Recipe: Piña Colada Cupcakes

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This summer I’ve been craving island time something fierce, so I’ve been indulging in tropical treats wherever I can, from making “greeña colada” protein smoothies and whipping up Tahitian poisson cru to hitting up Rick’s for Royal Hawaiian cocktails any chance I can get. (You can read my review of their bar at Hotel Fig for Angeleno Magazine here.) So when Adrianna of A Cozy Kitchen tease on IG that she was working on a recipe for piña colada cake, I knew I had to make something similar, stat.

Because it’s smoldering in my AC-free apartment, I aimed for simplicity, riffing on this recipe for Pineapple Sunshine Cake from Belle of the Kitchen. Instead of using veggie oil, I used coconut oil. And for my frosting, I made some fresh whipped cream, and spiked it with coconut pudding mix and some pineapple juice. I also topped it with real coconut chips to give it a polished look, because lord knows I can’t compete with Adriana’s piping skills.

They may not be Auntie Sandy’s warm banana bread on the Road to Hana, but these little piña colada cupcakes will definitely tide me over til I can get back to the North Shore!

Here’s how it’s done:

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

1 box yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice

Frosting:

1 pint Horizon Organic Whipping Cream

1 small box Jello instant coconut pudding

2 tablespoons pineapple juice

2 cups dried coconut chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, and 1 can of crushed pineapple with the juice. Mix well.

Pour into cupcake tins. I like using silicon cupcake liners because they’re reusable and hey, why not save a tree! I baked them for around 20 minutes each batch, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

In a stand mixer (or using a whisk and a large bowl if you want a solid bicep workout!), whisk whipped cream, pudding, and pineapple juice until solid peaks form.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost your cupcakes with the cream and top with coconut chips. Enjoy!