Piña Colada Cupcakes

Sweet piña colada cupcakes are filled with pineapple and topped with a light and fluffy pineapple cream cheese frosting with coconut on top!

Tropical piña colada cupcakes are bursting with pineapple and coconut flavor. There’s a little bit of summer in each bite! For more must-make cupcakes try Rainbow Cupcakes, Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes, and Cherry Almond Cupcakes.

Piña Colada Cupcakes

Tropical Cupcakes

I’ve said this a few times before, Stephen doesn’t make very many requests. When he does it’s usually brownies, chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies. Oh, and ice cream… lot’s of ice cream. So when he asked me to make him piña colada cupcakes I was a little surprised.

We started brainstorming what the “perfect cupcake” would be. No chunks of coconut or pineapple, just lots of flavor. Maybe filled,  maybe not. Topped with a thick, soft frosting and sprinkled with just a touch of coconut. And of course, a maraschino cherry for the top.

We fell in love with these cupcakes from the first bite. They were bursting with incredible flavor and were super moist and tender. And that frosting, well, it’s to die for! These piña colada cupcakes are quite possibly one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had… and that’s saying a lot! I hope you’ll give these summery little cakes a try, I think you’re going to love them!

Piña Colada Cupcakes

Making Pina Colada Cupcakes

PREP. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin or cupcake pan with liners; set aside.

WET INGREDIENTS. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for 1 minute on HIGH. Allow the butter to cool for 5 minutes, then add in the egg and yolk, sugars, pineapple juice, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Whisk until the mixture is combined.

DRY INGREDIENTS. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk together. Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients (I like to pour the dry into the wet), and mix just until combined.

BAKE. Using a large cookie or ice cream scoop, fill each of the liners ¾ full (this will end up being about 3½ tbsp. or a scant ¼ c.).Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden in color. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

FILLING. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

FROSTING. To prepare the cream cheese frosting, using the paddle attachment cream the butter, vanilla extract, coconut extract and salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball. Add the cream cheese and pineapple and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes or until cupcakes have completely cooled.

ASSEMBLE. To assemble, core the cupcakes (using a tool or a knife) to create a well to place the filling in. Scoop the filling, packing it in, and level it with the top of the cupcake. Spread the frosting over top and garnish with coconut, a cherry or a slice of pineapple.

Tips, Variations + Storing Info

To avoid a dense cupcake avoid overmixing the batter and avoid using too heavy of ingredients. This means that you don’t want to add in too much flour. You also want to make sure that your baking powder is fresh!

To keep the cupcakes moist keep them covered and in the fridge. The filling will also gradually seep into the cakes and keep them moist that way as well.

Variations:

  • Consider adding some coconut milk to the frosting
  • You can easily use fresh pineapple!
  • Use premade cream cheese frosting and mix in pineapple chunks.

STORE frosted cupcakes in your airtight container on the counter at room temperature. Remember that storing cupcakes in the fridge will dry them out faster, so opt for countertop storage unless you have a heat wave on your hands and need to stop your frosting from melting away.

To make ahead, prepare cupcakes and STORE or FREEZE unfrosted in an airtight container. When ready to serve, thaw if needed, and frost!

Piña Colada Cupcakes

Other cupcakes:

5.0 from 4 reviews
Piña Colada Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet piña colada cupcakes filled with pineapple and topped with a light and fluffy pineapple coconut cream cheese frosting. There's a little bit of summer in each bite!
Author:
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • ½ c. (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ⅓ c. pineapple juice (use juice from filling)
  • ⅓ c. coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp. coconut extract
  • 1½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • Pineapple Filling:
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

  • Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ½ c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. (1 block) original cream cheese, room temperature for 30 minutes
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. coconut extract
  • ¼ c. crushed pineapple, drained well

  • ½ c. coconut flakes for garnish (optional)
  • Cherries, fresh or from the jar (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin or cupcake pan with liners; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for 1 minute on HIGH. Allow the butter to cool for 5 minutes, then add in the egg and yolk, sugars, pineapple juice, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Whisk until the mixture is combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk together. Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients (I like to pour the dry into the wet), and mix just until combined.
  4. Using a large cookie or ice cream scoop, fill each of the liners ¾ full (this will end up being about 3½ tbsp. or a scant ¼ c.).
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden in color. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. To prepare the cream cheese frosting, using the paddle attachment cream the butter, vanilla extract, coconut extract and salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball. Add the cream cheese and pineapple and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes or until cupcakes have completely cooled.
  7. To assemble, core the cupcakes (using a tool or a knife) to create a well to place the filling in. Scoop the filling, packing it in, and level it with the top of the cupcake. Spread the frosting over top and garnish with coconut, a cherry or a slice of pineapple.
Notes
-I used canned pineapple for this recipe for ease, I prefer using Dole products.
-These cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


Recipe source: Life Made Simple

America’s Test Kitchen (Cook’s Illustrated) The New Best Recipe.

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. Oh, you can NEVER swear off cupcakes! These look fantastic and they are so creative!

  2. Hi

    What brand of crushed pineapple did you buy that come in a 9oz can. I’ve only seen them in a 8oz can.

    1. For these cupcakes I just used a spatula to spread it on, but you can use a large round tip (I like the #807, #828, #848) too. Just make sure to chill the frosting for a bit before you try to pipe it, I’d say at least 20 minutes.

  3. Hey there! I made these today for a Luau party and OH MY GOSH! Yum! However, I was confused a bit on the filling part. It says drained– does that mean pour into a strainer and squeeze all juice out or pour into strainer and let sit until no more juice drains(but still plenty in the crushed pineapple)? I squeezed most(if not all) juice out and felt like I should have left some juice in! Thanks!

    1. Just baking powder is required in this recipe. You’ll want to make sure it’s fresh- less than 6 months old! I’m sorry they didn’t rise, but I’ve never had that problem with this recipe!

  4. I made these and they were delicious! Instead of using coconut milk i used almond milk and some Malibu Rum.
    I also added rum to the frosting and center filling. It was rum-tastic.

      1. So sorry to keep you asking so many question but I love in the middle east and we do not have pineapple in the juice type ..all we have is the pineapple in sugar syrup type. .. so can I substitute fresh pineapple nice and fresh crushed pineapple …

  5. I just made these and they are amazing! The only thing I did differently was I used a coconut whipped cream frosting instead.

  6. Hello dear…. In the cake you said to use pineapple juice from the filling… I did not quite understand this … did you mean the liquid in the can … ?

  7. Hi! I was looking for a perfect Pina Colada cupcake recipe online and eventually chose this one, and they came out really delicious! I made them yesterday, and they were heavenly in the first few hours, but this morning we discovered they had gone really hard overnight…. I am still a beginner in baking, so would be very grateful if you could share some thoughts on what I might have done wrong… Did I keep them too long in the oven (took them out when a toothpick came out perfectly clean)? I also kept them UNcovered in the fridge for a couple of hours – to get the frosting set, then decided to transfer them into plastic containers. What have I possibly done wrong? How can I prevent this from happening in future? Thanks a lot in advance! I am so sad they turned so hard overnight… (((

  8. Made these recently and they were a hit!! Our frosting turned out a little runny at first, but still delicious 🙂 The recipe looked a bit daunting at first but was surprisingly easy to follow and put together.