Pina Colada Cupcakes {Recipe}

I’ve been playing with this recipe for over a year, and I’m very happy with the final results.  I’ll be doing a dessert display for a big luau party this weekend and wanted to perfect this recipe before the party.  I took this batch to a church pot luck tonight and got lots of great reviews.  The Pina Colada effect comes from matching a Pineapple Cupcake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.  Although if for some (crazy!) reason you don’t like coconut, these cupcakes would be delicious with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (and maybe a small slice of fresh pineapple).

Pineapple Cupcakes
(recipe by Glory Albin)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple (drained slightly)

1.  Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until slightly thickened and a light cream color (about 2 minutes).
3.  On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended.
4.  Add in the pineapple and sour cream and mix until fully incorporated.
5.  Add the flour mixture and blend until just combined and smooth.
6.  Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners and fill about 2/3 full.
7.  Bake cupcakes in a pre-heated 350*F oven for about 22 minutes.
8.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
9.  Frost with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

Recipe yields 24-28 cupcakes.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
(this is just a slight variation on my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, but I’ll add it to this page as well, so it’s easy to find)

½ cup (1 stick/8 Tablespoons) butter (cool)
8 oz. cream cheese (directly from fridge)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (always use pure vanilla extract if possible)
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract (you may want to start with just 1 teaspoon of coconut extract, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!)
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon heavy cream, heavy whipping cream or milk
1 Tablespoon Dark Rum

*Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.
*Add vanilla extract, coconut extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
*Slowly add the heavy cream or rum.
*Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
*Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)

For added flavor and texture, top frosted cupcakes with toasted coconut.
(To toast coconut- lay about 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut on a baking sheet and bake at 375*F about 4-5 minutes).

Decorate cupcakes with fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries or paper umbrellas.

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94 Responses to “Pina Colada Cupcakes {Recipe}”

  1. #
    FireintheBreeze (Brittany) — August 2, 2010 at 12:41 am

    These look so divine! Really inventive and creative and perfect for summer. Can't wait to make these!!

  2. #
    Sunny & Star — August 2, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Oh my! Those look heavenly. Must make them soon. I hope to make your chocolate cupcake recipe next weekend. You're so talented.

  3. #
    Sharon — August 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Gorgeous! and some of my favs of yours. Will you bringthem to the langes luau or is that over and we missed it. when is it?!!?

  4. #
    Carolina Montoya — August 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    i lovee pineapple in baked sweets! and those cupcakes look divine…i espicially love how you decorated them, very cute!

  5. #
    Keren — August 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Yum Glory, these sounds absolutely delicious!

  6. #
    Anji* — August 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    These cupcakes look and sound delicious! I just made tropical fruit crumble, with coconut crumble topping! It was delicious but your cupcakes beat me hands down in the looks department :)

  7. #
    Tanisha's Cupkakes — August 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    These look very yummy!! Great presentation too! :)

  8. #
    Simone — August 3, 2010 at 4:49 am

    give me a cocktail – or one of your cuppies! mmmh, they look delicious! and i am SO much into maraschinocherries, that's why these are perfect for me ;)
    keep on going, glory, i love your blog! :)

  9. #
    Anonymous — August 5, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Glory! For some reasons, I dont like the processed coconut but the one that you made was awesome! I enjoyed it so much when you shared them at the pot luck! Cant wait to taste more ;)


  10. #
    RA — August 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Oh, it looks amazing! I have googled and came up with lots of recipes for pina colada cupcakes and can tell from the ingredient list, that this one will be very moist!

    I don't have sour cream on hand, but always have 2% plain yogurt. Could I substitute?


  11. #
    Anonymous — August 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I made these and they are delicious! One question, though-my frosting came out too liquidy, not the right consistency. I had left out the butter and cream cheese for a long time. Actually, I also used Smart Balance instead of butter. Did I maybe leave them out of the fridge for too long, or was it thta I didn't use real butter? I would love to make them again.

  12. #
    Glory/ Glorious Treats — August 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Anonymous- Glad you enjoyed the recipe! For the frosting, I think you identified your two problems already… Yes, I think the Smart Balance is an issue. If it is whipped, or has water in it, then it will not work well for frosting. If you want a butter alternative you might try Earth Balance (often in the health food section). Just make sure it's not whipped.
    Also, warm butter and warm cream cheese would also be a problem. If you have a heavy stand mixer you can use the butter right from the fridge, or leave it out maybe 15 minutes. The cream cheese should definately be used right from the fridge.
    If your frosting is too warm (which would make it too soft to pipe on cupcakes, or hold any shape), put the whole bowl of frosting in the fridge until it firms up (maybe an hour). You may need to re-whip it a bit.

  13. #
    Glory/ Glorious Treats — August 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    RA- Yes, plain yogurt would probably work fine.

