These soft and tender coconut cupcakes are topped with a luscious pineapple cream cheese frosting. Tropical piña colada cupcakes are a sweet escape!
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.
When my husband requests a specific dessert, 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. 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!
Making Piña Colada Cupcakes
CUPCAKE. You’ll start by making super light and fluffy coconut cupcakes. Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut extract AND sweetened shredded coconut give these tender cakes their amazing flavor.
FROSTING. As soon as they come out of the oven I’d suggest whipping up the pineapple frosting. Since it’s cream cheese based, you may want to refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so before piping it onto the cupcakes. It is a stiffer frosting, however, if you plan on using a tip with detail (like a star tip), you want it to be extra firm. I did not refrigerate mine since I used a large round piping tip and piped it into the center of the cupcake.
TOPPINGS. You can top these tropical cupcakes however you’d like. I went extra cutesy and added an umbrella, cherry and straw for decoration. That’s totally optional though. Just a simple sprinkle of toasted coconut is definitely enough!
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.
- Consider adding some coconut extract to the frosting
- You can easily use fresh pineapple!
- Use pre-made 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 it’s too warm in your kitchen and you need to stop your frosting from melting away.
To make ahead, prepare cupcakes and store unfrosted in an airtight container (you can store in the freezer). When ready to serve, thaw if needed, and frost!
For more delicious cupcakes, try:
Piña Colada Cupcakes Recipe
For the Cupcakes
- ¼ cup unsalted butter - room temperature
- ¼ cup unrefined coconut oil - solid-state (not liquid)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites - room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp coconut extract
- 1 ¾ cup cake flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp kosher sea salt
- ½ cup sour cream - full-fat
- ½ cup canned coconut milk
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut - toasted
For the Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter - room temperature
- ¼ tsp kosher sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract - or vanilla bean paste
- 3 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup crushed pineapple - OR minced pineapple, drained
- 3 tbsp pineapple juice - (from crushed pineapple)
- 8 oz original cream cheese - room temperature for 30 minutes
- toasted coconut
- crushed pineapple
- maraschino cherries
- umbrella toothpicks
- jumbo or striped straws
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard size muffin pan with cupcake liners, and a second pan with 3 liners. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes or until pale. Add the egg whites (they do not need to be beaten separately), vanilla extract, and coconut extract, mix until combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- With mixing speed on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients along with the sour cream, coconut milk and ½ cup of shredded coconut. Mix just until incorporated.
- Using a #20 scoop (3.5 tablespoons) fill each cupcake liner with batter. Top with toasted coconut and gently press it into the batter.
- Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter along with the salt and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minute.With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a thick paste. Add the pineapple, pineapple juice and cream cheese, mix on the lowest speed possible for 1 minute, then STOP!
- Pipe over the cooled cupcakes, then top with toasted coconut, crushed pineapple, maraschino cherries, umbrellas and straws, if desired.