Guys! It’s March already!
I know that some of us are still buried under those freezing temperatures and snow drifts. It must be tiring. I commend you, fellow Americans. Stand fast. Eat warm things, sip hot soup, make lots of tea, and most importantly: use your oven!
I’m always toasty warm when I’m bustling around my kitchen. Maybe that’s why I like to hang out in there so much. I’m constantly complaining that I’m cold. I can’t even drink a glass of ice water without starting to shiver. Yes, I’m a wuss. But I’m also really happy in my kitchen so I’ll take it.
I do wish I could eat more ice cream without such extreme repercussions. The other day I had a chocolate milkshake and I was on the couch wrapped in a blanket for an hour before I stopped complaining in between my teeth clattering.
So what to do? Bake cupcakes! Really, what problem can cupcakes not help? Between a cup of tea, a good book, honest conversation, and cupcakes you can conquer any problem. And maybe a snuggle. Mmmm…talk about a happy place.
These cupcakes won’t just warm you up, they will spark a little hope in your tired soul. Winter will start melting soon, and then we can all sip those sunny sweet pina coladas and soak up the rays, enjoying the lazy summer days. I can hardly wait. I know my first California summer is going to be hot. I’m sure our air conditioning-less apartment will become miserable, but I can’t help but be excited.
Until we make it to spring, these cupcakes will tide us over. And how could they not? Rum, pineapple, and coconut in these cakes make them moist and soft. They last for days (if you can keep them around that long, that is) Filled with creamy coconut and pineapple preserves and frosted with pineapple cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are summer in your mouth. So let March come in like a lion, we’ll let it go out with cupcakes!
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter, soft
- 1½ cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup rum
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- ⅓ cup crushed pineapple
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup coconut
- 6 Tablespoons pineapple preserves, divided
- 3 Tablespoons cream or milk
- 6 Tablespoons soft butter
- 6 Tablespoons cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 Tablespoon rum
- Optional garnishes: toasted coconut and dried pineapple slices
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin tin with paper liners or grease and flour each of the wells.
- Combine coconut milk and rum in a small bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a standing mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each one. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts and mix. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the rum and milk mixture in three parts. Fold in pineapple and coconut.
- Fill the muffin tins ¾ full and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Cool completely before filling and frosting.
- For filling: Stir together 1 cup coconut, 3 Tablespoons of pineapple preserves, and 3 Tablespoons cream. Cutting a hole into each cupcake, scoop out the middles and fill with the coconut mixture.
- For the frosting: cream together cream cheese and butter. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp coconut extract, 1 Tablespoon of rum, and 3 Tablespoons of pineapple preserves. Frost each of the cupcakes and if desired roll in toasted coconut and top with dried pineapple pieces.