Pina Colada Cupcakes.

Have your piña colada and eat it too! These extra moist pineapple coconut cupcakes will make everyday seem like a trip to the beach. 

Pina Colada Cupcakes - moist pineapple coconut cupcakes topped with coconut frosting. Tastes like your favorite tropical cocktail!

Today’s recipe was inspired by one of my favorite “activities.” A beach, a book, a piña colada, and an impossibly blue sky. Pure contentment right there. Though today’s piña colada cupcakes don’t have any alcohol in them, I’m not stopping you from serving them with a beachy alcoholic beverage. No judging here!

I’m all about summer these days in my kitchen. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a little over the cold weather. Winter was sooo last month. Bring on the flips!

Pina Colada Cupcakes - moist pineapple coconut cupcakes topped with coconut frosting. Tastes like your favorite tropical cocktail!

If you have an hour or two to spare, use it wisely and make these cupcakes. They’re a tropical-tasting medley of pineapple and coconut flavors, all mixed into my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. One bite will instantly brighten your mood. Since no one stops at just 1 bite of a cupcake, just think what the entire cupcake will do.

Happiness in a cupcake wrapper.

I was inspired to make these cupcakes last week after we finished booking our trip to Mexico. Kevin and I are headed there at the end of this month for Kristen & Seth’s wedding. Riviera Maya to be exact. Have you ever been there? 5 days of sunshine, flip flops, and wedding festivities. I’m so excited for their wedding, pink sunsets, turquoise water, some great food, and of course – the fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. Always umbrellas.

Pina Colada Cupcakes - moist pineapple coconut cupcakes topped with coconut frosting. Tastes like your favorite tropical cocktail!

Today’s cupcakes are an upgraded version of my favorite cupcake recipe. Still keeping that brilliant vanilla flavor, I amped things up a bit and added the flavors of sweet pineapple and coconut. Making them is about as easy as a walk on the beach.

I used nearly all brown sugar in these cupcakes. Brown sugar + pineapple is exactly what I love about my Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, so the swap from white to brown sugar here was a no brainer. You’ll love how much flavor the brown sugar brings.

A couple things you’ll need that you may not already have: 100% pineapple juice and coconut milk. I use full-fat canned coconut milk in this recipe and highly suggest you do the same. This coconut milk (pictured above) is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a coconut. And it has a high oil content. It makes the cupcakes SO moist. The moistest cupcakes I’ve ever made.

Coconut milk and coconut cream are not the same items. Coconut milk is 1 part water simmered down with 1 part coconut pulp. Coconut cream is 1 part water and 4 parts coconut pulp. Coconut cream is much thicker – I’ve never attempted this recipe with coconut cream. Stick to coconut milk. More information about coconut milk can be found in my recipe notes at the bottom.

Pina Colada Cupcakes - moist pineapple coconut cupcakes topped with coconut frosting. Tastes like your favorite tropical cocktail!

The frosting I use for these piña colada cupcakes starts with my ordinary vanilla frosting recipe. The same vanilla frosting I use to top my cakes, cupcakes, and even cookies. If you’re looking for a go-to vanilla frosting, this recipe is it.

To amp up the flavor, I add a touch of coconut extract. Coconut extract can be found in the baking aisle in your grocery store with the vanilla extract and spices. There’s no way around the coconut extract unless you want to compromise the coconut taste or texture of the frosting. If you can’t find coconut extract, simply use a little extra vanilla.

This coconut frosting is ultra thick and creamy, perfect for piping and slathering on top of the pineapple coconut cupcakes. So rich, velvety, and buttery.

Ultra Creamy Coconut Frosting - I love this frosting on chocolate, vanilla, or even pineapple cupcakes!

May I suggest topping a spoonful of this creamy coconut frosting with mini chocolate chips? Or slather it on my favorite homemade chocolate cupcakes. Go ahead, indulge.

