Piña Colada Cupcakes


Since summer isn’t coming quick enough let’s just make these Pina Colada Cupcakes and pretend it’s summer. Okay? Great! It’s always about this time of year that I crave the warm sunshine and beach days again. So, since I can’t force it I just fake it with food instead, then I sit and enjoy these on my couch…with a kiddie pool in the house and all my brightest lamps and my sun glasses and flip flops on. Only kidding, but it’s about getting to that point. I’m totally ready to be out of hibernation though. But don’t you just love foods like this that you can enjoy all year round that give off those summer vibes? And even better when they make it to your list of top five favorite cupcakes (don’t ask my what my other 4 are right now but they are chocolatey, caramely, probably lemony and very good)! Everyone was swooning over these and for good reason, they taste just like a Pina Colada but in cupcake form! They are one of the moistest cupcakes I’ve ever made and I’ll be dreaming about this coconut buttercream frosting for days! These would be fun for just about any party, I mean show up with these at Thanksgiving and they’ll probably be the first thing to go – who says we can’t do things out of the norm? Now slap on a swimsuit, crank up that pina colada song (“if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain”) and get baking because you are going to love these!

Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking ClassyPiña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


Piña Colada Cupcakes

4 from 1 vote

Yield: 12 cupcakes



  • 1 2/3 cups (236g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (156g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk (strain any lumps if there are any)
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice (from can of crushed pineapple)
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 cup (176g) well drained canned crushed pineapple (you'll need the larger can, the little one doesn't have enough)

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter (226g), softened (preferably 3/4 cup unsalted 1/4 cup salted)
  • 2 Tbsp canned coconut milk
  • 3/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 3 1/2 cups (425g) powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (60g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 12 maraschino cherries and fresh pineapple wedges (optional)


  1. For the cupcakes:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners, set aside. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (preferably an attachment that constantly scrapes mixing bowl, if not stop mixer occasionally throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl), whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time. In a liquid measuring cup stir together coconut milk, pineapple juice and coconut extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter sugar mixture and mix on low speed until nearly combined then add in 1/2 of the coconut milk mixture and mix until nearly combined, repeat process with flour and milk mixtures once more, then mix in last 1/3 of the flour mixture (again mixing only until nearly combined - there should still be some flour streaks). Fold in crushed pineapple being careful not to over-mix the batter. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups filling each nearly to the top. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean about 19 - 23 minutes. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool frost with coconut buttercream, sprinkle shredded coconut over top, garnish with a maraschino cherry and a small pineapple wedge if desired.
  4. For the coconut buttercream:
  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip butter until light and fluffy. Add in coconut milk, coconut extract and 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix until combined, then add remaining powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy (if needed you can add in a little more coconut milk or more powdered sugar to reach desired consistency).
  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Piña Colada Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


  • Mitch: The cupcakes looks so adorable. I can prepare this cute cupcake when our next picnic and beach activities! Thanks for sharing! March 13, 2016 at 1:44am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: I am so ready for summer too. The weather has been pretty nice here and it’s anazing how much it boosts my mood. I know these cupcakes would too. They are perfection! March 13, 2016 at 6:36am Reply

  • Serena @ Serena’s Kitchen: Mmmm Coconut Buttercream Frosting sounds divine! And those cupcakes look fantastic. I’m craving some summer sunshine right now too, I think I need to make a batch of these ;) March 14, 2016 at 9:24am Reply

  • Kelly: These look and sound amazing, yum!

    xx Kelly March 14, 2016 at 7:24pm Reply

  • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden: SO these have gotta be the cutest cupcakes on planet earth right now. I mean, I have 2 sick kids under 5 and still smiled. March 15, 2016 at 5:44am Reply

  • June @ How to Philosophize with Cake: Ahhh these are too cute! Love the little umbrellas, great touch :) The coconut frosting sounds wonderful! March 15, 2016 at 8:49pm Reply

  • Raquel @caudesucre: These cupcakes look so amazing and the decoration is so so pretty! March 16, 2016 at 2:10am Reply

  • Juliana Ramsey: Hey Jaclyn,

    I was wondering if I can use Cream Cheese instead of Butter in the frosting? Thanks, you are so talented at everything that you do!! God Bless!! March 16, 2016 at 7:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Here is a recipe of mine that uses cream cheese but it is in addition to the butter: https://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/02/coconut-cake/ (you’d probably only need half the recipe for these). I wouldn’t omit the butter in this recipe or you won’t get the right flavor and consistency :). Thanks for your kind words Juliana! I hope you love these! March 16, 2016 at 7:57pm Reply

      • Juliana Ramsey: Thanks for the quick response I will be making these this week for sure!!! I love all of the recipes on your website!! I will also be making your Strawberry Cake very soon!! Thanks again!! March 16, 2016 at 8:49pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: I hope you love all the other recipes you try :)! March 17, 2016 at 12:47am Reply

  • Diana Brodeur: This looks so yummy! Will this work as a small cake as well? March 30, 2016 at 9:03am Reply

