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Pina Colada Cupcakes

Get ready for summertime by baking these Pina Colada Cupcakes for your next pool party or cook out. To give the cupcakes a Pina Colada flavor, I used coconut rum and cream of coconut in the batter.

Note: Cream of coconut and coconut cream are not the same thing and can’t be used interchangeably.

Next, I added tropical fruit filling and topped each cupcake with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream that’s flavored with coconut extract and sweetened cream of coconut. For the finishing touch I garnished each cupcake with toasted coconut flakes, a maraschino cherry and a fresh pineapple wedge. If these Pina Colada Cupcakes don’t have you ready for summer, I don’t know what will?

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Pina Colada Cupcake Ingredients

  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • coconut rum
  • cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
  • eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • whole milk
  • sour cream
Pina Colada Cupcakes

Tropical Fruit Filling

This filling is great because you can use any kind of frozen fruit you’d like. I saw a frozen tropical fruit blend of pineapple, bananas, and mangos and thought it would go perfectly with these Pina Colada Cupcakes!

Tip: You should have about 1 cup puree after straining.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream

It’s no secret that I love Swiss meringue buttercream. I use it in most of my cake recipes because it’s so versatile, and it’s easy to add flavoring to it. Plus, it’s less sweet than American buttercream because it’s made with mostly butter, not sugar.

Here are a few of my tips on achieving silky smooth buttercream every time!

  • Make sure your mixer bowl is clean and has no traces of grease on it.
  • Whisk the egg whites and sugar together well or the egg whites could start to cook on their own.
  • Your butter should be room temperature before using, and should be added to the meringue in 1 – 2 tablespoon increments.

Buttercream may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen buttercream in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before remixing.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

How To Toast Coconut Flakes

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  3. Spread coconut flakes on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times during baking.
Pina Colada Cupcakes

Plan It Out

  • Day 1: Bake cupcakes and toast coconut.
  • Day 2: Prepare filling, buttercream, decorate and serve.
Pina Colada Cupcakes

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Pina Colada Cupcakes

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Pina Colada Cupcakes

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Pina Colada Cupcakes made with coconut rum and cream of coconut, filled with tropical fruit filling and topped with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream.

Ingredients

SPECIAL TOOLS

PINA COLADA CUPCAKE

  • 2 3/4 (13.75 ounces) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups (12.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut rum
  • 1/2 cup sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

TROPICAL FRUIT FILLING

  • 12 ounces frozen pineapple, thawed
  • ¼ granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

COCONUT SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups(8.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez

Instructions

PINA COLADA CUPCAKES

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners as set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, coconut rum, and cream of coconut and beat until combined, about 5 minutes. Add eggs in one at a time beating until just combined after each addition.
  4. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, combine the milk and sour cream.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions to the butter mixture, alternating it with the milk mixture in 2 additions. Don’t over mix. Give the batter a few stirs by hand and then divide the batter with a 3 tablespoon sized spring loaded ice cream scoop in to the cupcake pans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning the pans halfway through baking, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cupcakes cool in their pans for 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

TROPICAL FRUIT FILLING

  1. Place thawed tropical fruit in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Over a bowl pour tropical fruit puree over a sieve to remove the solids. The puree will be thick. Use a spoon to stir and press the puree through the strainer. You should have about 1 cup strained puree.
  2. Place tropical fruit puree in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugar and cornstarch mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Once the puree thickens, remove from the heat. Cool for 5 minutes and then add vanilla extract. Chill for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator until ready to use.

COCONUT SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour in the egg whites and sugar and whisk by hand until combined. Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place mixer bowl on top, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water and attach a candy thermometer.
  2. Whisking occasionally, heat the egg mixture until the temperature reaches 160 degrees. Once the mixture reaches 160 degrees, transfer to a stand mixer and beat the mixture on high speed for 10 minutes or until medium-stiff peaks form. At this point the outside of the mixer bowl should be room temperature. Switch out the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment and with the mixer on low speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Add the coconut extract and cream of coconut. Once combined, turn the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is smooth about 5 minutes.

ASSEMBLE

  1. With a small knife, cut out a cone of cake from the center of each cupcake. Remove the cone part but keep the circular flat top.
  2. Fit a piping bag with piping tip #12 from Wilton and fill bag with tropical fruit filling. Pipe filling in the center of each cupcake and replace the flat circular piece of cake back on top.
  3. Fit a piping bag with Ateco #827 piping tip and fill bag with buttercream. Pipe swirls on top of each cupcake.
  4. Decorate each cupcake with toasted coconut flakes, maraschino cherries, and fresh pineapple wedges.

Notes

Assembled cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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