  14. #
    Cher — August 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    This is an amazing recipe. Hellloooo baking attempt for next week! :]

  15. #
    Junia — December 9, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I made those today and I love how moist the cupcakes are. I will have to adjust the frosting for next time, I had the same issue with the frosting being too liquid (I wish I had read the comments before trying to pipe it in) also the frosting was too sweet for DH…
    I laminate the recipes that I do over and over again, this pina colada is not ready to be laminated YET, but your chocolate cupcakes +chocolate frosting are! Those are the best ones I have ever had!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes… I also love the way you decorate everything…

  16. #
    Anonymous — March 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    very yummy recipe!! I added a 1/2 a tsp. of Malibu rum in the frosting along with the coconut flavor and 1/2 tsp. pineapple juice from the can and gave frost fun flavor!! thanks for sharing :-) !!!

  17. #
    Brin — March 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    These were fantastic! I was a little unsure about how I'd feel about a pineapple cupcake, but I can't tell you how much I love these! My coworkers gobbled them down almost instantly. Thank you for the amazing recipe!!

  18. #
    Jocelyn — April 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I made a batch this weekend for my mother's surprise party and they were a big hit. I did omit the coconut extract in the frosting but they were still delicious! Thanks for a fabulous recipe :)

  19. #
    RA — June 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Your cupcakes look amazing!

    I have never made cupcakes with oil (only butter). Did you find they tasted a bit oily? I find this happens when I make banana bread with oil vs butter.

    Looking forward to your reply and trying this recipe.


  20. #
    Melissa — July 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    oh so beautiful and summery! i want to have a summer party just so I can invite people to eat these! i love your photo with the grass matting background – so perfect

  21. #
    Corrine — July 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I made these for a birthday party today and they were indeed glorious! Seriously, I can't stop eating the leftovers, they are simply delightful. :) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  22. #
    Ira Vergani — October 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I made these for a family lunch and they were a real hit and everybody loved them! My only comment is that the cupcake did not taste much to pineapple, any way to solve that? Pineapple juice perhaps?

  23. #
    CECE — December 5, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I want to try this recipe! Is it ok to subsitute the oil for butter?

  24. #
    Anonymous — January 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I stumbled upon your recipe and they looked delicious! I had to make them, everyone that tried them agreed that they were addicting! Thanks for sharing!

  25. #
    Brynn — April 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    i baked these last night with gluten free flour and they were AMAZING! everything worked perfectly and there was no horrible after taste that comes with most gluten-free treats! thank you so much for taking the time to perfect your recipe. it's perfect!

  26. #
    Anonymous — May 3, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Awesome recipe! Thanks so much for sharing – everyone loved them!!!!

  27. #
    Anonymous — May 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Just made a batch of these. They were delicious! I too found the icing a bit runny but next time I'll just add more icing sugar. I didn't bother trying to perfect the icing consistency this time as it tasted amazing and any more time spent fixing it would mean less time eating cupcakes.

  28. #
    Renee — June 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Would these freeze well?

  29. #
    Sugar Kisses Alaska — June 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I just tried this recipe for my daughter's 16th birthday and they are delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe.

  30. #
    Alicia — June 23, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Amazing! So, my friend wants this for her wedding reception. If I do a two layer 9 inch round cake, would this recipe yield enough batter? I figure 24 cupcakes is the same as two 9 inch round pans worth. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!!!

    • Glory replied: — June 25th, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

      Alicia- I have not made this recipe as a cake, although I’m sure it would be delicious! The cupcakes are on the smaller side, so I’m not 100% sure if it would be enough batter for two 9″ pans… I think two 8″ pans may be better. I’m sure 9″ pans would work… but it may be a short cake. Happy baking!

  31. #
    Michelle — July 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I’m thinking of making these tonight – what type of decorating tip did you use for your cupcakes in this photo? Also, did the pineapple slice stay up nicely or did it want to fall down? You just stuck it in the icing, right?

    Great blog!

    • Glory replied: — July 2nd, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

      Michelle- I used a 1M tip to frost them. Make sure your butter and cream cheese are still cool when you use them, so that your frosting will be thick enough to hold it’s shape. I just stuck the pineapple in and it stayed on it’s own fine. Just make sure the slice is very thin. Happy Baking!

  32. #
    Megan — July 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I just finished decorating these for our BBQ today. They look and taste amazing!!! I will definitely make them again!

  33. #
    Tiffany @ Fizzy Party — July 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I saw these on Pinterest and HAD to make them for my annual tiki party. DELISH!!! I had to come comment too because being a fellow blogger I love when people leave me bloggy love. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be making these because they have been repinned off my board A LOT. Plus I shared their yummy deliciousness and your blog on my Fizzy Party FB page. I hope people who come to you through me leave some blogy love.

