Phuket & Pina Colada Cupcakes

Two weeks ago, I spent a weekend in Phuket with dear friends. It was a great respite from the busy city touring I’d done in Hong Kong and Bangkok and the perfect way to end a trip to Southeast Asia.

We stayed in a villa at our resort — two bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen, living room, deck,

and private infinity pool with a view of the Andaman Sea.

We spent mornings at our pool, afternoons at the beach,

and evenings enjoying cocktails, delicious Thai Food, and one another’s company. It was stunningly beautiful and completely relaxing.

And what could be better than spending a weekend in paradise in a resort villa? Having room service deliver pina coladas to the private pool at your resort villa!

So when a stressful work week had me reminiscing about vacation, the thought of Pina Colada Cupcakes seemed like the perfect way to honor our time in Phuket.

The recipe is modified from others for pineapple coconut cake and coconut cream cheese frosting.

Yield: 18 Cupcakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. rum
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, strained, juice reserved
  • maraschino cherries
  • pineapple wedges
  • toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cupcake pans with liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add rum and cream of coconut. Mix until combined. Add dry ingredients, half at a time, mixing and scraping bowl between additions. Once flour is incorporated, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in crushed pineapple.
Use an ice-cream scoop to fill cupcake pans with batter until each is 3/4 full. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean (25-30 minutes). Remove and cool for 10 minutes. Pierce top of cupcakes with a fork and, using silicone brush, soak tops with reserved pineapple juice. Cool another 10 minutes, brush again, then cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled completely, pipe coconut cream cheese frosting onto each cupcake and garnish.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum 
In a stand mixer, blend butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla extract, coconut extract, and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
Add rum. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
Garnish edges with toasted coconut.
Skewer a pineapple chunk and maraschino cherry and insert into frosted cupcake.

3 responses

  1. Not sure what's more beautiful, the photos from Phuket or the cupcakes! Looks and sounds like paradise – so enjoyed reading this.

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