  • Ashley: I made these cupcakes today and they tasted great!! The frosting, however, was a major flop. I’m not sure what I did wrong, as I followed the directions exactly. My buttercream ended up soupy and the frosting kept separating due to the coconut milk. However, it still tasted okay. I’ll totally make the cupcakes in the future! I may swap out the frosting, though. May 29, 2016 at 5:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked the cupcake portion :), as far as the frosting goes it sounds like your butter melted – that shouldn’t happen from the coconut milk. It works best to either let the butter come nearly to room temperature or soften in the microwave on each side in intervals about 5 seconds and rotate until evenly soft but not beginning to melt. May 29, 2016 at 11:20pm Reply

  • Crystal: Does the garnish of the pineapple and cherry get “watery” at all when its on the frosting? I think they are super cute, but I’m worried if I make them that the pineapple will lose liquid while its on the frosting. June 2, 2016 at 1:20pm Reply

  • Patricia Moses: Hi.
    Just wanted to know what size tip you used for the frosting? June 8, 2016 at 11:16am Reply

    • Claire: I believe the Wilton tip 2A. If not that one it should look the same or similar. August 6, 2016 at 1:57am Reply

  • Katie Gayner: This was honestly the best cupcake I have ever had. The cake itself was insanely moist and just so amazing. Great recipe!! PS the icing was the perfect measurement. July 5, 2016 at 7:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad they were enjoyed Katie! Thanks for your comment! July 6, 2016 at 10:06am Reply

  • Jenny: I made these cupcakes today and followed it exactly how it is and they turned out amazing. The frosting is to die for. They really taste like virgin piña coladas. Thank u for sharing!!!!!!! July 13, 2016 at 1:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy you loved them Jenny! July 13, 2016 at 10:19am Reply

  • Melanie Ranadey: I made these last night and they turned out “heavy”. Could that be the added pineapple? I baked them as specified, turned out to be 22 minutes pretty batch. Any thoughts? Can I leave the pineapple out? August 1, 2016 at 8:35am Reply

  • Anne: What size icing tip did you use? Thanks! August 3, 2016 at 7:58pm Reply

  • Jenn: Hi, I’m making these right now. Is the batter supposed to be thick? If not, what can I do? August 20, 2016 at 10:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes the batter is rather thick. Since butter is used it’s not as thick as a box cake mix mixture is. August 22, 2016 at 10:14am Reply

  • Sara: The cupcakes look amazing! I am going to make these for a party. Was wondering if I could use fresh pineapple. Would the consistency be different and the cake be hard? Also did you use sweetened shredded coconut? September 11, 2016 at 10:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Fresh pineapple should be fine as long as it’s nicely ripened. And I used sweetened coconut but either should be fine. I hope everyone loves them! September 11, 2016 at 8:42pm Reply

  • Rebecca: I made these once already and my goodness they were so delicious. Was thinking about making them again but wanted to pair it with lemon or lime curd and raspberry frosting. Think I could leave out the pineapple and it will work? Maybe add more coconut milk to replace the juice? Any suggestions? October 14, 2016 at 11:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I’d probably just add a little more liquid to make up for that bit of juice from the pineapple. Probably not much though maybe 1 – 2 tbsp. I’m glad you enjoyed these! October 15, 2016 at 11:05am Reply

  • Sarah: Is it possible to add rum to this recipe to make it a more grown-up cupcake? How much do you think I could put in to the cake mix? Or should I just put some in the buttercream?
    (Duplicate posting – this one will alert me if you reply) October 17, 2016 at 2:45pm Reply

  • Janet: Delicious, Scrumptious, perfect cupcake. I toasted the coconut on some. I have extra coconut milk so I will be making your yummy oatmeal.. win win. Thank you for the great recipes March 23, 2017 at 10:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Janet! March 27, 2017 at 11:01am Reply

  • Susana: Looks and sounds beautiful, could you please help me with the convertion to gr for 1/3 cup canned coconut milk. May 12, 2017 at 4:11am Reply

  • Ray Yu: Hey there! Thank you for the recipe :)

    I made three dozens of these this past Memorial Day weekend and they were a big hit!

    I substituted a tbsp of pineapple juice with some genuine Cuban rum that I got from a recent trip to Cuba. It adds just a hint of rum to the cupcake, resulting in a more complex taste profile.

    One important note is that the cherry and pineapple slice on top do NOT travel well if it’s a long car ride. Even though I dried them as much as possible with paper towel, they still slid off and made a mess of the frosting. I also didn’t have time to refrigerate the frosted cupcakes, so that didn’t help either. Luckily I only pre-assembled a dozen of them, so the rest were fine :) May 30, 2017 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great tips – thanks Ray! June 13, 2017 at 12:48pm Reply

  • allison: wondering if these cupcakes could be made ahead of time and frozen (without frosting, of course)? not sure if anyone has tried it? June 2, 2017 at 10:31am Reply

  • graceandjoytreats: Is this a pipeable frosting that holds its shape when you pipe it onto the cupcakes or does it settle? June 8, 2017 at 9:23am Reply

  • Tara: I just made these for my friend’s birthday but I dyed the icing and coconut blue and they taste delicious and are so cute! Thanks for the recipe! September 16, 2017 at 9:15am Reply

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