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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Piña Colada Cupcakes

Okay, so let's get this right out there: 
(1) IMO, these are the BEST cupcakes I've made so far in this project.  I can say that...
(2) I do not like the Piña Colada cocktail variety of this food.  Even a 2nd sip didn't do the trick.
(3) A co-worker, who shall remain nameless, stated, "I ate the whole thing and didn't share...Is that rude?  I don't even care."  And...

Gratuitous Shot of the Little Darling...All Dressed up in Her Pretty Pink Parasol. 

(4) We love Kevin.   

I made these last weekend in a cupcake-baking-frenzy, for what reason I have no idea.  I haven't posted in a while and really wanted to try something cocktail in theme.  Found this recipe via The Cupcake Project, a site that by description pretty much tells the story.  Currently, Stef is in search of the best vanilla cupcake recipe.  I have high hopes for her as she's provided me with great recipes and lots of great ideas.  This time I'm going to post my version of her Piña Colada Cupcake recipe.  I made some modifications which I think added a lot of moisture and yummo-factor.  At BIWB, we're always researching baking techniques and ingredients of master bakers.  When we "crack" a secret baking code, we feel pretty damn cocky.  Of course, being girls, our cocky attitudes are always exercised with great social decorum. 

Piña Colada Cupcake Recipe (adapted from The Cupcake Project)  Makes about 18 cupcakes.

1/3 C rum
1/2 C coconut milk (I used something called "Coconut Cream" on the can, but it was coconut milk)
1/4 C cream of coconut (see the photo, this is thick and SUPER sweet-probably why I don't like the cocktail version)
1/4 C pineapple juice (I used the juice that I drained from the canned pineapple)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C white sugar + 3 tbsp brown sugar
2 extra large eggs (I use jumbo eggs, just cuz)
1 C shredded baker's coconut
1 C crushed pineapple (that's about an 8 oz can of crushed pineapple, well-drained, and reserve liquid)

1. In a small bowl, combine rum, coconut milk, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt) into the bowl, then combine using the paddle attachment.
3. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes until you get a really fine crumb.
4. Add the eggs and the liquids from step 1.
5. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
6. Fold in the flaked coconut and the drained pineapple on low just to combine.
7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
Note:  Okay, so I baked them at 375 F for 17 minutes because I wanted to see if I'd get a quick rise and even baking.  Worked out find for flavor and texture, but I'm going to master this "rise" way or another.

Here are some of my step-by-step photos to see how it all came about...Sorry for some blurs. I'm still learning. :)  
Step 1: Sift the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl.  All of them.  No kidding.  

Step 2:  Drain the pineapple and reserve the liquid.  Did this over a measuring cup.  Duh.
Step 3:  Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix until you get this kind of a crumb.  You want an even and fine crumb.  Trust me. 

Another hand shot of the crumb from using the fat and flour method. 
We're learning to LOVE this technique! 
(Shhhh, it's a secret.)

Step 4: Add wet ingredients and beat for 2 minutes on medium, then fold in the rest.  You'll get a nice and thick batter.  Tastes amazing, too.  ;-)
Last but not least and after you've put those babies in the oven, make sure your audience gets some attention...She's just can't understand some days why I never sit down, relax, and enjoy some peak tanning hours.  This is Natasha, my baby girl.  Looks pretty good for an old broad of 13.  My fat girl.

While those cupcakes are baking, take a few minutes to prepare the topping.  I topped the Piña Colada cupcakes with shredded baker's coconut mixed with a little red food coloring. 


Just two little drops will do it...

Mix up with a fork, cover and set aside. 
This will give you the pretty pink coconut ruffles on the top of your frosted cupcake.

Coconut Rum Buttercream Frosting
1 C butter at cool room temp (68 degrees) (I use salted for frosting now, fully-converted. Believe.)
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp coconut milk (I used what's above in the flashy blue can)
1 tbsp cream of coconut (the SUPER sweet stuff)
1 tsp vanilla (to round out the flavors a bit)
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1. Cream butter for about a minute.
2. Add the liquids and beat for a minute on medium, scrap. Beat another minute on medium, scrap.
3. On low speed, slowly add the sugar. Slow.
4. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, scrap. Beat another minute on medium, scrap.
5. Thin with more cream of coconut as needed, adding about 1 scant tbsp, beat for 30 seconds and repeat until you get the desired consistency.
6. Beat on med-high for 1 minute.

Frost those babies and top with a bit of the red colored flaked coconut.  Looky, here!

A few more staged shots my little tiki hut-inspired coconutty rummed goodies...That was for you, Daniel.  :)

And, one last shot of the last Piña Colada cocktail that will EVER pass these lips!

From now on, I'm going to stick with wine, cosmopolitans, lemon drops and chocolate martinis.  :)


P.S. A very BIG thanks to Sacramento Connect for inviting us to join the Sacramento blogging community at the Sacramento Bee (the cool little toolbar now on our web site).  We are very honored and extremely happy.  Catch us soon at the Gold Country Fair this weekend for our first cupcake competition.  Thanks for all the support, friendship, and taste buds of those with whom we've shared our blog and treats!
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  1. These were delicious! :)

  2. can you make the icing ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator or freezer? Same with the batter. Thanks!

  3. Hi Anonymous...You could make the frosting ahead of time and refrigerate. I wouldn't keep it more than a few days. I'm not sure about freezing, to be honest I've never done that. I don't think the batter can be made ahead of time. You might bake them and freeze them. They are super moist, so they should freeze well. I have frozen lots and lots of my cupcakes and all the cream cheese/buttercream varieties freeze well. Maybe a month? Hope that was helpful. :)

  4. Hi there.. My name is Michelle and was looking for a booze infused cupcake for a birthday party. These seem right on. I bought an unside down pineapple cake mix. I realize that your recipe is probably straight up awesome and I will more than likely go the distance and just make. BUT.. would the cake mix work and would I simply use the same liquid ingredients? Also, no matter which one I make, is this the kind of cupcake (or cake) you can put in the fridge and it taste good? Glad I found your blog!

  5. Hi Michelle! This is Jacqueline. I can vouch for Ellen's recipes - they really ARE right on, and these cupcakes are particularly delicious. If you don't want your cake mix to go to waste, you CAN substitute the liquid ingredients (keep in mind that alcohol will evaporate more quickly than water, milk, etc. so add a couple teaspoons or so extra). I don't see any reason why you couldn't put the cupcakes in the fridge - you're probably thinking of making them a day in advance or something, right? I don't see why not! It might even help the frosting set. Anyway, I'll defer to Ellen for any more detailed comments, but go forth and bake delicious things! Let us know how it turns out :-)

    1. Hey thanks, Jacqueline. I might just make the real thing the firs time around. I am making for my mommy friends that come to my son's birthday party (is that wrong? :-) ) BUT.. good to know I can substitute if I run out of time. Thanks so much.

  6. Can these be frozen unfrosted for a few days?

  7. HELP! My cupcakes sank in the middle.


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