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.
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.
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.
Lastly, the cupcakes get even more flavor by folding in desiccated coconut (also known as baker’s coconut) and 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.
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.
Piña Colada Cupcakes
- 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
- 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.