  34. #
    Dana — July 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I had just made these, and i noticed that the batter was very liquidy. When i took them out if the oven i noticed a very strange consistency and it doesnt feel like cake at all. I know someone who has tried the recipe once before and had the same problem….. any tips?

    • Glory replied: — July 26th, 2012 @ 12:48 am

      Yes, the batter will be very thin, that is correct. Not sure what you mean by it doesn’t feel like cake? What does it feel like? Did you let them cool and try one yet?

  35. #
    LauraAnne — July 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Should these be refridgerated? Do they hold up well if I had to make them the day before?

    • Glory replied: — August 2nd, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

      The cupcakes should be perfectly fine left (loosely covered) at room temperature for a day.

  36. #
    Heather Herring — August 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Small question, when I made these cupcakes today the oil seems to have seeped through the cupcake liners leaving the cupcake itself “oily”. Is a full cup of oil really necessary?

    • Glory replied: — August 2nd, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

      As with any food, baking comes down to personal preferences. Feel free to experiment. I would image you could reduce the oil a bit without any adverse effects. If you remove too much oil, you’ll need to replace it with another moist ingredient. Happy Baking!

  37. #
    Amanda — August 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I made these cupcakes the other day and they were soooooooooooo good! The recipe was easy to follow and the results were amazing! Literally tastes like a pina colada, which I love! Thanks for the great recipe! I will be making these again!

  38. #
    Vanessa — August 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I have made these cupcakes and they are so delicious and so moist! I am wondering if I can puree a cup and a half of strawberries and make a strawberry cake with the base of this cupcake recipe. What do you think Glory?

  39. #
    Jamie — August 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I made these cupcakes today and they are phenomenal!!!! My only problem is that the icing came right off the cupcakes. I ended up scraping the icing off the ones that I have already done. I was thinking it was because I used generic cream cheese, but i’m not sure. I saw other people was having problems with this also. I had made the icing yesterday and stored it in the fridge to ice the cupcakes today. Should I make another batch of icing using philadelphia or do you have any suggestions on saving the icing?
    Side note: I’ve made many of your cupcakes before and never had this problem. HELP! I’m serving these in 3 hours and need some guidance.

    • Glory replied: — August 23rd, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

      If the icing is coming off the cupcakes, either your frosting is too thin, or your cupcakes are still warm ? If the frosting is too soft, put the full bowl of frosting in the fridge 15-20 minutes, then use it to frost the cupcakes. Make sure your butter and cream cheese are both cool or cold. I do prefer to use philadelphia brand, but a generic brand should be ok, as long as it’s full fat (reduced fat has added water).

  40. #
    Laurhn — August 12, 2012 at 4:51 am

    These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made in my entire life. Absolutely delicious….seriously absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing your brilliance, I am truly grateful!

    If you like pineapple and coconut this recipe will definitely be a crowd pleaser.

  41. #
    Luis — August 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I made these cupcakes for a Luau Party my wife and I threw and they were amazing. I followed the recipe exactly as written and they came out perfect. The party guest absolutely loved them and were fighting for the last ones. Thanks for the great recipe.

  42. #
    LaRae — September 28, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Thanks for this awesome recipe! Just made a ‘test” batch for my sons 1st birthday party (luau) theme. My husband, and neice have gulped down a few each already, and my son is currently crying for me to give him more! I too followed the recipe exactly and they came out perfect. I knew these were a winner when my husband’s first words were “oh wow!”

  43. #
    Cupcake Daily Blog — November 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Mmmmmm… absolutely lovely cupcakes!!

  44. #
    Laura — December 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I’m sure I’ve commented before, but every time I make these I’m sooooooo thankful for the recipe. They’re always a hit, a great recipe! :)

  45. #
    Katie — December 6, 2012 at 4:38 am

    I love this recipe, so amazing. Best cupcakes ever! I just had to share!

  46. #
    boliger hvidovre — December 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my
    Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will
    talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

  47. #
    Candice — December 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    THIS recipe is GREAT!!! OMG they taste like pineapple upside cake!!! For the frosting I added an extra teaspoon on Pineapple Coconut Rum…So YUMMY!!!

    ThanK You for sharing!!!

  48. #
    Dina — February 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    These cupcakes look great! Did you use cake flour or AP flour?

  49. #
    Yolanda — March 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I made these for a birthday celebration and they were sooo yummy. I just left off the coconut. They have been added to my cupcake library :)

  50. #
    Andrew Flores — March 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Totally making these whenever summer starts, these are so cute and they look delicious. I have only recently started looking at your recipes and I already love them.

  51. #
    Rosie — April 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    How many cupcakes can you make with this recipe?

