I saw pina colada cupcakes last year and have been waiting for the perfect occasion to make them (yeah, maybe that’s a little sad but I get excited about things and add them to my “to make” book)! I thought the presentation was so cute! Well, the perfect occasion finally presented itself with my co-worker Courtney’s Stock the Bar shower. Everyone loved these cupcakes (taste and presentation) and they complimented the shower theme perfectly!
Now, I will admit that the first batch of cupcakes I made was a complete failure. And by complete failure I mean had no hope of being salvaged. I abandoned my original recipe (source will not be disclosed) and tried this one from Beantown Baker. They turned out great. In fact…I think I’ll enjoy the very last cupcake after I finish this post!
FOR THE CUPCAKES
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature (I used whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
4 egg whites
2/3 cup shredded coconut
FOR THE FROSTING
2/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks or canned crushed pineapple
8 ounces cream cheese (one block), at room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Maraschino cherries with stems, drained and dried
Straws, cut down to a shorter size
FOR THE CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners (the recipe makes about 18 cupcakes).
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on high speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until lightened in color and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions. Alternate the flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just blended. Still on low speed, add in the vanilla, coconut extract and shredded coconut. Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Wash and mixer bowl (alternatively, if you have a hand mixer you can use this and skip transferring the batter).
In the mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer on high speed), beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold ½ cup of the egg whites into the batter until smooth. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until smooth and blended (do not over mix). Fill cupcakes pans about 2/3 of the way full with the batter.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on the rack to room temperature.
FOR THE FROSTING
If you are using fresh pineapple you’ll want to puree the chunks in a food processor a bit. If you’re using crushed pineapple, this step is not possible. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Mix in powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Mix in pineapple and beat on low speed to combine.
TO ASSEMBLE CUPCAKES
Spread a thick layer of frosting over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with a generous layer of shredded coconut and top with a cherry. Insert straws. Enjoy :)