Pina Colada Cupcakes with Dried Pineapple Flowers: Recipe & Tutorial

I made these beautiful pina colada cupcakes for a Tiki-themed cocktail party hosted by Jen and Jon, of the Hungry Runner and Home Speakeasy. The cupcakes tasted great and were super moist. They had a little bit of booze in them, to fit with the theme. I went with a very light whipped cream cheese frosting, and sprinkled them with some Hibiscus sugar I purchased in St. Martin. The dried pineapple flowers were really the stars of these cupcakes, and were so simple to make. These cupcakes definitely scream warm weather and would be the perfect addition to any Spring or Summer party menu. 

Pina Colada Cupcakes (adapted from Cupcake Project

  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserve from crushed pineapple)
  • 1/3 cup coconut rum
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pineapple extract (can be found at specialty food stores)
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (room temp)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Drain the crushed pineapple into a small bowl and reserve 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, rum, coconut milk, pineapple extract, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternatively add the milk and flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in 1 cup of the drained pineapple and the shredded coconut.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full (these cupcakes are too dense to rise very high). Bake for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in heavy cream. Turn mixer to medium high speed and mix until soft peaks form.

How to Make Dried Pineapple Flowers

To make dried pineapple flowers you’ll need a pineapple, a very sharp knife, parchment paper or silpat, a cookie sheet, a muffin tin and an oven. That’s it. If you don’t have a silpat, I highly recommend adding it to your kitchen tools. It’s basically a reusable non-stick liner. It is superior to parchment or wax paper. Nothing sticks to it. It also helps keep your baking sheets in like-new condition, since you won’t have to deal with the baked on butter and grease that just can’t be scrubbed off after a while.

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees
  2. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper
  3. Remove the skin from the pineapple, but do not core. Slice as thinly as possible.
  4. Place slices on prepared baking sheet. Do not overlap the slices.
  5. Bake slices for 30 minutes. Turn over and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until slices are slightly shrunken and mostly dried out. It may take longer depending on how thinly your pineapple is cut.
  6. Place cooked slices in the muffin tin and allow them to dry overnight, so the slices curve upward.
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11 thoughts on “Pina Colada Cupcakes with Dried Pineapple Flowers: Recipe & Tutorial

  1. Now following your blog! These are simply the cutest things ever and the Pinapple flowers are so pretty!

  2. These look amazing! Can’t wait to try the recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! I have a question, though. What kind of coconut milk do you use? The one in a can or like the “So Delicious” brand? And if I don’t have Hibiscus sugar, what other sugar do you recommend? Granulated? Brown? =)

    • I used a coconut milk in an aseptic carton. Not the coconut creme you use for mixed drinks. As long as it says milk on it, though, it should be fine. As for the sugar, it really doesn’t require anything. It’s more decorative… so a colored sanding sugar would work well. Otherwise, I’d say leave it out. Good luck making these!

  3. Do the pineapples flowers get ruin when you place the cupcakes in the fridge? These cupcakes look amazing, thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe 🙂

    • I would put the cupcakes in the fridge without the flowers, and then add those later. Not sure how they would react, but I could imagine the pineapple would become soft and floppy.

      • Thank you sooo much! I made them last weekend and took them to work, and it was a total success! Everybody loved them and honestly, they were delicious! Thanks so much for sharing such a delicious recipe. Take care!

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