These cupcakes are certainly sweet, just like typical piña colada cocktails. I always like to add a pinch of salt to my frosting to offset some of the sweetness. Works like a charm. If you want a lighter frosting, try a simple whipped cream flavored with a drop of coconut extract. Or here’s a tasty strawberry whipped cream recipe if you’re interested as well.

(Add a splash of rum if you’re feeling jazzy!)

Pina Colada Cupcakes - moist pineapple coconut cupcakes topped with coconut frosting. Tastes like your favorite tropical cocktail!

Since there’s no alcohol in these piña coladas, they’re the perfect tropical treat to share with little bakers. They can help decorating the frosting with coconut – oh gosh, please do this over the sink.  I ended up with coconut pieces all over my kitchen floor and Jude jumped at the opportunity to help clean. He didn’t get to any in time, don’t worry.


(Blue straws used as decoration are from Sweets and Treats Boutique.)

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Piña Colada Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes, plus cooling

Print Recipe

Super-moist pineapple coconut cupcakes topped with creamy smooth coconut frosting. Decorate each cupcake with a sprinkle of coconut (toasted or not), a slice of pineapple, and a cherry on top. Have your piña colada and eat it too!


  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, room temperature preferred
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) pineapple juice1
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) full fat coconut milk2
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Coconut Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream or half-and-half3
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk in egg, pineapple juice, coconut milk, and vanilla extract until combined.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Turn mixer off and add confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla, and coconut extracts. Mix on low for 1 minute then increase to high speed and beat for 3-4 full minutes. Add more confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (I usually add 1/4 teaspoon). Frost cooled cupcakes. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake. I used a Wilton #12 piping tip. Decorate cupcakes with coconut, pineapple slices, and/or a cherry.
  5. Leftover cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 4.
  6. Make ahead tip: Prepare cupcakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and the frosting covered tightly in the refrigerator. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.

Additional Notes:

  1. Use 100% pineapple juice (not syrup). You can freeze leftover pineapple juice and thaw overnight in the refrigerator to make another batch!
  2. Note on coconut milk: I used 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk. I suggest using full-fat if you can for the moistest, richest taste and texture. The brand I used is pictured above in this post and was purchased at my regular grocery store in the international foods aisle. Do not use coconut cream or cream of coconut. You can always freeze leftover coconut milk and thaw overnight in the refrigerator to make another batch.
  3. Feel free to use coconut milk in the frosting instead of the heavy cream/half-and-half. I do not suggest using milk because you will lose a lot of its creamy texture.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

See more cupcake ideas, like raspberry lemon, s’mores, strawberry, pumpkin, and peppermint mocha. Or try my Pineapple Upside Down Cake next!

Here is my favorite recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!



Pina Colada Cupcakes with Creamy Coconut Frosting-- one of my all-time favorites!

142 Responses to “Pina Colada Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Jenniferposted April 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Sally! Love your blog! Everything I’ve made from it has been fabulous. If I were to double this recipe, do you think it would work as a 9″ round layer cake? 2 or 3 layers? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on April 9th, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Jennifer! You don’t have to double this recipe for a cake in a 9-inch pan. It will fit just fine. About 30-35 minutes bake time. It will be quite tall – if you want to make a double layer cake, you’ll have to double the recipe and fill the cake pans only 2/3 of the way full and use leftover batter for cupcakes.


      • Jenniferreplied on April 9th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

        Thanks so much for your quick reply! I really appreciate it. I’ve been making a cake for each of my co-workers’ birthdays and I think this one would be perfect for the next birthday girl! Thanks again!

  2. #
    Rossanaposted April 13, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Sally,
    Could only find imitation coconut extract help! Will that work, found everything else.


    • Sallyreplied on April 14th, 2014 at 5:31 am

      That would be fine. Enjoy!


      • Rossanareplied on April 14th, 2014 at 10:00 am

        Thank you. You’re the best and so are all your recipees. My family is going through a tough time and I bake something of yours almost everyday and it brings everyone to life. Baking has helped me ( sounds crazy ) but I’m sure you understand. I hope you become huge , there is beauty in simplicity and that is in all your recipees.

