After returning from a wonderful holiday in Vietnam I had a new found appreciation for tropical fruits. I was constantly snacking on a variety of fresh pineapple, dragon fruit and lychees and drinking copious amounts of fresh coconut juice (straight out of the coconut of course!)
This month’s theme for SABH is Tropical Paradise and I instantly wanted to recreate some highlights from my Vietnam holiday within the dessert. Inspired by the piña colada cocktail, these cupcakes will have you reminiscing about your last tropical holiday in no time.
I loved the idea of sticking a cocktail umbrella in each cupcake to echo the piña colada theme, however after trying 5 different stores I gave up. They were ALL sold out of cocktail umbrellas. Have people been partying too much this summer?!
I ended up making pineapple flowers to decorate my cupcakes. Slicing the pineapple thinly can be a bit tricky but drying the rings out in the oven and shaping them into flowers is super easy. They are an eye catching decoration that really set the cupcakes off.
- 2 cups self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 50g toasted coconut (I used shredded)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g butter, softened
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 x 400g tin chopped pineapple, drained
- 600g sifted icing sugar (4-5 cups)
- 100g butter at room temperature
- 250g cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 tbsps coconut essence
- Shredded coconut to decorate or 1 pineapple for pineapple flowers
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Spread the coconut onto a baking tray in an even layer. Toast until golden brown which will only take around 2 minutes (watch like a hawk!)
- In a large bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk. Do not overmix!
- Add the pineapple and toasted coconut and stir to combine.
- Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full with mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown. This recipe makes approximately 20 cupcakes.
- Allow to cool in tin for 15 mins and then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
- Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated.
- Add in the coconut essence and continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes.
- Decorate with shredded coconut or pineapple flowers
- To make pineapple flowers, turn over down to 110°C.
- Thinly slice a pineapple (or split pineapple rings in 3 horizontally) and arrange rings on several lined baking trays.
- Bake for 30 mins, then turn and cook for another 30 mins.
- Transfer rings to a muffin tin so they form the shape of a flower.