  52. #
    Jessica r — May 1, 2013 at 2:08 am

    This recipe sounds delish!! Would a pineapple filling inside this cupcake be too much? I tried a coconut recipe the other day (to be filled with pineapple filling) but i didn’t care for the flavor or extra steps to make them. I’ll have to try these with the filling and see. :)

  53. #
    Fahima — June 6, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Glory, just made the pineapple cupcakes. They are soooo yummyyyy!! Even without frosting! They are now officially my favourite cupcakes! Thank you for sharing such great recipes!

  54. #
    Christina Gomez — June 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I made them last night, for my daughter ‘s office . All gone in 1 hour ! Full of flavor and the icing … Amazing :) thank you for sharing .

  55. #
    Susan Conrad — June 30, 2013 at 5:00 am

    I have started pinning and now I can’t stop! I saw your site and then
    your apple pie jars, which I thought were very clever. What a great idea
    for a bake sale or to take and give it to someone. I think you do so much
    and are very talented and I would like to follow you.
    Thank you,

  56. #
    Krystal — July 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if in the icing I could use coconut cream instead of the heavy cream and coconut extract…would I get the coconut flavor,

    • Glory replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

      I’ve never tried that, but I think it would likely work very well!

  57. #
    Pat McComb — August 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I made these and the batter was kind of watery and was wondering if that was normal I added some more little more flour and they came out more like a muffin Was wondering if the batter is always that way I probably should not have added more flour just wondering Thank You

    • Glory replied: — August 23rd, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

      Hi Pat,
      Yes, the batter is on the thin side. No additional flour should is necessary, nor should be added.

  58. #
    Kitty — August 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I did a booboo :and added a bit too much cream into the frosting mixture and now it’s a bit runny. Is there anyway to rectify this or would I have to start again?

    • Glory replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

      Yes, beat in an additional 1/2 cup of powder sugar, and then put the whole batch of icing (covered) in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.

  59. #
    Maggie — September 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I made these for my boyfriends birthday. He loves coconut and pineapple so this was PERFECT (especially since he doesn’t like chocolate).
    They came out great; I am not an avid baker, but these were super easy to make and the instructions exact.
    I used the dark rum instead of the heavy cream – I’m curious how it tastes with just the heavy cream.
    I put them in for exactly 22 minutes, and the cakes came out perfect.
    My only ‘complaint’ is that my ‘cake’ didn’t taste all that much like pineapple. You could taste some of the crushed pineapple, but it was only when you got a piece of pineapple. I think perhaps I drained too much of the juice, or maybe I should have added more of the pineapple?
    Not really sure, but so far, they’re a big hit. So glad I found this page. <3

  60. #
    Linda — July 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Can I freeze these cupcakes.?

  61. #
    Abeer — July 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Thank u soooo much for this recipe. i made them today and they were ohhh sooo yummy!! im not very fond of coconut so i skipped the frosting part. i used the same batter as the recipe but turned them into pineapple upside down cupcakes by placing the pineapple ring in the bottom of the muffin tray along with the brown sugar-butter mixture. the results were awesome! thank you once again.

  62. #
    Kallie — July 27, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Just made these and they are amazing! I used the cold butter and cold cream cheese and the frosting consistency turned out perfect! I did however feel that the frosting was a little too sweet with the already super sweet cupcakes so I added lime zest and lime juice to the frosting and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it made!!!! SO SO SO SO good and I have already had requests to make them for other parties and family events! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us!

  63. #
    Nan — August 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Glory- these look absolutely scrumptious! I’m making these tomorrow for the first time as a 50th bday cake for a friend but unsure re the type of flour you’ve used (I’m in the UK) – is it American cake flour or all purpose flour? I’ve tried to google flour conversions but it’s confusing. Apparently if you’ve used cake flour I remove 2T per cup of flour and add 2T of corn flour and if AP flour then plain flour. Please, please clarify- Everything else is set to go! Thanks in advance! x

  64. #
    virginia mills — November 15, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Very delicious!! I made a cake in a 9×13 pan with a vanilla glaze using the left over pineapple and pineapple juice. This cake was perfect, moist, fluffy, tender, and had a wonderful taste. I know that the your icing would have been sensational but I used what I had here at home. I followed your recipe exactly as written except I did warm my eggs and the sour cream and I sifted the dry ingredients. Thank you for the recipe. I had one similar but misplaced it. This one is even better!! Now, I am anxious to try your chocolate cupcake recipe.

  65. #
    Mae — December 10, 2014 at 1:30 am

    This was so yummy and moist!
    Used extra virgin coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
    Baked it for 20 min.
    Frosting – I used 2 cups confectioner sugar but may just use 1.5cup next time due to the sweetness. Used cold butter and cold cream cheese on my kitchen aide mixer and it held its shape just fine.
    It tasted even better the next day after sitting out for a night!
    Will definitely make this again and again!

  66. #
    Kayla Boaz — March 18, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    these would be so great for my cousins beach wedding!


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