These super cute Pineapple Cupcakes are just the ticket for a tropical luau party! With each bite, you’ll taste not only pineapple but coconut and rum too (for non-drinking guests, you can simply leave out the rum). If you love Piña Coladas then you’ll love these scrumptious cupcakes!
I’ve got lots more Luau Party Food recipes for you to try out – right-click and open them in a new tab to read next!
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The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
These gorgeous cupcakes would be great for any tropical-themed party. I can just imagine a cake stand filled with these yellow frosted cupcakes sitting on a dessert table at a bridal shower!
And if you’re throwing a Hawaiian-style Luau, these are fun to make and serve to your guests! Or even to give as a party favor!
While the flavors of a Piña Colada cocktail go into these little cakes – coconut, pineapple, and rum – the rum is only brushed onto the baked cupcakes rather than used in the batter or frosting and can easily be left out so that non-drinkers and children can enjoy one of these pineapple treats.
I decided to call these Pineapple Cupcakes because they look like cute little pineapples! But regardless of their name, they are sweet and delicious and you will love them!
Ingredients Used In This Recipe
For your convenience, I’ve linked any specialized ingredients needed for this recipe to Amazon below.
- Box of Vanilla Cake Mix – plus the ingredients to make them (usually eggs, oil, and water). If you prefer to make cupcakes from scratch then check out the best vanilla cupcakes recipe here on my blog.
- Shredded Sweetened Coconut – this will be going inside the cupcake batter.
- Rum – adding the rum is optional. Why not use a pineapple rum such as Dead Man’s Fingers (UK Amazon link)
- Green Candy Melt Wafers – to make the pineapple leaf toppers
- Coconut Oil – used with the candy melts
- Vanilla Extract
- Yellow Gel Food Coloring
For my UK readers: When I go on vacation to the USA, I like to stock up on my favourite American food products and ingredients, so you’ll find them used in some of the recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog. Luckily, we can buy a lot of American ingredients online these days, and in supermarkets (check the World Foods aisle!) which is awesome! (Although sometimes the price can be on the high side…) When I use American ingredients in recipes that I share on my blog, I always aim to suggest British alternatives or include Amazon affiliate links to where you can buy them online.
Equipment used in this recipe
You are likely to have many standard cooking tools in your kitchen such as cupcake pans and a wire cooling rack, but I’ve added some Amazon links for your convenience should you need to use something specific for this recipe.
You can melt candy melts/candy wafers in the microwave or a double boiler, or if you plan on making lots of candy-covered treats in the future, I recommend investing in a candy melting pot (try this one if you’re in the UK, as the Wilton one is not available on Amazon.co.uk), as treat-making life is then so much easier!
You will also need a piping bag and star tip to pipe the frosting swirls on top of the cupcakes.
More Recipes Using Candy Melts
Candy Melt Wafers are such a fun ingredient to use in sweet treats, so here are some more recipes you might like to check out next:
I’ve got lots more fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties and celebrations for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
Melting Tips for Candy Melts Wafers
If you use the Wilton Candy Melting Pot, you can check out Wilton’s demo video on YouTube which is really helpful. They also give tips on how to melt candy melts in the microwave, as well as using the double boiler method.
The two most important things are
- Do not overheat – use an even melting temperature
- Do not add water – it makes the candy seize up and become unusable. Make sure the equipment used is completely dry, and avoid using utensils that retain moisture like a wooden spoon.
If you find that the candy is too thick, add vegetable shortening or (solid) coconut oil in 1 teaspoon increments, up to 1 tablespoon, and stir well.
Another reminder – do not add water. The very first time I used candy melts I managed to get water in the bowl and it was ruined. Learn from my mistakes! Additionally, do not use vegetable oil, butter, milk, or any other liquids as this will also make the candy seize up.
If you are using your microwave, test melt a small amount of candy melts first, to see how it works. You may need to adjust the temperature and time to suit your machine. Heat in 15-30 second increments, stirring the candy melts each time. They may not look melted, but they might have started melting from the inside. Stirring helps to distribute the heat.
How Do I Make Pineapple Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
Save my Pineapple Cupcakes Recipe tutorial video to your YouTube Cupcake Playlist so that it’s always there when you need it – don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel while you are there!
For the Cupcakes
- Vanilla cake mix plus ingredients to make it (usually eggs, water, and oil)
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- ¼ cup rum (optional)
For the Pineapple Leaf Toppers
- 2 cups green candy melts
- 2 tsp coconut oil
For the Frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened.
- 4 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 3-4 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp pineapple juice
- 3-4 drops yellow gel food coloring
- Preheat oven according to package instructions and place 24 cupcake liners into a cupcake pan.
- Prepare cake mix according to package instructions and fold in the shredded coconut.
- Use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for time directed on the box or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- If using rum, brush a coat of the liquor onto each cupcake while still warm.
- To make the pineapple leaf toppers, line a baking sheet with wax paper.
- Place the candy melts and coconut oil In a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until completely melted.
- Pour into a piping bag and pipe out pineapple-leaf shapes. Allow the leaves to set in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- Use an electric mixer to make the frosting. Place the butter, sugar, and milk on medium and gradually increase the speed to high.
- Add vanilla extract and pineapple juice and continue to mix. Mix in yellow food coloring. The frosting is ready to use once the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe swirls on top of each cupcake.
- Carefully peel the candy melt leaves and insert one into each cupcake. Enjoy!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 236mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 0gSugar: 40gProtein: 1g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Tropical Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Main Dish: Sweet & Spicy Hawaiian Chicken Recipe
- Side Salad: Tropical Island Rice
- Beverage: Totally Tropical Blue Hawaiian Cocktail
- Dessert: I know you’ve already got dessert, but here’s a Pina Colada Layer Cake that you might like to make too – just sayin’
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.