Piña Colada Cupcakes

If I am ever traveling to a tropical destination, piña coladas are a MUST HAVE. They are my favorite drink, and I would kill for one – any time of any day. My love for piña coladas (virgin of course) started when my best friend Shelby (more like a sister), her family, and my family traveled together to Cancun, Mexico. Since we all stayed at a Club Med, we had unlimited drinks at our disposal. As 10 year olds, this made Shelby and I very happy. Since I listened to the song “If you like Pina Coladas” by Jimmy Buffet so many times as a kid, I immediately knew that a piña colada was the first tropical mixed drink that I had to try. From that moment on, every time we passed the bar, Shelby and I stopped by and ordered a new set of drinks. I would order a piña colada, and Shelby would order a strawberry daiquiri (virgin of course). I can’t count how many piña coladas I drank that week. Ever since then, I associate piña coladas with utter joy and always make sure to have at least one every time I travel somewhere with a beach and a bar.

When I came across a piña colada cupcake recipe a few months ago, I wanted to make them as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I forgot about the recipe until last week when I came across it in a cookbook. I couldn’t be happier that I made these cupcakes. They tasted like exactly piña coladas in cupcake form and put a big smile on my face. They also were SO much fun to make, as I had never baked such non-traditional cupcakes. If you’re a piña colada lover, this one is for you! ENJOY!



1 and 2/3 cups  all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup  granulated sugar
1/2 cup  unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, room temperature preferred
1/2 cup  pineapple juice
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
7 tablespoons coconut milk
small can of pineapple for topping (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk in egg, pineapple juice, coconut milk, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain.
  5.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: 
    1. Combine the butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat until combined and creamy.
    2.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Slowly beat in the coconut milk.
    3. Continue mixing until the frosting becomes thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  7. Frost the cupcakes and top with pieces of pineapple or coconut flakes.