Makes: 18 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 22 minutes Idle Time: 1 hour Total Time: 2 hours
-1 box of Duncan Hines Vanilla Cake Mix (18.5 oz)
-½ cup light coconut milk (Thai Kitchen)
-2 egg whites + 1 whole egg
-½ cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or powdered
-1 small can of pineapple rings (8 oz before draining), drained
-½ cup reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
-1 stick of butter, room temperature
-½ cup – 1 cup powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
-½ tsp vanilla extract
-1 very small pinch of salt
-1 oz (1 individual bottle) coconut rum
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 cupcake tins with liners and spray them with cooking spray.
2. Mix the batter for the cupcakes according to package directions, substituting the eggs, coconut milk, and shredded coconut for the listed ingredients. Puree the pineapple so that it’s finely chopped. Fold that into the batter as well.
3. Cook the cupcakes according to package directions, 20-22 minutes, or until they come out clean with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
4. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream by whipping the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl until they are light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix carefully to combine so that you aren’t wearing a shirt of powdered sugar.
5. Add the coconut rum to the frosting as you are mixing it on low speed. It will not incorporate correctly unless the frosting is being whipped and the alcohol is drizzled in slowly. The moment it looks combined, stop mixing. Fold with a spatula if necessary, but do not over whip. It will cause the buttercream to separate.
6. Use a piping bag to frost the cupcakes in a simple, circle shape. It doesn’t have to be particularly beautiful because you will sprinkle coconut over the top next. You can see from my pictures that I don’t use a lot of buttercream. It’s very rich, so just a little goes a long way. Sprinkle each with coconut and gently turn the cupcakes upside down to remove the excess. Garnish each cupcake with a piece of dried pineapple before serving.
7. The cupcakes can be refrigerated for 3-4 days, but should be served at room temperature.