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Pina Colada Cupcakes are a pineapple cake topped with coconut rum spiked buttercream and toasted coconut for garnish and crunch for the perfect tropical dessert!

Pina Colada Cupcakes decorated topped with cherries on white platter

If you are craving a fun and flavorful hand-held dessert, then you cannot go wrong with these Pina Colada Cupcakes. They are one of my favorite desserts ever.

I love the tropical flavor that they have in them; Pina Coladas are one of my favorite drinks, so we thought, why not make it into a cupcake, right?

Well, we did and have been loving these cupcakes for years!

They are super flavorful with the moist pineapple cupcakes, and the coconut buttercream is absolutely delicious.

Top it off with some toasted coconut, and you have a delicious drink in cupcake form.

How can you go wrong with that combination? You really can’t.

I love hand-held desserts and cupcakes really fit the bill, and they serve a lot of people without the mess of having to cut up a whole cake, so we frequently bring these Pina Colada Cupcakes to gatherings!

Some of our other favorite cupcakes we have on our site include Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes, Oreo Cupcakes and Monster Cookie Cupcakes.

Hand holding one Pina Colada Cupcake showing frosting and toppings

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Delicious flavors combine and really complement each other making the best tropical cupcake.
  2. You can double this pina colada cupcakes recipe to make more.
  3. You can make these as large cupcakes, or mini cupcakes if you have a mini cupcake pan.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • White cake mix
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Egg whites
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Coconut rum or coconut milk
  • Toasted coconut, optional
  • Maraschino cherries, optional
  • Pineapple wedge or other fresh pineapple garnish, optional
Ingredients needed to make a Pina Colada Cupcake Recipe

HOW TO MAKE PINA COLADA CUPCAKES:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. Mix the cake mix, pineapple, egg whites, oil, and water in a bowl at low speed for 30 seconds with an electric hand mixer for 30 seconds until mixed. Crank it up to medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. A few crumbs on the toothpick are okay, but if there is any wet batter they need longer. 
  5. Place on a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool, take out cupcakes onto a wire rack directly, and let cool completely.
  6. While the cupcakes cool, cream together the powdered sugar and butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, scraping the sides as needed.
  7. Add the vanilla and rum, and whip on high speed for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Top cupcakes with frosting.
  8. Garnish with toasted coconut, maraschino cherry, and pineapple if desired, serve and enjoy!
Step by step photos on how to make Pina Colada Cupcakes

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

DO I HAVE TO USE A CAKE MIX?

Absolutely not, if you want to make your own cupcake batter you are more than welcome to.

We use a cake mix as it is easier for us to doctor it up with the additions to it.

IS COCONUT RUM ESSENTIAL?

If you do not want any alcohol in your coconut frosting, you can substitute the coconut rum with coconut milk (so you still get that coconut flavor) and add some rum extract if desired.

All of them will produce a nice and flavorful frosting that will taste just like the drink, but if you do want to go completely alcohol-free then use the other two options for this.

ARE THESE KID-FRIENDLY?

They can be! Just substitute the rum in these piña colada cupcakes for coconut milk, easy peasy.

These are truly the best piña colada cupcake recipe.

ANY SUBSTITUTIONS?

Of course, here are some ideas:

  • Box of yellow cake mix or butter cake mix in place of the white cake mix
  • Melted butter for oil
  • Coconut milk for coconut rum
Overhead of cupcakes on white platter with pineapple surrounding it

HOW TO STORE:

These delicious cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to the same time.

You can also freeze this Pina Colada Cupcake Recipe. Place them on a baking sheet unfrosted and freeze for about an hour, then you can place them in an airtight container or freezer bag.

