Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 4

Pina Colada Cupcakes
(Coconut Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting)
coconut cupcake w/pineapple cream cheese frosting

Yes I like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food
I am into champagne

Those are the lyrics I hear in my head when anyone ever says Pina Coladas. It’s just so catchy. Did you know the name of this song is Escape, by Rupert Holmes? Who? Yeah, that’s what I said. I’m definitely more familiar with the Jimmy Buffett version? Aren’t you?

Speaking of Jimmy Buffett, all his music makes me think about sitting on a beach somewhere, thinking about nothing except getting tanked. Okay, maybe not tanked, but definitely enjoying a cold adult beverage while lounging in a hammock. Then I start thinking about how I wasn’t able to take a vacation this summer and how it’s so HOT these days that I wish I were somewhere else.

Anywho…I’ve been dreaming about all sorts of tropical locations lately…Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Bahamas. And whenever I think tropical for some reason Pina Coladas always come to mind. Pineapples and coconut, sweet, yet refreshing. Right? Just say yes. 🙂

My version of a Pina Colada cupcake is a coconut cupcake with pineapple cream cheese frosting. I adapted Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake for the cupcake, but I did not like the almond extract in it at all. I love almonds, but apparently I don’t like almond extract. I should have omitted it as soon as I smelled it, but I thought to myself, nah, lots of people like this cake and why would Ina put it in there if it didn’t complement the coconut flavor? Uh, yeah, no. So, next time I’m going to try something with either coconut milk or coconut extract. I really didn’t get much of a coconut flavor out of this cupcake. Oh well. The frosting MORE than made up for it. I thought about just using some pineapple juice, but changed my mind and ended up putting in some crushed pineapple as well. I’m so glad I did but, I think next time I may process the pineapple just a little bit so I can try and pipe the frosting next time.

coconut cupcake w/pineapple cream cheese frosting

This post is being submitted to a bi-weekly baking event hosted by Ben at What’s Cooking. Go check it out and send him your baked goods!

Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Printable Recipe

8 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
¼ cup oil
3 large eggs
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two regular size cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill the unused ones 1/3 full with warm water.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. On medium speed, add oil then eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut.

Pour the batter into cupcake liners about ½ to 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are browned and cake tester comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes then allow them to finish cooling directly on the rack, before frosting.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained well

Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add butter and cream until smooth. With the mixer on low, add in powdered sugar and blend; add pineapple juice then fold in crushed pineapple.

Previous Posts
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 2
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 3


4 Responses

  1. […] Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 4 […]

  2. i love pina coladas and i love that song! to convert such an awesome drink into a cupcake is a stroke of genius–nicely done! 🙂

  3. Thanks Grace! I was just trying to think of a way to curb my “tropical” cravings. 🙂

  4. I just finished these & they are looking pretty great! I made them for our new year’s eve dinner party tomorrow night & I am more than positive that they will be a for sure hit! I sprinkled some extra coconut ontop of the frosted icing & also topped them with some candied pinapples 🙂 Yours look absolutly fantastic & I sure hope that mine turned out as great as yours did! Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe & I really appreciate it! Thank you!!

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