It’s national Piña Colada day!  Coconut comes to mind when I think of Piña Coladas, but this cocktail actually has the Spanish word for pineapple, Piña, in its name.  And no, Colada is not the Spanish word for coconut; colada means strained or washed, depending on the translation you choose to believe.

To celebrate today, I whipped up some Piña Colada cupcakes with pineapple rum, though coconut rum or any other rum of your preference is more than acceptable.  The key is to get the rum in there, not to worry about the flavor.

The cake is light and sweet; the pineapple and coconut flavors complement without overpowering each other.  I filled some of the cupcakes with a cream made of coconut milk and puréed pineapple.  The cupcakes are delicious enough to stand alone, so if I were in your shoes, I’d make it easy and just forget the filling step.  But if you must…

To fill, I used a decorating bag and tip 230. If you do not keep decorating bags or tips on hand, it is easy to improvise.  (And really, unless you have taken a cake decorating course or have a penchant for adding complication to your life, why would you keep these items on hand?)

Use the handle of wooden spoon to gently press into the top of cupcake and create a tunnel, or cut a hole into the cupcake to fill.  Then ice over the top and no one is the wiser. Zip-top plastic bags are simple substitutes for decorating bags.  Cut a small piece away from one corner of the bag to pipe filling or icing.  Since both both decorating bags and zip-top bags are disposable and expenses add up, you may want to consider investing in reusable decorating bags if you plan to fill or pipe on a regular basis.

I used a confectioners’ sugar buttercream to ice the cupcakes, and the coconut  really comes through in the icing.  I garnished my cupcakes with coconut I toasted in the oven, pineapple, and maraschino cherries. If you like Piña Coladas…try these cupcakes. Enjoy!

Piña Coladas Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 18
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 sticks) butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut or pineapple flavored rum
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Coconut Buttercream Frosting
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  1. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light yellow.
  3. Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Slowly alternate adding in the rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice and the flour mixture.
  5. Mix about two minutes until well combined, then fold in the coconut.
  6. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and fill approximately ¾ full with batter.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  8. For the coconut buttercream, cream the butter and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
  9. Add the coconut milk and beat at high speed two to three minutes until the icing is light and smooth.
  10. Spoon the icing into a decorating bag fitted with round tip 12.
  11. Gently pipe the icing onto each cupcake by starting at the outermost edge and forming a circle inwards towards the center.
  12. If desired, garnish with toasted coconut, pineapple, or a maraschino cherry.
Coconut-Pineapple Filling 2 eggs ¼ cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch ¼ cup coconut milk ¼ cup pineapple juice ½ cup heavy cream Whisk together eggs, sugar, and cornstarch and set aside. Place coconut milk, pineapple juice, and cream in a saucepan over low to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour hot mixture over egg mixture in bowl, and whisk until combined. Return the combined mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Cover and allow to cool. When cool, fill a decorating bag fitted with tip 230 with the filling. Gently press tip into the top of the cupcake and move downward to the bottom of the paper liner. Gently squeeze bag while moving tip back toward the top of the cupcake to fill.

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