Ahh, yes, drinks as cupcakes, what is better than this?!
Pina Colada Cupcakes. Very sweet. Very tasty!
What You Need:
1 box white cake mix
3 sticks butter, softened (1 1/2 cups)
1 14-oz can coconut milk (Do not shake it up!)
1 4-oz can crushed pineapple
1 cup sugar
2-3 Tbsp. Rum (optional)
*Yield: 18-24 standard-sized cupcakes
Separate the coconut milk into its cream and liquid. (The cream is the mostly solid stuff that will be on the top of the can, if you have not shaken it.) You will use 1/4-1/2 cup of the cream in the icing. You will use 1/2 cup of the liquid in the cupcakes. (If it’s not completely separated, that’s fine. You just want to keep the cream as solid as possible for the icing.)
Strain 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice, and reserve for the icing.
Melt 1/4 cup (half of a stick) of the butter in a 2 or 4-cup measuring cup. Add to that the pineapple (about 3/4 cup total) and 1/2 cup coconut liquid. (*Optional: Add 1-2 Tbsp. Rum)
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 4 egg yolks (!reserve the whites for the icing!), cake mix, and the butter mixture.
Mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl, and mix on medium for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Using a 1/4 cup measure, or a dough scoop, spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pans.
Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350-degrees (F).
Make the Icing:
This kind of icing is called “Swiss Meringue Buttercream,” and while it does take some extra time and work… it’s so very worth it. It’s smooth, creamy, buttery and takes on amazing flavors– like Pina Colada.
Begin by wiping down a heatproof bowl, whisk, beaters, and candy thermometer with a paper towel dampened with lemon juice or vinegar. (This will help your meringue whip up higher.)
Set a saucepan with about 1-inch of water in it over medium heat to simmer.
Combine 4 egg whites (reserved from cupcakes) and 1 cup sugar in the cleaned bowl.Place the heatproof bowl over the simmering water. (Or use a double boiler, but I prefer using my mixing bowl so that there’s one less dish to wash.)
Heat the egg white mixture, stirring constantly, until they reach 160-degrees (F) on a candy thermometer. This is the food-safe temperature for raw eggs.
Remove from the heat. Whip with a hand or stand mixer for 4-8 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
Add remaining butter, reserved coconut cream and reserved pineapple juice. (*Optional: Add 1 Tbsp. Rum.)
Again whip (on the highest setting) for 5-10 minutes until the icing comes together in a stiff, creamy mixture.
*Note: The icing turns to soup at first. Keep mixing. It starts to separate. Keep mixing. It will eventually come together!!
*Note #2: Add the coconut cream and pineapple juice to taste. If you like it less coconut-flavored, only use 1/4 cup coconut cream. I recommend NO MORE than 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice. The acidity in the juice makes the icing separate more easily, and makes it take longer to come back together. Use as little pineapple juice as possible.
Decorate the Cupcakes:
Using a Tip #1M and a piping bag, make a swirl of icing on the top of the cupcakes.
You can see my complete tutorial for making an icing swirl on a cupcake here.
Top with a maraschino cherry and a little drink umbrella, and enjoy!