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.
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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.
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
- butter, room temperature
- lime zest
- crushed pineapple
For the Coconut Frosting:
- unsalted butter
- cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- heavy cream
- confectioners sugar
- coconut extract
- 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.
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!
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.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Making the 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!
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:
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.