Piña Colada Cupcakes

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These piña colada cupcakes are perfect cupcake versions of the drink – complete with coconut, pineapple, and rum. If you love piña coladas, these are the cupcakes for you!

These cupcakes aren’t just moist; their insides are almost wet due to the juicy pineapple bites scattered throughout the cake. They are so close to the piña colada drink that eating them can make you feel like you are taking a mini tropical getaway.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

How to Make Piña Colada Cupcakes

To give these cupcakes their signature flavor, you’ll start with mixing the liquid ingredients together. The important ones are the rum, coconut milk, and pineapple juice.

You can use any rum that you like, and there is no need to go out and buy anything special. But, if you happen to have Malibu coconut rum or pineapple rum on hand, I would highly recommend those flavors.

Tip: Don’t buy pineapple juice for this recipe. You’ll need crushed pineapple later in the recipe, so buy a can of crushed pineapple in juice and use the juice from the can.

Adding liquid to the batter

You will next alternately add the liquid mixture and dry ingredients to butter, sugar, and eggs. If you are new to prepping the basic cupcake ingredients, be sure to read my post on how to make cupcakes to get you started.

Adding dry ingredients

Lastly, the cupcakes get even more flavor by folding in desiccated coconut (also known as baker’s coconut) and crushed pineapple.

folding in crushed pineapple

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for about 25 minutes.

Note that cupcakes don’t dome. They aren’t a light and fluffy cupcake that rise a lot. Rather, they are more moist and dense and packed with flavor!

Frosting for Piña Colada Cupcakes

You can’t go wrong with basic cream cheese frosting. Everyone loves it!

But, like I do with my margarita cupcakes, I like to put the flavor of the drink in the cupcake frosting. So, I love adding a splash of Malibu rum to the frosting instead of using vanilla extract. It accentuates the coconut flavor.

Top the cupcakes with cocktail cherries, cocktail umbrellas, and paper straws for the perfect presentation.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Can You Make These Without Alcohol?

If you don’t want any alcohol in these cupcakes, replace the rum with more pineapple juice and optionally use a teaspoon of rum extract. You can use rum extract in the frosting or just stick with a basic cream cheese frosting – leaving off the rum flavor entirely.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Piña Colada Cupcakes

These Piña Colada cupcakes are perfect cupcake versions of the drink - complete with coconut, pineapple, and rum! If you love piña coladas, these are the cupcakes for you!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 272kcal
Author Stefani

Ingredients

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Malibu coconut rum use any rum you have on hand, but coconut- or pineapple-flavored rum works best
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut both sweetened and unsweetened work
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple drained

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Malibu coconut rum

Instructions

Cupcake Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Alternately add the flour mixture and the rum mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • Fold in the coconut and pineapple.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

  • Mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Mix in coconut rum.
  • Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes.

Notes

Note that the original published frosting recipe called for 3 tablespoons of coconut cream instead of the coconut rum. Many people love that version, so I'm leaving it here for reference.
If you want to play up the rum flavor in the frosting, you can add a second tablespoon of rum. However, this will make the frosting a little looser and it won't hold up as well. You can use rum extract to avoid this. You can also replace the rum in the frosting with 1 teaspoon of rum extract for a non-alcoholic alternative.
Store the cupcakes in the the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 339IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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Piña Colada Cupcakes

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44 comments:

  1. Paigesays:

    Hello! I notice the comments about the batter being runny…but some doen’t seem to have that problem. Can you share with us what the weight of a cup of flour is for you? I’m wondering if that’s the issue. Thank you!

  2. Kristisays:

    Do you use coconut milk from a can or the carton that you drink? I have never use coconut milk before. Thanks!

  3. Sharon E Mejiasays:

    5 stars
    My favorite cupcake recipe of all time! I make it every year for my birthday!! With a little extra rum
    Thanks!!

  4. SHsays:

    I was originally going to try a different pina colada cupcake recipe, but the recipe I had didn’t call for coconut milk or rum, so I decided to search for another recipe. Yours seemed to contain the classic ingredients found in pina colada, so I went with yours. I had pineapple chunks, so I crushed them in the blender. I am very happy with the taste of the cupcakes, I think the icing is too sweet and unnecessary ( I tinkered with it a bit, after I used the original recipe-added some rum to it). The cupcakes do have an interesting texture, but not in a bad way, mine rose slightly (filled them 3/4, but not that much-they didn’t have that familiar rising out of the wrapper dome look. I would make these again, minus the frosting.

