Jan 21, 2013

Pineapple and Coconut Cupcakes

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.

Pineapple and Coconut Cupcakes
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 20

Pineapple and Coconut Cupcakes
  • 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
Coconut Cream Cheese Icing
  • 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

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. 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!)
  3. In a large bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk. Do not overmix!
  6. Add the pineapple and toasted coconut and stir to combine.
  7. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full with mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown. This recipe makes approximately 20 cupcakes.
  8. Allow to cool in tin for 15 mins and then turn out onto a wire rack.
  9. Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
  10. Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated.
  11. Add in the coconut essence and continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes.
  12. Decorate with shredded coconut or pineapple flowers
  13. To make pineapple flowers, turn over down to 110°C.
  14. Thinly slice a pineapple (or split pineapple rings in 3 horizontally) and arrange rings on several lined baking trays.
  15. Bake for 30 mins, then turn and cook for another 30 mins.
  16. Transfer rings to a muffin tin so they form the shape of a flower.



  • These are soo super cute Swah and I can’t believe there were five stores sold out of cocktail umbrellas! Is there a national shortage? Time to start a cocktail umbrella business lol

    • New business idea! Haha. Swah’s Cocktail Umbrella Emporium ;)

  • Im a coconut fiend! These look so good :) thanks for joining the hop!!

    • I am so addicted to coconut right now! 3 of my 4 last recipes featured it ;)

  • Yum! Have to laugh that you made cupcakes and I made rice porridge with the same flavours but it’s fitting ;)

    • Each recipe so typical of us, isn’t it JJ?! Haha!

  • Your cupcakes look so pretty I think they look better without cocktails umbrellas.

    Can’t believe that you couldn’t find cocktail umbrellas after going to 5 stores, maybe next time you need to go to a bar and see if you can do a deal or just go around stealing them from other peoples drinks, they will be thrown in the bin anyway…

    • I actually prefer them without the umbrellas too :) Haha and I love the idea of going around to bars and stealing umbrellas from people’s drinks!

  • Just had one of your fab cupcakes..

    Best way to start a Monday morning at work… Only wish I was sitting at the beach eating it and not at my desk..

    Thanks so much Sarah can’t wait for next month’s recipe..

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it Naomi! I too wish I had eaten mine at the beach instead of at the office. Stay tuned for more delicious treats!

  • These look perfectly simple! The coconut cream cheese frosting sounds divine!

    • Thank you Anna! I may have sampled a *lot* of the coconut cream cheese hehehe mmmm

  • Pineapple & coconut = winning combination! Love your pictures, they look great :)

    • Thank you so much! And it is indeed a winning combo, both in dessert and cocktail form ;)

  • These are so pretty! I plan to give these a try! soon!

    • That would be great Jennifer, please let me know how you go!

  • These sound oh so delightful. It sounds almost like a cocktail but not. I’m sure we could make it so, right? ;)

    • I was very tempted to buy a bottle of rum to add to the cupcake and icing but then I would have a bottle of rum hanging around the house… and I would drink it all hehe ;p

  • Lucky you, Vietnam is a great place to go. These cupcakes must be moist and delicious, full of tropical fruit and coconut. I really so would like one. Are they as good as your ginger cupcakes?

    • I loved Vietnam so much! Apparently these pineapple cupcakes had a *very* enthusiastic reaction at my friend’s work – they may be in the running to overthrow the ginger ones as best cupcakes :O

  • These photos are so cute. Coconut makes such a great addition to baked goods – it’s such a great texture as well as flavour.

    • I couldn’t agree more, I have become completely obsessed with adding coconut to everything I bake! My favourite is toasting shredded coconut, the slightly chewy texture and flavour is amazing!

  • I love pineapple and coconut together and your cupcakes look particularly cute. Lovely post, Swah.

    • It’s a match made in heaven! Thanks Christina :)

  • Gorgeous cupcakes and the pine/coco flavour combo is always a winner :D

    • Thank you and it is a delicious combo indeed :)

  • [...] recently made a batch of cupcakes for a 30th birthday party and adorned the Pineapple and Coconut Cupcakes with pineapple flowers, an idea I saw Martha Stewart once do. I received several questions on how [...]

  • [...] night before I baked 100 mini Pineapple & Coconut Cupcakes and Devil’s Food Cupcakes as free “gift-with-purchase” to entice (ie bribe) [...]

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