Monday, March 7, 2011

Piña Colada Cupcakes

Sometimes all you need is a beach party to lift the winter blues.

These yellow burst of sunshine are Piña Colada Cupcakes. Created to taste like the beverage, I baked them full of coconut, pineapple and rum. There are non-alcoholic versions, but when someone is turning 30 the alcohol is needed.

Piña Colada Cupcakes
 Adapted from Mermaid Sweets
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ sticks unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup coconut flavored rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained well

- Open the can of cream of coconut, combine all the layers of the can. Then combine cream of coconut and rum. Stir together to help break down the thickness of the cream of coconut.
- Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape as needed.
- Add vanilla, mix until incorporated. Add in cup of four and ½ of baking powder, mix until incorporated.
- Add a third of the coconut/rum mixture and mix until incorporated. Continue to add 1 cup flour and the next ½ teaspoon baking powder, then a third of the coconut/rum mixture. Finish flour with ½ cup, and ½ teaspoon baking soda. Pour in the remaining coconut/rum mixture and mix until incorporated.  Scrape sides of bowl.
- With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the crushed pineapple.
- Fill each one about 2/3 full. Bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed or skewer comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Piña Colada Buttercream
½ cup butter, softened to room temp
3-3 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cream of coconut mixed with milk, as much as needed
pineapple juice (optional), as needed

- Beat butter, sugar, rum, and a Tablespoon cream of coconut/milk mixture together with a hand-held mixer at low speed until moistened. Stop after a minute to scrape bowl and add vanilla.
- Beat till thick, fluffy and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add small increments of confectioners’ sugar if too wet, rotate dribbling in a little coconut/milk mixture and pineapple juice if too dry.
- Place in a ziplock bag and cut the corner to pipe on or for a nicer finish a real pastry bag. You can also simply just frost one.

Originally, I purchased sea animal gummies to decorate the cupcakes with. This made them look like they were for a 5 year-old birthday and I would not give rum cupcakes to a 5 year-old. I added what I had left of the can of crushed pineapple and some shredded coconut to class them up a bit.

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