In just a few days, Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, will be upon us and I have no idea where the summer has gone. I’m still trying to plan a weekend at the beach….so what are all these yellow school buses doing on the road?
I had such wonderful plans for this summer….I was going to landscape the yard, get to the beach every other weekend, learn how to split my bee hive, read at least one book a week, set aside some “me” time, and of course, bake oodles of delicious, summery, light boozy cupcakes. But here it is, the end of August and my garden is a shriveled wasteland, I have yet to bury my toes in the sand, I’ve read exactly 1.5 books and I still have only one hive, and its full of honey that should have been harvested weeks ago. Yes, I was able to concoct some pretty yummy cupcakes (those Blue Moon cupcakes went viral…well, relatively speaking), but there were so many other summer cocktail inspired cupcakes I wanted to try. Alas, they will have to wait until next year…..except for these: Pina Colada cupcakes!
I actually made these dreamy cupcakes weeks ago, but never had the chance to post them – until now. I realized this weekend, the last hurrah for Summer 2013, was the perfect time to share these cupcakes inspired by one of the creamiest, coolest, tastiest tropical cocktails this side of Puerto Rico. Something about the way the coconut, pineapple and rum all blend together into a delicious little cake, covered with the lightest frosting reminiscent of whipped cream, and topped with a bright red cherry – these tropical treats will take you right back to basking on the beach, waves lapping at your toes….at least until the next school bus goes by.
PINA COLADA CUPCAKES
These cupcakes were adapted from recipes posted by Blahnik Baker and Smitten Kitchen
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon rum (I used Malibu rum for a little extra depth of flavor)
1/4 cup cream of coconut
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, strained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners
In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream of coconut, milk, vanilla and coconut extracts.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the rum and mix until combined.
Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl at low-speed, until just combined. Add the liquid mixture, and then the remaining dry ingredients until combined.
Fold in the pineapple.
Fill cupcake pans about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.
MALIBU RUM FROSTING
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Malibu rum
1 tablespoon cream of coconut
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
24 maraschino cherries
Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, rum, cream of coconut and extract and beat until combined, adding up to 1 more cup of sugar, until desired consistency is reached. Beat for several minutes at high speed, until light and fluffy. Frost as desired and top each with a maraschino cherry.