze-dried pineapple
  • ¾ cups (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ¾ cups (240 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

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 sugar, continue to beat for 3 minutes. 
  4. With the mixer set to low, beat in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  5. Beat in the crushed pineapple and its juice. Add the flour, mixing just until combined. 
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. 
  7. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Top with pineapple buttercream frosting.

Make the frosting

  1. Using a food processor, grind the freeze-dried pineapple into a fine powder. Sift the powder through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any large bits. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy and pale in color, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add half the confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed just until the sugar has fully moistened, then turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining confectioners' sugar and pineapple powder and beat on low speed just until the sugar has fully moistened, then turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add 1-2 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until the cream is well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. (After 2 minutes stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then continue mixing.)
  6. Check the consistency of the frosting and add more cream, ½ tablespoon at a time, if needed. The frosting should be soft and spreadable but not so loose that it doesn't hold its shape.

Notes

Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator up to 4.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 448Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 1gSugar: 48gProtein: 3g

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 you used in the recipe.

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118 Comments

  1. Nicole DeLeve says:

    I would love to know the tip you used for the icing on top of the cupcakes? It is beautiful!

  2. Hello, I just made the cupcakes today and they are very moist, tasty however mine taste too much like butter, does that make sense? I used 1/2cup and 8oz crushed pineapple. I’m making these for someone’s birthday and this is first time trying these flavors. Any suggestions?

    1. Butter-based cakes and cupcakes will taste buttery. Make sure you are using good quality butter and be sure to cream it well with the sugar. Or you could try looking for an oil-based cupcake recipe instead.

  3. Hi!! Can I make them as a 8×2 cake and put it in a fridge ahead of time (like a week earlier) Or should i freeze it?
    Thanks!

    1. I’ve not baked this batter in a cake pan but I imagine it would be fine to do. The baked cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator up to 4. Or freeze it for up to 3 months.

  4. Hi Jen,
    I just wanted to know if I could double this recipe, to make a layered Birthday Cake.

    1. I haven’t doubled this recipe before, so I’m not sure how it will turn out. I imagine it would be okay but just can’t guarantee it will work.

  5. We don’t have tinned crushed pineapple here, only tinned chunks or rings. Could I drain and finely chop or mash these instead? Or use a blender to break them down? I so want to try these!

    1. While I haven’t tested this myself, there have been readers who have successfully pureed fresh pineapple and it worked for them. I imagine doing this with the tinned chunks would be okay but I can’t guarantee it.