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PIÑA COLADA CUPCAKES

PIÑA COLADA CUPCAKES

THE INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
1 box vanilla or yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup coconut rum
1/3 cup liquid Piña Colada drink mix
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. coconut extract
3 large eggs

FOR THE FILLING AND TOPPING:
3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup coconut rum
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp. meringue powder

FOR THE FROSTING:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 tbsp. meringue powder
1/3 cup liquid Piña Colada drink mix
4-1/2 cup powdered sugar

FOR THE GARNISH:
2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened
18 maraschino cherries, drained
18 pineapple slices

THE PROCESS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line your cupcake tins.
  2. Using a paddle attachment or traditional beaters, combine cake mix, butter, rum, drink mix, milk, and coconut extract at low to medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time and mix well before each addition. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and mix on high for an additional minute.
  3. Fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup batter (about 2/3 full). Bake for 16-18 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool 2-3 minutes in pan, then move to rack to cool completely.
  4. Keep your oven going at 350ºF and spread 1-1/2 cups of your sweetened coconut across a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, shaking the baking sheet (or mixing the coconut about with a spatula) every 2 minutes to avoid any burning. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sweetened coconut and repeat the process for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. At some point you'll want to drain and rinse your maraschino cherries, and slice up your pineapple. We prefer to do these steps while the cupcakes are still cooling.
  6. Once your cupcakes have cooled completely, use a knife or cupcake corer to remove the center of each cake.
  7. Add 3 cups heavy cream to your mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment or traditional beaters, whip your cream on medium speed until it thickens slightly. Add your coconut rum, powdered sugar, and meringue powder all at once. Mix on high speed until just fluffy (avoid over-whipping or the mixture will break).
  8. Using a piping bag fitted with a circular tip, fill each cupcake with your whipped cream. Place all remaining cream in separate bowl and set aside. Clean out your mixing bowl and get ready to make the frosting!
  9. Dissolve 2 tbsp of meringue powder in 1/3 cup liquid Piña Colada drink mix and set aside. Using a paddle attachment or traditional beaters, cream your butter. Add powdered sugar and Piña Colada mix a little at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of your bowl between each addition.
  10. Using a piping bag fitted with a circular tip, pipe a single-layer swirl of frosting onto each cupcake.
  11. Roll the sides of each cupcake in your toasted coconut or use your hands to pack the coconut onto the edge of the frosting.
  12. Using a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip (we used a Wilton 1M), pipe a bit of whipped cream on top of each cupcake.
  13. Finish with a cherry and a fresh slice of pineapple, and enjoy!
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