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Pina Colada Cupcakes

These Pina Colada Cupcakes are exceptionally moist and flavorful cupcakes that will take you to the tropics without leaving your kitchen!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time33 mins
Course: Cakes/Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Dessert


  • One box yellow OR pineapple cake mix
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 ounces (One 8-ounce can) crushed pineapple drained


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cream of coconut NOT coconut milk. Cream of coconut is often found on the alcoholic beverage aisle by the mixers.
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk (if needed - only use if frosting becomes too pasty)
  • Fresh pineapple wedges, cherries, and toasted coconut for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with about 18 paper liners. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, pineapple juice, eggs, and crushed pineapple with a handheld electric mixer until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, but not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
  • To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, cream of coconut, coconut and vanilla extracts together with the paddle attachment until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Mixture may look separated at first due to the oil in the cream of coconut; this is normal. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Only add in a little heavy cream if needed if frosting is too thick or pasty.
  • Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. If piping the frosting as high as the photos, I would double the frosting recipe. Garnish with toasted coconut, a maraschino cherry and a fresh pineapple wedge. Store any leftovers in the fridge.


NOTE: To toast coconut, simply add 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut to a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until coconut turns light brown and is fragrant, careful not to step away for too long as it cooks fast and can burn quickly. Allow to cool before garnishing.