6 ratings

Piña Colada Cupcakes

This recipe is excerpted from 'Out of the Box Desserts: Simply Spectacular, Semi-Homemade Sweets' by Hayley Parker

When I was younger and we’d go out to restaurants as a family, my parents would sometimes order drinks from the bar. These drinks always looked so colorful and fruity, and may or may not have had a paper umbrella garnish. One day I ordered a virgin piña colada and the rest was history. I was hooked and felt so cool drinking something fancy from the bar. Nowadays I order it boozed up, but it still reminds me of the time when I thought I was cool enough to order at the bar. Ah, memories. 

This recipe is excerpted from Out of the Box Desserts: Simply Spectacular, Semi-Homemade Sweets by Hayley Parker. Click here to purchase your own copy.


For the cupcakes

  • 1 box pineapple cake mix
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant dry coconut pudding mix
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

For pineapple cream cheese frosting

  • 1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) package pineapple cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 4-5 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 Cup heavy cream or milk


For the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cavities with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and dry pudding mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until blended. Stir in the crushed pineapple by hand until blended.
Distribute batter evenly among muffin cups, filling until about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist—not wet—crumbs. Cool completely.

For pineapple cream cheese frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and coconut extract, if using, until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Add 1 tablespoon of milk or cream at a time if frosting is too thick.

If piping, you may want to make two batches. Pipe or spread frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with the toasted coconut. Store covered in the refrigerator.