Bake some sunshine into your life with these fluffy piña colada cupcakes! Made with a moist pineapple upside down cake inspired batter and a coconut cream cheese frosting, these sweet treats bring the tropical island to your kitchen.

a plate of piña colada cupcakes

You’ve likely heard of piña coladas, a popular tropical drink made with the perfect blend of coconut, pineapple and rum. These cupcakes take all of the fun tropical flavors and bakes them into perfect, individual sized cakes that you’ll be sure to love.

Full disclosure, I’m a little obsessed with all things piña colada. If you’re riding the tropical cocktail train with me, be sure to check out my classic piña colada recipe.

And while you’re there, it can’t hurt to try a piña colada on the rocks or this strawberry infused version!

Ingredients

There are a few special ingredients you’ll need to make these piña colada cupcakes, so be sure to check the grocery list below before you start your shopping!

For the Pineapple Cupcakes:

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • butter, room temperature 
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • buttermilk 
  • lime zest 
  • crushed pineapple 

For the Coconut Frosting: 

  • unsalted butter
  • cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • heavy cream
  • confectioners sugar
  • coconut extract

Optional Garnishes:

  • maraschino cherries to garnish
  • coconut flakes to garnish 
  • extra lime zest to garnish
  • extra pineapple slices to garnish

See recipe card for quantities.

Making the Fluffy Pineapple Cupcakes

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and creasing or lining your cupcake tins.

Next, grab a medium sized mixing bowl and combine your dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder and salt). Mix everything together using a fork or a whisk until evenly combined.

In another large mixing bowl cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until evenly combined.

flour mixing into batter in a bowl

At this point it’s time to start incorporating the dry mixture and buttermilk into the large mixing bowl with wet ingredients. This process helps achieve a smooth batter and good texture in your cupcakes. Add a bit of the dry mixture, then a bit of buttermilk, before mixing until smooth. Continue this pattern until you’ve added all of the flour mixture and the buttermilk.

This step is super important in achieving that moist fluffy texture we all know and love in our cupcakes. Take your time and enjoy the process!

batter with lime zest in a bowl

At this point, gently fold in the lime zest and pineapple. Pour your batter into the cupcake tin or liners, just until they are almost completely full.

batter going into a muffin tin

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Making the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

a bowl of coconut cream cheese frosting

While the cupcakes are cooking, make the frosting. Start with a medium sized mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.

Next, blend in the confectioners sugar until smooth. Finally, beat in the coconut extract. Set aside until the cupcakes are ready to be frosted.

Once the cupcakes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and chill until completely cool before frosting. Top with coconut flakes, lime zest, maraschino cherries and pineapple slices for a bit of flair!

Equipment

Baking can get complicated when you don’t have the right tools. Here’s the equipment you’ll need to make these piña colada cupcakes:

a plate of piña colada cupcakes

Storage

Because these cupcakes have a cream cheese based frosting, storing them in the refrigerator is necessary.

I recommend placing them in an airtight container tall enough to not mess up the peaks of the frosting! Here’s my favorite container for cupcake storage that also makes transporting them a breeze.

For longer term storage, the freezer will work as well. Wrap your cupcakes in plastic cling wrap tightly and freeze.

Happy baking!

Salima written in cursive
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a plate of piña colada cupcakes

Fluffy Piña Colada Cupcakes

  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Bake some sunshine into your life with these fluffy piña colada cupcakes! Made with a moist pineapple upside down cake inspired batter and a coconut cream cheese frosting, these sweet treats bring the tropical island to your kitchen.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Fluffy Pineapple Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature 
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tsp lime zest 
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained

For the Coconut Frosting: 

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 7 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp coconut extract

Optional Garnishes:

  • maraschino cherries to garnish
  • coconut flakes to garnish 
  • extra lime zest to garnish
  • extra pineapple slices to garnish


Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and spraying the cupcake tin with a nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt.) Whisk them together until evenly combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until evenly combined. 
  4. Start incorporating the dry mixture and buttermilk into the large mixing bowl with the wet ingredients, adding a bit of each at a time, mixing until smooth, then adding more of each until all of the ingredients are evenly combined. 
  5. At this point, gently fold in the lime zest and pineapple. Pour the batter into the cupcake tin, just until they are almost completely full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. 
  6. While the cupcakes cook, make the frosting. Start with a medium sized mixing bowl and with your hand mixer beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Next, blend in the confectioners sugar until smooth. Finally, beat in the coconut extract. Set aside until the cupcakes are ready to be frosted.
  7. Once the cupcakes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and chill on wire racks until completely cool before frosting. Top with coconut flakes, lime zest, maraschino cherries and pineapple slices for a bit of flair. 

Keywords: Piña Colada Cupcakes