  5. Ronsays:

    5 stars
    Hello! I have been making these cupcakes using your recipe for several years now and, let me tell you, I NEVER get such raves for any baking I do as when I make these. Frankly, it’s sometimes amazing they ever make it in to work without me eating every one. I actually made the recipe as a cake once and, I am not ashamed to say, I ate 3/4 of it in one sitting. I have been told by more than one person that they are the best cupcakes they’ve ever tasted and I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for your blog!

  6. Elizabeth Nievessays:

    I tried these today they are delicious. Very moist. Thank you for the recipe.

  7. RMarysays:

    Thanks for your recipe… I just made your cupcakes and frosting… soooo moist and not too sweet. These were delicious!

  8. trini gal!says:

    hi just made these cupcakes they came out perfect, they were moist and the flavours are all there and i used plain white rum and powdered coconut instead of cream.thanks for the recipe!

  9. Elizabethsays:

    I made these yesturday for a party (today). The cupcakes are good and moist but the flavors are pretty subtle. I made some pieapple curd for a filling (although mine came out a little too runny-I should have cooked it longer). And used my go-to coconut cream cheese frosting recipe (which uses flaked coconut as well as coconut cream and coconut & vanilla extracts) with some additional coconut rum (and more powdered sugar to balance).
    The cupcakes tasted good (though not outstanding).
    It’s the decorations that made them: drink umbrellas and teddy grahams in gummy lifesaver innertubes.
    I would definately suggest these cupcakes to people who want a moist, subtly tropical-flavored cupcake.

    • Elizabethsays:

      So it’s me again. And though I still stick by my earlier comments…
      Everyone at the party LOVED these cupcakes! I was very pleased with the reaction, and I actuallly think that the flavors intensified when kept in the fridge overnight. I think that the little extra punch of pineapple curd in the middle made the other flavors pop.
      By the way, is there any way I can post a pic of these here on your blog?
      Thanks for the recipe! I look forward to trying others on your site!

  10. Anonymoussays:

    Awesome cupcake! I drained the juice from the pineapple, and it seemed to make it not as runny. I didn’t have any rum in the house either, so I just used a little extra juice and rather than coconut milk, I used some stuff called coco real. It made the BEST cupcakes ever and I haven’t even iced them yet! Great job on this recipe!

  11. jenniferluciesays:

    I always put fruit juice in my Christmas cakes, rather than brandy, so maybe just increase the amount of pineapple juice? I don’t know for certain this would work but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. I must try this recipe sometime, it really looks amazing (I just struggle with recipes using cups as I’m from the UK where we always weigh things!).

  12. Anonymoussays:

    I was wondering if there was anything that could be substituted for the rum. I don’t drink and have never used alcohol in my cupcakes I just wouldn’t feel right putting it in.

  13. Kiefer2says:

    Good God, these are the best cupcakes I have ever had (others have said the same when I have baked them). True story-there’s only 2 of us, so I figured 18 cupcakes was too much for us. I baked the recipe into a cake and we each had a piece. After I cam home from work the next night there was a little over half left- I sat down and devoured the whole thing.

  14. Conniesays:

    I made this recipe yesterday. I was feeling lazy so I baked it in a 9 x 13″ pan. Also, I substituted gluten free flours and used coconut oil instead of butter making it a GLUTEN FREE/DAIRY FREE Pina Colada cake! I left part of the cake unfrosted and the rest frosted with your cream cheese frosting, and sprinkled top with shredded coconut and lime zest! YUMMMMMERS! I will be making this again!!!

  15. Anonymoussays:

    i didnt feel the taste neither the coconut milk nor the pineapple all wt i can taste is the flour these cupcakes dissappointed me alot as i thought that it will be the most delicious bt the contrary:( is there any suggestion cud u tell me exactly the flour mass in grams instead of cups

  16. Rodneysays:

    These were one of my all-time favorites of your recipes, next to the Tiramisu cupcakes, which will always be my absolute favorite! I drained most of the juice from the pineapple and they turned out perfect…only needed to bake them for 20 minutes. I also added a very small amount of coconut rum to the frosting-YUM!! Thanks for the recipe, Stef!! You never cease to amaze me with your brilliance

  17. Healthe Trimsays:

    Butter cream would plend better with the pineapple. I think cream cheese would be a clash of flavors.

  18. Michellesays:

    These were absolutely the hit of the baby shower. Consistency was perfect and to achieve all I did was drain the juice from the canned pineapple. I will make these over and over again. Thanks so much and now looking forward to making your Rice Krispie Treat Cupcakes for my 6 year old birthday.