  3. #
    Shannonposted April 17, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I made these last night and they came out wonderful! When the first batch came out of the oven I knew I had to double up. One batch of batter made 16 cupcakes for me, and I was able to stretch one batch of the frosting to cover all 32 of the finished product. Your recipe is spot on, but I am a coconut fiend so my only change was to add about a half cup of shredded sweetened coconut to the batter to really get that flavor and texture. When I went to make the frosting I realized I was out of half and half so I used coconut milk instead and the result was creamy and perfect! You were right about using brown sugar in the batter–it was a lovely accompaniment to the pineapple flavor. I also roasted the pineapple slices with a little brown sugar and butter before garnishing the cupcakes to give them a caramelized flavor. Thanks so much for posting; this recipe is a keeper!


    • Sallyreplied on April 17th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Oh Shannon, your version of these cupcakes sounds incredible!! Roasting the pineapple for garnish is brilliant. I’m trying that next time! So happy you enjoyed them.


  4. #
    JessicAposted April 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Made these yesterday for Easter, what a big hit, thank you for a great recipe. I toasted coconut for the garnish, added sweetened coconut to the batter (just a handful), and a little extra coconut extract to the frosting. Will be making again for sure.

    I am though one of those people that only had cream of coconut on hand.. I doubled the recipe to make 24 cupcakes.. so I used 3/4 cup of the cream of coconut whisked with 1/4 cup water.. and had no problems at all. The cake was super moist and perfect.


  5. #
    Gayatriposted April 28, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Thank you so so so much for this recipe, Sally! I turned it into pina colada muffins and they just blew my mind. Yet to try a recipe of yours that hasn’t turned out great :)


  6. #
    Emilyposted May 6, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    These are awesome! I made them with gluten free flour and they turned out great. I was a little disappointed that the cupcake tasted more like a vanilla one though than like coconut or pineapple. I also added a lot more coconut extract to the icing.


  7. #
    Karynposted May 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I made these today for Mother’s Day. They are A-MAZ-ING! I added some flaked coconut directly in with the frosting. A total hit!


    • Sallyreplied on May 11th, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Yum! Now that sounds pretty good. Thanks for reporting back Karyn!


  8. #
    Kimposted June 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Made these today and all I can say is WOW!!! Simply delicious. Thank you for sharing with all of us :)


  9. #
    Audreeposted June 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Sally,
    Is it possible to make this into a three-layer 9-inch cake?


    • Sallyreplied on June 11th, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Definitely. Double the recipe to fit into 3 9-inch cake pans. The layers will take about 25 minutes (give or take). Enjoy!


  10. #
    Dianaposted June 15, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Hi, this recipe is great.
    I just wanted to ask if you could you show the measuring cup?
    Please, it would be very helpfull.
    Have a good day!


  11. #
    Joannaposted June 29, 2014 at 9:17 am

    This recipe was DELICIOUS! Huge hit at a party I had. Everyone loved them!


  12. #
    Cheleneposted June 30, 2014 at 8:17 am

    These are so cute! I made these tonight and absolutely loved the frosting–it had a real coconut flavor, but I thought the actual cake part need something more. Do you think substituting 1 tsp vanilla for coconut flavoring would work?
    I love your blog by the way and have your cookbook :)


    • Sallyreplied on June 30th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Hey Chelene! Yes, that would be just fine in the cupcake batter. Glad you have my cookbook and enjoy my blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes you’ve made!


  13. #
    Andrea Larsonposted July 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Made these for a luau party last night and they were so dense and delicious! The coconut milk and coconut extract took these to the next level! Thanks!


  14. #
    Carlineposted July 13, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    oh my goodness, these are to die for! I made them this Saturday morning, and here it in Sunday evening, and they are all gone! Everybody LOVED them! Have you ever tried a pineapple upside down cupcake recipe?!


  15. #
    Neetuposted July 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Sally! What an awesome site, I’m sooo glad that I stumbled upon it! Will definitely be trying out these cupocakes, if possible tonite itsellf! Just so in love with them! I have already liked u on facebook, do chk out my website and my facebook page and like them, am sure u’ll find sumthing u enjoy!



