Pina colada cupcakes

By Jessica McGovern
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  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) vanilla
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5 milliliters) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) salt
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) coconut flakes
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) coconut milk


  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) sugar
  • 1 can (520 milliliters) crushed pineapple, drained (juice reserved)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) white rum


  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) butter
  • 4 cups (1 liter) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) pineapple juice (reserved from can)
  • 2 drops red food colouring (plus more if needed)
  • Toasted coconut flakes (for garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cream butter with sugar and brown sugar in a bowl. Add eggs and beat in. Add vanilla and mix in. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut flakes. Pour flour mixture into butter mixture, beating. Add coconut milk and incorporate.
  2. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full of cupcake batter. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  3. To make the filling, melt sugar in a saucepan. Add pineapple. Simmer until reduced. Take off heat and stir in rum.
  4. To make icing, cream butter in a bowl. Add icing sugar a bit at a time until fully incorporated. Add coconut milk and pineapple juice and stir in. To get a light pink icing colour, add red food colouring to buttercream and mix through.
  5. To assemble, use a small knife or small round cookie cutter to cut out the centre of cupcakes – making sure not to cut all the way to the bottom. Use a spoon to fill holes with pineapple filling. Top with icing and toasted coconut flakes.

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