Pina Colada Cupcakes

In honor of Katie's birthday today, I thought I'd share a recipe inspired by her friendship!

In college, pina coladas were one of my favorite treats. My friend Katie and I would always have them on special occasions. On “syllabus day” – don’t pretend you don’t know what that is – we’d walk downtown and get pina coladas and waste away the afternoon. Now, pina coladas serve as the celebratory beverage for new jobs, vacations, birthdays, engagements, etc!

I hope these cupcakes inspire your own tropical celebration :-)


For the cupcakes:
3⁄4 c. coconut rum, like Malibu
1⁄2 c. + 2 T. pineapple juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1⁄2 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
1 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. sea salt
1⁄4 c. coconut oil, softened
1⁄4 c. organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, like Spectrum
1⁄2 c. + 3 T. coconut sugar
3 T. ground flaxseed + 9 T. water or pineapple juice
1 c. unsweetened coconut, shredded
1 c. crushed pineapple (or fresh, pureed pineapple)

For the icing:
1⁄2 c. organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, like Spectrum
1 c. powdered sugar, and more as needed
A few tablespoons of coconut rum
Toasted coconut for sprinkling, if desired

Optional Pineapple Filling:
1⁄2 c. organic cane sugar
1 c. pineapple puree
A few tablespoons of coconut rum

For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin pan with parchment cups.

Mix flaxseed and 9 T. of water/pineapple juice in a small cup. Let it rest for 10 minutes so it becomes thicker.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and shredded coconut. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, coconut oil, shortening, pineapple, and vanilla. Add the rum and remaining pineapple juice. (It will be pretty soupy.) Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.

Using a 1⁄4 cup as a scooper, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill them almost 2/3 full. (I like bigger cupcakes, so I filled them a little higher. My recipe yielded 16 larger cupcakes.)

Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes. Insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

For the icing:
Cream the shortening and 3 tablespoons of rum. While mixing, slowly add the powdered sugar until you reach a stiffer consistency. If it gets too stiff, add some more rum to the mixture.

Once you are done mixing and everything is incorporated, scoop the icing into a piping bag (or a sandwich bag if that’s all you have.) Ice the cupcakes and top with toasted coconut, if desired.

pc icing.jpg

For the optional filling:
n a small saucepan, pour the chopped pineapple and add the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the mixture down until it thickens; splash of coconut rum and stir completely. This process should take about 10-15 minutes. Once it’s done, remove the pan from the heat.  You can core the cupcake and add this filling in - it adds a bit more fun to the cake!

Enjoy the tropical taste of these boozy bites :-)