If You Like Pina Colada Cupcakes!

wait what …. I’m not on the beach?

This recipe is not for anyone under 21, well unless young tykes can get their hands on rum via illegal means (which I DO NOT recommend). This year has been one of the greatest years of my life …. I turned 21 and all my friends have been turning 21 too! So recently, I got into, DRUM ROLL ……..


This recipe is sure to please and will make you feel like you’re on the beach in no time! Yellow cake filled with pineapple compote and topped with a rum and coconut butter cream and toasted coconut. I made these for my friend and sorority sister, Rhia’s birthday.

Once you read the ingredients list you may think that I am breaking a cardinal rule of baking, but sorry I’m not sorry … I was in a hurry to get these done and go to the party (vodka sodas were calling my name)!


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Line your cupcake tins (makes about 24)


Coconut topping (optional)

–           ½ cup of sweetened shredded coconut


–          Box of yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients that it needs)

Pineapple Compote

–          1 can of pineapple chunks

–          ¼ cup of sugar

–          2 tablespoons of brown sugar


–          2 sticks (1 lb) of unsalted butter (room temp.)

–          3 cups of powdered sugar

–          1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

–          3 tablespoons of coconut extract

–          4 tablespoons of spiced rum

Start on the compote first! It will take about 20-30 minutes to make. Pour the WHOLE CAN of pineapple (do not drain) into a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add both sugars. Stir! Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium low. Keep this over the heat for about 20-30 minutes or until the pineapples break down and most all of the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Tip: I used a mashed potato masher to help the pineapple along in this process!

Now that the pineapple is on the stove doing its pineapple magic, mix the yellow cake batter according to the box and fill the cupcakes tins about 3/4ths of the way full and bake for 12 minutes! (Or until a toothpick comes out clean). Set out to cool.

BUTTERCREAM TIME! With a hand mixer or stand mixer start creaming the butter. SLOWLY add the first cup of powdered sugar. After it is all incorporated stop mixing and scrape the sides of the bowl. Start mixing again but this time, add the vanilla.

Now THIS PART IS IMPORTANT – add the coconut extract, rum and remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar. BUT DO IT LIKE THIS – with the mixer on, add 1 tablespoon of coconut extract slowly, then add some powdered sugar, then add 1 tablespoon of rum, then add some powdered sugar, then repeat until all the extract and rum is incorporated. If not all the powdered sugar is incorporated by the end, then slowly add the rest.

TIP:  Remember to do this all slowly; you do not want the buttercream to break.

Now that the cupcakes are cool and the compote is ready, use a melon baller to scoop out the center of the cooled cupcakes. Fill the centers with pineapple compote!

the cupcakes should look like this so far!

You can either pile on the icing with a knife or spoon, but I like using a disposable piping bag (found at Wal-Mart!) and a large piping tip (I used a round tip for this cupcake) (also found at Wal-Mart!). Pipe or pile on that boozy buttercream!

If you choose to decorate with toasted coconut, heat a medium sized skillet and spray with cooking spray. Lay the coconut in the skillet and let it warm through. Stir continuously, coconut can burn easily! Once it looks toasty but not burnt, take it off! Sprinkle onto the cupcakes!

Then I garnished the cupcakes with drink umbrellas for the beautiful birthday girl!!

they made it to the bar!

birthday girl Rhia and me!




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