Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Have a Happy National Piña Colada Day with Piña Colada Cupcakes!

When the list for our National Food Holiday Challenge came out and I saw National Piña Colada Day, I knew immediately I had to make a Piña Colada cake. And I did make a cake. A pretty cake. A lovely coconut cake with pineapple frosting. It was delicious, although no one in my family (including me) could really taste the rum in either the cake and frosting. I wrote the entire recipe up on my computer, my hard drive crashed, and there it went, lost on a dead hard drive forever (lesson learned...from now on, write all recipes down on paper!). 

Okay, regroup. The second time around, I decided to tackle this challenge from a different angle. Rum cupcakes with coconut frosting! So tropical and tasty, and yes, we could all taste the rum! These would be really fun to serve at a party!

Piña Colada Cupcakes
by Susan
adapted from this recipe

For the cupcakes (makes about 30):
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons minced fresh pineapple, most of the juice pressed out (I used a strainer)
3/4 cup rum
1 cup whipping cream
coconut frosting (recipe below)
shredded coconut, Maraschino cherries, fresh pineapple chunks and paper umbrellas for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy and then add eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat until mixed in well. Add minced pineapple, beating until mixed in well. Gradually add rum, beating until completely blended (batter will look curdled, but it's okay, really...I promise!).

Alternate adding sifted flour mixture and whipping cream to batter, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat batter at low speed just until blended after each addition, making sure to scrape sides of mixing bowl with a spatula. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups and fill cups about 3/4 of the way full. 

Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into a cupcake or two. Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling completely on a wire rack. Frost with coconut frosting (recipe below), sprinkle with coconut flakes and garnish with cherries, pineapple chunks and cute paper umbrellas.

Coconut Frosting
by Susan
adapted from this recipe

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 cup softened unsalted butter
3 teaspoons coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons whipping cream

Sift the powdered sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and then toss in the butter. On medium speed, cream the powdered sugar and butter together (about 4 minutes or so). It'll look crumbly at first, but continue mixing. Be sure to use a spatula to scrape sides of bowl and the beaters as you mix. Beat until the mixture is thick and creamy and then add the coconut and vanilla extracts. Mix really well.

Now, if you need, beat in whipping cream, one teaspoon at a time, until you're happy with the consistency of your frosting. It won't take much. If you get it too thin, just add a little more powdered sugar. Frost cooled cupcakes.

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