Pina Colada Cupcakes

With all the cupcake tasting I've done lately, I have had a desire for flavor combinations. I was invited to a BBQ and offered to bring the dessert. Here was my chance to make the pina colada cupcakes I've been dreaming of for a while.

I wanted to make these with a coconut cake and a pineapple frosting. I purposely wanted the separation of the flavors in the two elements that would then come together.

As an added bonus, I used rum. Alcohol in baked goods keeps them nice and moist. Have you had a rum or kahlua fudge cake? I also brushed the finished cupcakes with rum before I frosted them. If kids are around you can make some without. In the picture the green are for kids and the red for the adults. You can brush them once or twice, depending on how much rum you want to soak in. I did twice and think next time I'll even do a third.

I had wanted to do a decorator tip piping of the frosting, but the chunks of crushed pineapple clogged the tip. I ended up just spreading the frosting on.

Coconut cake

* 3 cups sifted flour
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 cups sugar, divided
* 1 1/3 cups coconut milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/3 cup shredded coconut
* 5 egg whites

Cream shortening and butter with 1 1/3 cups of the sugar. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add sifted flour alternately with coconut milk, beginning and ending with flour; add vanilla. If desired, add 1/3 cup fresh coconut to the batter. Blend in the 1/2 cup of rum. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, gradually adding the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, to soft peaks stage. Fold egg whites into cake batter, just enough to incorporate. Scoop batter into lined cupcake pans, filling to 3/4 full. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 25 minutes, or until cupcakes bounce back when touched lightly.

After the cupcakes come out of the oven, brush them with more rum. When they are completely cooled, frost with pineapple frosting.

Pineapple Frosting

1/2 cup butter
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons well drained crushed pineapple
1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice

Cream butter; gradually beat in sugar, creaming well. Stir in crushed pineapple and just enough pineapple juice to make it spreadable. Beat to blend thoroughly.

Coconut Milk