Do you care for a tropical break? Piña Colada Cupcakes

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August 16, 1954 it must have been a very hot day in Puerto Rico…In San Juan at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Ramón “Monchito” Marrero was requested by the hotel management to mix a new signature drink that would please, delight and excite their rather posh clients. Monchito accepted the challenge, and after three months of intense trying, blending and shaking (what a shame, he had to drink all the imperfect ones…), the first Piña Colada was born.

Do you care for a tropical break? If so, close you eyes and eat this cupcake. However, someone needs to make it first! And given that I can not invite all of you thirsty readers into my home, here is how I’ve made it…

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Ingredients

Cupcakes
120 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
70 g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons coconut rum
300 g (about 1 cup) cream of coconut
150 finely chopped fresh pineapple
250 g self-raising flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
115 g cream cheese
115 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
100 g cup cream of coconut
1 tbsp coconut rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Preparation

Preheat oven to 180C. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
To make the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the rum and then the cream of coconut. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two additions, beating until just incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the pineapple. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners (about 75 g each), filling each only about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes, than brush with coconut rum before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until well combined, then add the cream of coconut, rum and vanilla extract. Cover the cupcakes with the frosting and decoration of choice. Please note that if you want to pipe this frosting you have to let it rest in an airtight container in the fridge to firm. Maraschino cherry, small pineapple wedge or tropical flowers are the most suitable designs.

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