Summer time is here! On Friday, a friend of mine is getting married and I am catering the desserts for her wedding. I will be baking 300 cupcakes, a small layer cake and a few dozen truffles. Then I will probably sleep for three days. The wedding location is 6 hours away, so I am doing all the baking at my house and all the frosting on site in my hotel room. Wish me luck. I am sure I will have a follow up post for you.
I can’t believe July 4th is just over two weeks away! Is it me or is June flying by? I am loving these new Piña Colada cupcakes. My favorite thing about these it the chunks of fresh pineapple mixed in. A few weeks ago, OXO sent me some of their new summer fruit tools to test out. One of them was pineapple slicer and let me tell you, I am absolutely in love. I love love love fresh pineapple, but it is expensive to buy pre-cut and let’s face it, it’s a pain in the butt to try and cut one yourself. The OXO Pineapple slicer takes all the frustration out of it. It is so easy to use, and creates the prefect pineapple circles in less than 5 minutes.
Here is a quick tutorial for you. Cut off the top of your pineapple down to the 1st, second or third line on the pineapple slicer. Place the center of the slicer over the center of the pineapple. Slowly press down and twist the slicer clockwise. As long as the pineapple is ripe, it doesn’t take a lot of strength to do this. Continue to twist until you reach the bottom of the pineapple. Slowly lift straight up. You can remove the rings by removing the top of the slicer and turning it upside down. Thanks OXO for sending me all of the wonderful tools!
Ok, back to these cupcakes. They are topped with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream and decorated with coconut, which is dyed with food coloring. You can make these “virgin” cupcakes by omitting the rum. If you don’t have fresh pineapple, you can easily substitute it with a can of crushed pineapple but it’s best to drain the juices.
Piña Colada Cupcakes
Yields 22-24 cupcakes
1 Box Vanilla cake mix
4 Large egg whites
1/3 C Oil
1/2 C Buttermilk
3/4 C Sour Cream
2 tbsp Orange juice
2 tbsp Rum
1 tsp Coconut extract
1 C (6.5 oz) Pineapple, diced
- Preheat over to 350°.
- Combine cake mix with eggs, oil, buttermilk and sour cream. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until combined.
- Next add orange juice, rum, coconut extract and diced pineapple. Beat into cake on a low speed until combined.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check after 12 minutes, and bake another 2-3 minutes until tops are golden or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Baking times will vary by oven.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
I topped these with a Coconut Swiss Meringue buttercream (SWB). I love SWB because it’s so light and whatever flavor you add isn’t overpowered by the sweetness of powdered sugar. SWB takes a little bit of work, but it is totally worth it! Be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make Swiss Meringue buttercream before you begin.
Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 C plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure coconut extract
- Temper egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pot of water on medium heat. I usually use the metal bowl from my stand mixer. You need just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Heat the mixture to 150°F. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid cooking the egg whites.
- Remove the sugar and egg whites from heat. Using a wire whisk on your stand mixer, beat on low for two minutes. Increase to medium speed for five minutes. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 more minutes.
- Next, reduce speed to low and add butter 1 tbsp at a time, ensuring each addition is well mixed.
- Add coconut extract and beat for another minute or two with the wire whisk.
- Change your mixer attachment to the paddle attachment continue to beat on medium speed until well incorporated and glossy. It took several more minutes for me to achieve the consistency I was looking for.
If you are going to make this frosting ahead of time, you can keep it in a glass or a grease-free container for up to three days in the refrigerator. Since the butter content is high, it will become solid. You will want to allow a few hours for it to come to room temperature. Re-beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.
To dye the coconut, place desired amount in a Ziploc bag, and add one or two drops of food coloring. I used Ameri color gels. Mix the color by pressing and shaking the bag. I place it on a paper plate and allow the coconut to dry for 15-20 minutes. If I have a rubber glove handy, I use a rubber glove to sprinkle on the cupcakes because the dye will make your fingertips turn colors!
Go out there and enjoy the summer! Cocktails may not be appropriate for all hours, but cupcakes are, so eat up!
OXO provided me these tools to try. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated for this post.