  19. Laurasays:

    Mine have just come out of the oven and they smell and look heavenly, my partner insisted I swapped the rum for rum flavouring even though I explained the rum would cook out as little ones will be eating them.

    I did think the mixture looked a little wet but I left mine in 5 minutes longer as they seemed a little undercooked and they turned out lovely.

    I’m turning these into Spongebob swirl cupcakes for my partners daughters 14th as they have a lovely tropical theme.

    This is my first time cooking one of your recipes and I’m certain I’ll be trying them again!

  20. Anonymoussays:

    Yum.. I have to make these!

  21. Jessica Kirkpatricksays:

    I had a similar problem to other people that the batter was too runny, and I ended up with cupcakes with a weird texture. I decided to add more flour and baking soda between my first and second batch… I think I basically doubled the amount of flour and baking soda… the second batch was much fluffier and more cupcake textured. Although perhaps these are supposed to be more the texture of a rum cake versus a cupcake? Anyway, thanks for the idea.

  22. Cooking Etceterasays:

    Hi Stef, beautiful looking cupcakes. Oh, I’m so going to try baking these again with homemade dessicated coconut from your site :D

  23. Stefsays:

    Bee Bee – Sorry that happened to you. Yes, you can certainly try adding more flour. It shouldn’t be a problem.

  24. Bee Beesays:

    I just made a batch but the batter turned out too runny and the cupcakes are all soft and wobbly :( The cupcakes tasted pretty good though!

    Is it okay to add more flour to my batter or would that make the cupcakes taste bland?

  25. Stefsays:

    Anon – I think so.. but, I really never make cakes (only cupcakes) so I can’t say for sure.

  26. Anonymoussays:

    Will this recipes make a 1/4 sheet cake?

  27. Stefsays:

    Kristen – My only suggestion would be to use more powdered sugar, since you already tried that, I’m not sure what to suggest. Maybe just make the vanilla bean buttercream instead. It goes really well with this cupcake.

  28. Kristinsays:

    I had so much fun making your Pina Colada cupcakes. 1 night I made the cupcakes then the next night I iced them. My teammates at school loved the cupcakes – they could taste the coconut and pineapple!!! I made the icing but it was not thick like your chocolate cream cheese frosting. I tried adding more powder sugar to make it thicker, but it really did not work. I like to pipe my icing on. What can i do different with this icing to make it thicker???

  29. Stefsays:

    Anon – You could use more pineapple juice instead of the rum. I think that will work fine. However, the rum does bake out of the cupcakes so it’s different than drinking the rum. You can’t get drunk from these.

  30. Anonymoussays:

    Awesome, but is there any way I can subtitute the rum? or take it out?? Im 13 and me and my sister love piña colada(w/out alcohal) so this would be fun to make! thanks :)

  31. Stefsays:

    Dena – The rum bakes out. It’s fine for kids.

  32. Denasays:

    Can I make them without the rum? Making for a kids party. If I take the rum out what should I replace it with?

  33. Stefsays:

    LBL – You could lose the pineapple chunks, but you’d miss them. They really enhance the cupcake.

    Kathryn – Glad you like the frosting recipes! Thanks!

  34. Cole Murphysays:

    this looks so good ive never had a pina colada cupcake but want to try this recipe !
    http://blacklilac.blogspot.com/

  35. kathryn bessersays:

    Stef, I grew up with piña colada cakes being served at family events (graduations, baby showers, etc.). Our neighbor was a baker and she made hers with real (dry) piña colada mix and a cream cheese frosting… so good! I am looking forward to trying your recipe. Never really baked before but just started volunteering for the coolest charity – cake4kids.org. We make birthday cakes for kids in foster care or alternative living situations. You are my ‘go to’ girl for frosting recipes now! kathy

  36. LBLsays:

    If you wanted them to be not quite so wet, what would be a safe reduction? Less pineapple chunks at the end, or less liquids in the coconut rum/juice/vanilla mixture?

  37. julie @ rosy + tartsays:

    Holy crap. These bad boys sound and looks AMAZING. I’ll definitely be trying these. They look SO GOOD!

  38. Beckysays:

    These cupcakes sound so good, rummy with lots of coconut flavor with the pineapple. A perfect pina colada!
    Spring is on the way, right?

  39. Kathleensays:

    I sooooo can’t wait to try these!

  40. Ivysays:

    Gorgeous as always!
    Hey you! LOOOOOOVE the new look! When are you opening up your shop?
    I will move to St. Louis and work for you. :)
    Love you lots!

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