There are a few flavor combinations that I simply cannot resist, and one of them is the Pinà Colada blend. Pineapple and coconut? Sugar……yes PLEASE! Piña is Spanish for pineapple and piña colada literally means strained pineapple. Did you know that? Most people think that colada is Spanish for coconut but it’s not. Just a little fun fact there.
Really, I love coconut on anything and everything and could make myself sick on a Mounds or Almond Joy, should I choose to ignore my diabetes, which I don’t, but that is how powerful my love is. Don’t even get me started about pineapple because I can eat a whole one by myself. I’m not proud of the gluttony …but we shall never speak of it again, k? It’s real and it’s deep. I’ll admit it, I am addicted to sugar and it’s a terrible, terrible thing for a diabetic but this is harder to kick than anything in my life. It’s an addiction and I need an intervention. A sweet one. Moving on….
My daughter Sky is the creator here, she researched the recipe, made the cupcakes and took the pictures. The only thing that I did was to toast the coconut in the oven for her and write this post. She’s becoming a foodie and I couldn’t be happier.
I have three daughters, one brunette, one blonde and one redhead – all born on a Friday. Weird, huh? I didn’t even plan their births, it just naturally happened like that, although I did name them all after an element in a different kind of way. Chelsea is water (a port in England) – Mariah is the wind (from Oklahoma) and the third….well her name is Skylar Brooke so you have that. Just as different as their hair color is their individual relationships with food.
My eldest (who is 26) had no interest in cooking, at all. She never wanted to help make cookies or bake a cake and peel some taters for me? Forget about that. It wasn’t until she got married that she called and asked me to teach her how to cook because her husband had been raised on casseroles, LITERALLY. Now she knows a lot of my secrets and was bequeathed my original Kitchen Aid stand mixer. She earned it.
My middle child (who is 20) also had no interest in kitchen related events and when she tried to make a pizza or put something in the oven, she would drop it when she pulled it out every single time. It’s a running joke here because it happened so much, and I banned her from oven use because that is such a pain to clean up, and let me tell you this: every pizza she dropped? Yeah, they always landed upside down inside my oven door. Yep. Every.Single.Time.
Now my youngest child (who is now 12) beats me to the kitchen at the mention of food. She loves to bake and help peel or chop or clean up – she loves it all. There’s my kid. The eldest may look like me, but the youngest is a mini me, although I don’t know what happened to Jan Brady because she acts like I am going to boil her in oil if she’s in the kitchen with me. Kids are funny, aren’t they?
The cupcake recipe is another version of the batter I have used for the Dreamsicle and Pink Lemonade cupcakes, originally from Simply Gluten Free. The batter just can’t be beat. The pineapple filling and the frosting was adapted from Life Made Simple.
- 3 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar – use divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- ⅔ cup gluten-free flour
- ¼ cup pineapple juice - drained from the can of crushed pineapples below
- 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 3 c. powdered sugar
- ½ c. (1 stick) butter, softened at room temperature
- 8 oz. (1 block) original cream cheese, let soften to room temperature
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. coconut extract
- ¼ c. crushed pineapple, drained well
- ½ c. coconut flakes for garnish - to toast: spread them out on a cookie sheet and put into the oven at 350degrees for about 10 minutes until golden brown
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks putting each into a large mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolks in a mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, on high speed for 5 minutes or until they are lemony yellow in color.
- Add the pineapple juice and salt to the egg yolks. Mix to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add ½ cup of sugar. Beat the mixture on medium speed for 4 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in volume. Turn the mixer to low and gradually beat in the flour. Mix until just combined.
- Beat the egg whites on high speed with the whisk attachment until foamy. Gradually add in the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Continue to beat until glossy and stiff peaks form. Fold half of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture then fold in the remaining whites. Fold until the mixture is no longer streaky. Put the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and spring back slightly when touched. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Combine the ingredients in a saucepan over med-low heat
- Cook for about 5 minutes until thick
- Remove from the stove and let cool completely before filling cupcakes
- To fill cupcakes (after they have cooled completely) just scoop out the inside with a melon baller or sharp knife and place about a tablespoon into each cupcake center
- Cream the butter, vanilla extract, coconut extract and salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment
- Gradually add the powdered sugar at low speed and beat until it forms a ball
- Add the softened cream cheese and pineapple and mix on the lowest speed possible for 2 minutes
- Cool in refrigerator for15 minutes - then fill piping bag or ziploc and frost
- Top with the beautifully toasted coconut and a cherry