Monday, July 30, 2012

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Mmm, what could possibly be better than enjoying a hot summer day on the beach with a frosty pina colada in your hand? Nothing that I can think of, but since I am not on my way to the beach today, this is the next best thing, pina colada cupcakes! I've been wanting to make pina colada cupcakes for quite awhile now, but was waiting for the right time and weather. Well that time has finally come along! The weather is beautiful, hot but not unbearable, and since I have a little time off before the big move, I was able to whip these up in between packing. Sean went to a cottage on the weekend with a bunch of friends, and I sent them along with him. I have to admit though, I'm wishing I kept a few behind for myself!

These cupcakes are fantastic. Moist and delicate, very easy to make, and the pineapple, coconut and rum flavours really shine through! It truly feels as if you're drinking (eating?) a pina colada. Delicious! I was a bit nervous looking at the recipe because it calls for so much liquid, but they came out perfectly. One thing I might change is to either omit the shredded coconut and opt for coconut extract, or perhaps try to chop up the coconut a little smaller. Sean and I both agreed that it added a slightly funny texture (because of the strands), but when it came down to it, they didn't really bother me because it tasted soo dang good!!

I know I say this fairly often, but if you like pina colada, you really need to try these! One of the best I've made yet!

Yield: 20 cupcakes
1/3 cup - half coconut rum and half dark rum (2 1/2 tablespoons each)
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pineapple juice (use reserves from drained pineapple)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut 
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (about 1 can, reserve liquid)

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 packages), room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
3 tablespoons cream of coconut
1 teaspoon coconut extract
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line tins with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, combine the rums, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Once all eggs are mixed in, beat for an additional 20 seconds at medium speed.

Add half of the flour mixture into the sugar-butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in the rum mixture until just combined, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Fold in the coconut and pineapple. The batter may look slightly curdled, this is okay and should be taken care of with a little additional whisking.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed.

For the frosting: beat the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the powdered sugar, 2 cups at a time. Mix in the pineapple juice, coconut cream, coconut extract and salt. Beat until well combined, another minute or so. If icing is too stiff, add a teaspoon more pineapple juice until reached desired consistency. If icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Source: slightly adapted from The Cupcake Project

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