Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest Post: Sarah from Dash and a Pinch shares a recipe for Piña Colada Cupcakes

Hey everybody! My name is Sarah, and I blog over at Last August, a mutual friend of ours heard that I had started teaching myself to cook and was going to start a blog, and he suggested that Ashley and I talk. Well, almost a year later, and despite the fact we live in different states and have never met, she has been the best friend a blogger could have. We exchange recipes, photography tips, book recommendations, and even relationship advice :P

So when she asked me to write a guest blog post while she was on vacation in the Bahamas, I absolutely agreed. I thought long and hard about what to make, until I decided to live vicariously through her! Though I may not be on a beach right now, or swimming with manta rays at a deluxe resort, it doesn't mean I can't bring a taste of the Caribbean to my non-airconditioned house in Upstate NY!

For the Piña Colada Cupcakes you will need:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1/4 cup of milk

Heat oven to 350 and line 24 muffin cups with bright, tropical baking cups. Then, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat room temperature butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat for 2 minutes longer, then add eggs one at a time. Add the coconut and rum extracts. Drain a good amount of the pineapple juice (using a strainer helps). On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in the pineapple. 

Divide batter evenly between baking cups, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then carefully remove cupcakes and transfer to a cooling rack. 

For the piña colada buttercream frosting you will need:
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut 
Buttercream is always my go-to frosting, because it's so simple. I attempted to make a fluffy frosting with whipped egg whites, but since it was 90 degrees with 95% humidity, my egg whites refused to form stiff peaks. So I created a yummy buttercream instead!

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and powdered sugar on low speed. Add the extracts and 1 tablespoon of milk. Slowly add the remaining milk until you achieve the desired texture, which should be smooth and easily spread. 

I find that piping the frosting onto the cupcakes using a 1M star tip takes the least amount of time, and makes the cupcakes look nice. After they are frosted, gently dip the tops of the cupcakes into the shredded coconut. 

Soon, you too will feel like you're on a tropical vacation! My only notes are to make sure you leave a little bit of the pineapple juice, because if you drain it all the cupcakes will be too dry. You want them moist and fluffy and beachy! 

Serve the cupcakes with a little drink umbrella to make them even more festive. Or, use real rum in the cupcake and frosting recipe to give them a bit of a kick! It certainly wouldn't be the first time Ashley or I have baked with alcohol...

So instead of being jealous that Ashley is basking in the sun right now, or swimming with dolphins, or any other vacation activity that sounds a million times better than going to work on a Monday, do yourself a favor and bring the beach to you. 

Check out my blog, at, or like me on facebook! 

Side note: doing food photography with sand and shells was either my best idea, or my worst. On the one hand, I love the final pictures! On the other house is covered in sand. There is sand on my cupcakes. I repeat: sand on my cupcakes! 


  1. How jealous am I of Ashley right now for being in the Bahamas? So. Very. These cupcakes are helping though. I just need to get them in my belly!

  2. I was wondering if your cupcakes got all sandy from these photos (and where you were keeping all this sand). Regardless, the photos are very cute and the cupcakes look delicious!

  3. oh these pictures make me want to be on vacation- how fun!

  4. These look delectable! And so cute with the sand and shells! Nothing would stop me from eating them! Not even sand. I'm weird like that.

  5. Thanks everyone! I was just so excited to be part of her blog. She was a huge inspiration to me when I started out :)

    1. Aw shucks :) Thanks for posting while I was gone, these look fan-freaking-tastic!