Pineapple: Pina Colada Cupcakes

DSC_1579Pineapples are completely delicious. The only form of pineapple I can’t stand is a pineapple in the form of a pina colada drink. The drink holds so much promise of deliciousness – coconut, pineapple, alcohol… it should be delicious. But it just isn’t. At all. These cupcakes however bring together all those elements in a supremely delicious form (sans alcohol but with plenty of delicious butter… mmmmmm) This is a perfect summery treat to serve as a dessert with coffee.

DSC_1568Ingredients:

120g plain flour

140g caster sugar

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter softened

120ml coconut milk

0.5 teaspoons coconut extract (optional)*

0.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

4 tinned pineapple rings chopped into small pieces

Icing:

250g icing sugar sifted

80g unsalted softened butter

25ml coconut milk

0.5 teaspoons coconut extract (optional)*

few drops yellow food colouring (optional)

fresh grated coconut or desiccated coconut to decorate (I used fresh but appreciate it’s a pain to crack it open, get the fresh stuff out and grate it when the dried is a perfectly good alternative)

*I like things very coconutty and I felt that the coconut milk did give a nice subtle coconut flavour – but I wanted it stronger so I added the coconut essence. If you aren’t mad keen on coconut then leave this out.

DSC_1573

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170 celsius.

2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a normal electric beater, and beat on a slow speed until everything is combined and you have a nice sandy consistency.

3. Mix the coconut milk, vanilla extract and coconut essence in a separate bowl. Beat into the flour mixture on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg and beat well scraping any mixture form the side of the bowl.

4. Divide the chopped pineapple between the paper cases. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until it is two thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes until light golden and spring back when touched. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in a tray before turning out on a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.

5. To make the icing beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment, or beat with an electric beater, on medium slow until the mixture comes together and is well combined (trust me – this will happen).

6. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the coconut milk and essence. Once all the liquid has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to a high speed and continue beating until the mixture turns very white, light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Then mix the fresh or desiccated coconut through and add the colouring to reach the desired shade.

7. When the cupcakes are cold spoon the icing on the top of the cupcake. I first tried to pipe the icing on – but the coconut clogged up the icing nozzle – so if you want to do anything vaguely fancy – leave the coconut out of the icing.

DSC_1581