  16. #
    Sara Australiaposted August 9, 2014 at 1:05 am

    These are AMAZING… and easy to make. So nice to have something different.


  17. #
    Sandraposted August 18, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Hi! I made those cupcakes yesterday and they tasted really good. The only thing that was a bit off was the texture… is it supose to be dense? I bake cupcakes all the time but for some reason the cake part was really dense…
    I followed your instructions step by step and my question is when you mix all the ingredients do you use a mixer? with paddle attachment? ( when you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients). Hope you can answer my question. Thank u!


    • Sallyreplied on August 19th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Sandra! I’m so sorry you found these to be dense. I usually mix the ingredients by hand, not a mixer. Did you use a mixer? You can try using one if you did not. And only mix until *just* combined. Also, you can try reducing the flour ever so slightly OR use cake flour instead – producing a fluffier, softer cupcake.


  18. #
    Deannaposted August 23, 2014 at 1:59 am

    I doubled this recipe to make 24 cupcakes. I find that they have a rich buttery flavoury with a slight, VERY subtle coconut and pineapple essence. I think the butter over powered the coconut and pineapple flavour. I used pure vanilla extract and maybe that overpowered the flavours of this cupcake also? I was expecting more of a coconut and pineapple flavour.


    • Sallyreplied on August 23rd, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Deanna – how about adding shredded coconut to the batter? OR replace coconut milk in the batter with pineapple juice. And then add coconut extract to the batter.


  19. #
    Jessposted August 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    This may be the most delicious frosting I have ever tasted. It is creamy and has an undeniable coconut flavor. My cupcakes were a bit dry by themselves, but noone noticed with all that delectable frosting on them. Thanks for this recipe! I will be making them again and again.


  20. #
    Erinposted September 23, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I finally made these the other day, and oh my gosh Sally they are so delicious! I think I could’ve eaten that frosting all day! so good! Plus it’s makes it seem like it’s still summer, even though it was 50 degrees out yesterday!


    • Sallyreplied on September 23rd, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Love love this frosting Erin! Thanks for reporting back. And making these on a colder day. 😉


  21. #
    Mahaposted October 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Hey Sally,

    Who doesn’t love pina colada!!!

    Unfortunately I came across another pina colada cupcake recipe that I tried out a while ago. Unhappy is one word to sum up my experience. Followed it step to step. Yet something went wrong!

    Love your recipe more !! I have a question though. First I want to try making only 6 cupcakes. So can I still add one egg when I am halving the quantities?

    Can’t wait to try it :)


    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Maha, I truly don’t recommend halving a cupcake recipe calling for 1 egg. The cupcake’s texture and taste are always a little off. However, you can try it. I suggest cracking an egg, beating it, and then using half of it from there. OR you can just follow the recipe as written and freeze the remaining 6 for up to 2-3 months.


  22. #
    janetposted October 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    These sound delicious!! Question: Can you put rum in the batter as well as the icing? Not too much to overpower, but to make them for adults?


    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Absolutely, Janet. That would be so good. Play around with the amount; I’m unsure what the next amount would be without testing it myself.


  23. #
    Brandiposted November 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Just made these for my co-workers and they adored them! The frosting, I thought, was a little too sweet and didn’t taste coconut-y enough, so I added a little bit more coconut extract and it was perfect!

    Thanks for the recipe :)


  24. #
    lisaposted February 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Hi sally would it be ok to recplace the pine juice with coconut milk and add some shredded coconut for a coconut cupcake?


    • Sallyreplied on February 10th, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      That should be just fine! Enjoy Lisa


      • lisareplied on February 10th, 2015 at 5:47 pm

        Thanks sally love all of your recipes

  25. #
    Isabelleposted February 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    This recipe was AWESOME! I used it to make a pineapple shaped cupcake cake for a cupcake deco competition. I won 1st place, a lot due to flavor! Loved this recipe! Thanks so much 😀


  26. #
    Nicoleposted March 7, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I have this can of crushed pineapple– Think it would weigh the batter down? Or just all sink to the bottom? Should I reduce other liquids, even if I drain it? I’ve never added fruit to the cake itself…
    Thanks for your thoughts!! Looking forward to trying the recipe tomorrow!


