Piña Colada Cupcakes

Today's post is going to be short, but sweet. Since I'm feeling a bit under the weather, I hope these cupcakes will help you to forgive me.

Coconut and pineapple have always been on my list of favorite fruits. I used to buy gallons of organic coconut pineapple juice at the store (which I would try not to drink in one sitting). For some reason it never occurred to me to combine this wonderful combination with alcohol. When this finally dawned on me a few weeks ago, I realized I needed a piña colada and I needed one now.

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I love piña coladas so much I decided I needed to have this particular cocktail in a more... suitable container. Well, for a baker, pastries are the perfect delivery system for cocktails. Even if you aren't a baker, I don't think you will protest these piña colada cupcakes too much (if at all).

It's nearly summer, the sun is shining, and I think you deserve a little treat. Don't you?

These Piña Colada Cupcakes are a cocktail in cupcake form. No corners were cut on this recipe—you will find rum, coconut, and pineapple throughout. The cupcake is made with coconut rum, coconut milk, and pineapple juice, which gives the cupcake that great cocktail base. Shredded coconut and crushed pineapple are then folded into the batter to give the cupcake a little extra oomph. Of course, to keep this kid friendly, simply substitute the rum with coconut milk or pineapple juice.

Piña Colada Cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcake Project

Yields 18 cupcakes

20 ounce can crushed pineapple
1/3 cup coconut rum (or any rum you have on hand)
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup sweetened shredded baker's coconut (if using unsweetened, increase the sugar by 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drain the 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple into a small bowl and reserve 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice and 1 cup of the drained pineapple.

In a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, rum, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternatively add the milk and flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the drained pineapple and shredded coconut.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full (these cupcakes are too dense to rise very high). Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops bounce back lightly when touched.

Whipped Cream Frosting
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine the whipping cream and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Pipe on top of cupcakes.

Keep cupcakes stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.