You can also individually wrap each cupcake if desired. Frozen cupcakes will last for up to 4-6 months, let defrost in the refrigerator overnight then make your frosting and decorate.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • If using coconut milk in place of the rum, you can add ½ teaspoon of rum extract to get the same flavor or leave it out completely. 
  • We use a white cake mix, you can use your own homemade if desired.
  • Toasted coconut is optional, if you aren’t a fan of toasted coconut regular sweetened coconut flakes can be used.
  • These can be frozen, see my tips above.
  • You do want to use the pineapple with the juice, so make sure you do not drain that.
  • Double these to freeze for later or to bring to gatherings to serve more people.
Hand holding one cupcake with bite taken out

Want a fun and flavorful dessert that tastes like a delicious summer drink? You have to try these Pina Colada Cupcakes!

If you’ve tried these PINA COLADA CUPCAKES let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!
 

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5 from 9 votes

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlslife.com
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Pina Colada Cupcakes are a pineapple cake topped with coconut rum spiked buttercream and toasted coconut for garnish and crunch the perfect tropical dessert!
Servings 18

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • Mix the cake mix, pineapple, egg whites, oil, and water in a bowl at low speed for 30 seconds with an electric hand mixer for 30 seconds until mixed. Crank it up to medium speed for 2 minutes.
    1 box white cake mix, 8 oz crushed pineapple canned with juice, 3 egg whites, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup water
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. A few crumbs on the toothpick are okay, but if there is any wet batter they need longer.
  • Place on a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool, take out cupcakes onto a wire rack directly, and let cool completely.
  • While the cupcakes cool, cream together the powdered sugar and butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, scraping the sides as needed.
    3 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • Add the vanilla and rum, and whip on high speed for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Top cupcakes with frosting.
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 3 Tbsp coconut rum or coconut milk
  • Garnish with toasted coconut, maraschino cherry, and pineapple if desired, serve and enjoy!
    1/2 cup toasted coconut for garnish optional, Maraschino cherries for garnish, pineapple wedge

Notes

  1. If using coconut milk in place of the rum, you can add ½ teaspoon of rum extract to get the same flavor or leave it out completely. 
  2. We use white cake mix, you can use your own homemade if desired.
  3. Toasted coconut is optional, if you aren’t a fan of toasted coconut regular sweetened coconut flakes can be used.
  4. These can be frozen, see my tips above.
  5. You do want to use the pineapple with the juice, so make sure you do not drain that.
  6. Double these to freeze for later or to bring to gatherings to serve more people.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Baked Good, Dessert
Cuisine American

Love This Recipe?

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5 from 9 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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20 Comments

  1. I am glad I stumbled by – these cupcakes are like warm sunshine on this freezing and gloomy day! You have some absolutely delightful treats on here!

  2. These are so beautiful! Your culinary background and expertise shines through on these little mini treasures! Pinning…

  3. Mm, now I’m ready for summer with these! Thanks for sharing on Weekend Bites

  4. These look delicious!!!! I want!!!

  5. These little gems are a sight for sore eyes, after just coming inside from shoveling snow! Thanks for linking up at Best of the Weekend! Pinning this!

  6. So, we’re supposed to enjoy these with one of your strawberry lemon margaritas, right?? 🙂

    Sarah (Sadie Seasongoods)

  7. 5 stars
    These look SO GOOD. Pinned! Visiting from Mouthwatering Mondays and going to follow you on Pinterest now. Can’t wait to try these!

  8. You just made me sing: “If you like pina colada…” Those look yummy! Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things!

  9. 5 stars
    Mmmmmm. Yummy! Are those cupcake liners ceramic? they are so pretty. Pinned it

  10. I need about 17 of these! So delicious! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  11. 5 stars
    Dana, I’m back! This week I am rerunning my Cupcakes on Parade #2 and I have added THIS post to it. So pretty… I just had to! 🙂

  12. About how many does this recipe make?

  13. Esther Anders says:

    When using coconut milk instead of rum(this is for a work function so I can’t use alcohol) how long can they be left out at room temperature? I know it’s not allot of coconut milk but I wanted to be safe. Thanks, they do look delicious and I can’t wait to try them.

  14. To be safe, they shouldn’t sit out for longer than 2 hours.

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