    • Sallyreplied on March 8th, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Nicole, you can add the crushed pineapple. Maybe not the whole can. Go with half for now and add more if you decide to make them a 2nd time. I suggest reducing the pineapple juice down to 1/4 cup. I’ve never tried them this way, so I cannot be certain of the result.


  27. #
    Mariaposted April 4, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Hi Sally,
    Just made two batches of these cupcakes. They are very moist and delicious. I am really thankful I found your site. This is the third recipe that I have tried from your cupcakes section (chocolate salted caramel and lemon raspberry was delicious!)
    I wanted to ask if I want to increase the pineapple taste, can I core the cupcake and maybe add some reduced crushed pineapple inside? Do you think this could work?



    • Sallyreplied on April 4th, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks for reporting back, Maria! Your idea for adding crushed pineapple in the centers of the cupcakes sounds like such a great idea! Let me know if you try it.


  28. #
    mas712posted May 8, 2015 at 10:51 am

    How many eggs?


  29. #
    Aprilposted May 18, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Ok these cupcakes are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! So moist and yummy! Found some pinnapple coconut jubes at the bulk barn, topped the cupcake with coconut a candy,a cherry and a few umbrellas! 


  30. #
    Loriposted May 25, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I Love the recipe and how it makes a more dense cupcake. For adult, I spoon malibu rum over the tops right when i take it out of the oven – about 1/2 shot each :).  It soaks in then i frost them.  


  31. #
    Christyposted May 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

    been looking for a great pineapple or coconut cake recipe to use for our upcoming wedding cake. This recipe sounds exactly like what we’ve been wanting. What’s the best way to convert from a cupcake recipe to cake recipe? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on May 26th, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      This recipe yields a thick single layer cake. I recommend a 9-inch springform pan (the cake is quite tall) and bake for about 30-35 minutes.


  32. #
    Aubreyposted July 10, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Hi! I love your Very Vanilla Cupcake recipe and use it often, and I’m wanting to try this recipe but wondering if I could switch out the pineapple juice for lime juice to make a coconut-lime cupcake! Would it work?


    • Sallyreplied on July 11th, 2015 at 9:52 am

      That’s definitely something to try. Lime juice is quite potent, so how about 4 Tbsp lime juice and increasing the coconut milk to 3/4 cup.


  33. #
    ChocolateSparkleposted July 28, 2015 at 12:02 am

    i can’t have dairy so do you think I can use coconut cream as an alternative to heavy cream? If not could you please give me suggestions. 


  34. #
    Madelyn Maldonadoposted August 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Sally, If I was to make the Piña Colada Cupcake recipe and convert it for a Cake, do I need to do anything different to the recepie ? Thank you


    • Sallyreplied on August 3rd, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Nope! Just bake in a 9×2 cake pan.


  35. #
    Vikki Oakposted August 15, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Instead of buying coconut extract for the frosting, (considering the recipe only calls for 1/2 tsp.) do you think I’d still get the flavor if I used coconut milk in place of the heavy cream? Thanks!


  36. #
    Cammyposted August 20, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Sally 
    I stumbled apon your website a when I was looking for blueberry muffins and they turned out really good. Let me tell you something, this has to be one of the best websites I have been on. You always have really good recipes and these cupcakes were like my favorite. 
    The frosting has to be one of my favorite by far 
    Anyway I just wanted to comment


    • Sallyreplied on August 21st, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Thanks so much Cammy!


  37. #
    Jeroniqueposted November 17, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Do you think that I can add coconut extcrat instead of vanilla? To add more coconut flavor?  Then brush them with pineapple rum after they come out the oven? 


    • Sallyreplied on November 18th, 2015 at 10:24 am



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