For those who love tropical flavors and crave a touch of sunshine in their desserts, this pineapple cupcake recipe is a dream come true. Featuring juicy pineapple, fluffy cupcakes, and a touch of caramel goodness from brown sugar, these pineapple cupcakes are the perfect balance of tropical sweetness. Whether you’re reminiscing about a beach vacation or just want to bring some warmth into a chilly day, these pineapple cupcakes will transport you straight to paradise.
Embedded in these pineapple cupcakes is an age-old love story between the lushness of pineapples and the subtle undertones of rum and vanilla. The burst of tanginess from the pineapples perfectly complements the richness of the buttery cupcake base, while the hint of rum adds an unexpected yet welcome depth of flavor. Topping it with pineapple buttercream makes it even better, but the real surprise is what is underneath. Little small chunks of pineapple are ready to eat with every bite.
Why You’ll Love These pineapple cupcakes with pineapple frosting
- A Winning Flavor Combination. From the bits of pineapple to the deep molasses flavor of brown sugar, and the creamy goodness of a pineapple-flavored frosting, these cupcakes deliver!
- Easy to Make. It looks stunning but is way easier to make than you would think. Not necessarily quick, but definitely a baking recipe any level cook can conquer.
- Upside-Down Cake Vibes: If you’re a fan of the classic pineapple upside-down cake, these cupcakes give you all those flavors in a bite-sized treat.
- Stunning Presentation with Minimal Effort: Topping these cupcakes with a dehydrated pineapple ring adds a gorgeous, rustic touch and elevates the look with minimal effort. Plus, it’s an edible decoration that adds an extra layer of pineapple goodness.
Ingredients to Make Pineapple Cupcakes
This cupcake recipe uses mostly baking staples along with a few additional, yet easy-to-find, ingredients to give them the classic flavors you expect from a pineapple cake recipe.
- Fat: The cupcake batter uses a combination of vegetable oil and unsalted butter to create a rich, moist base. You will also need unsalted butter for the frosting. It’s best to use unsalted butter when baking so you have more control over the sodium.
- Sugar: Use granulated sugar to sweeten the pineapple cupcakes, while confectioner’s sugar is best for the frosting. It dissolves much more easily, making for a silky, smooth frosting.
- Eggs: Use large eggs and make sure they’re at room temperature before you start mixing.
- All-purpose flour: Use your favorite brand.
- Leavening: I prefer to use a combination of baking powder and baking soda to give these cupcakes the perfect amount of lift.
- Sour cream: My secret to creating cakes and cupcakes that have the perfect texture.
- Milk: I’m using whole milk but you can also use another milk if you prefer.
- Vanilla extract: Make sure you are using pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Rum: Just a touch is used for flavoring the cupcakes. You can also use rum extract or replace it with more vanilla extract.
- Pineapple bottom: A combination of unsalted butter, brown sugar, and crushed pineapple give these pineapple cupcakes their signature fruit bottom.
- Cream cheese: Adds a delicious tang to the creamy buttery pineapple frosting.
- Pineapple juice: You only need a few tablespoons so simply reserve the juice from the pineapple used in the cupcakes!
How to Make Pineapple Cupcakes
- Combine the butter, oil, and sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on high speed.
- Beat until the mixture is very pale and fluffy. This process will take about 4 minutes.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix them into the sugar on medium speed. Make sure to combine well after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce the speed of your mixer to low and slowly add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sour cream, milk, vanilla, and rum. Mix again just until combined.
- Spoon a teaspoon of melted butter into the bottom of each cupcake liner along with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a teaspoon of crushed pineapple. Make sure to spread it out over the bottom of the whole liner.
- Add the cake batter to each liner on top of the pineapple.
PRO TIP: Use an ice cream scoop to easily transfer the cake batter to the cupcake liners and only fill up three-quarters of the way full.
- Bake the cupcakes until they are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes and then move them to a rack to finish cooling.
- To make the frosting, place the butter, cream cheese, and confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on high for 2 minutes.
- Add the crushed pineapple, vanilla extract, and pineapple juice in small amounts to the butter and sugar mixture, making sure the frosting isn’t too loose. Mix together until the frosting is thickened and fluffy.
- Frost each cupcake once it’s completely cool and enjoy!
Tips for Making the Best Pineapple Cupcakes
- Don’t overmix. I can’t overstate the importance of not mixing too much. Mixing causes the gluten to form too much and leads to a tough cake.
- Use an ice cream scoop. The cleanest and easiest way to transfer the cake batter to the cupcake pan is by using an ice cream scoop. If you don’t have one, use a measuring cup instead.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before adding the frosting. If they are too hot the frosting may melt.
- Use cupcake liners. This will keep the pineapple mixture from sticking but also keep it connected to the cupcake so you enjoy the sugary, sweetness of pineapple in each bite.
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Add a maraschino cherry on top. This will complete the traditional look!
- Sprinkle with a bit of coconut. These pineapple cupcakes have a hint of tropical flavor so a bit of coconut on top works great.
- Use fresh pineapple. If you prefer to use fresh pineapple you will need to coarsely chop it in a food processor to give it a similar consistency to the crushed pineapple and drain off the excess juice before adding it to the cake. You will need about a two-thirds cup of pineapple for the pineapple topping and frosting.
Dehydrated Pineapple Flower Toppers:
- Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to its lowest temperature setting, typically around 200°F (95°C).
- Prepare the Pineapple: Peel the pineapple and remove the eyes. Using a sharp knife, slice the pineapple into very thin rings.
- Shape into Flowers: Gently press each thinly sliced pineapple ring into the wells of a muffin tin, molding them to take on a flower-like shape.
- Dry in the Oven: Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven. Allow the pineapple rings to dry for about 3-4 hours, or until they are dehydrated but still pliable. Check them occasionally to ensure they don’t become too brittle.
- Cool and Store: Once done, remove the pineapple flowers from the oven and let them cool. They will become more rigid as they cool. If you’re not using them immediately, store them in an airtight container until needed.
- Top Your Cupcakes: Once your pineapple cupcakes are frosted, gently place a pineapple flower on top of each for a beautiful, tropical touch!
What to Serve with Pineapple Cupcakes
- These cupcakes are perfect for birthday parties and bridal parties along with this easy fruit punch or rainbow sherbet punch!
- Add them to your favorite summer get-togethers! They’re a terrific end to a fish fry with southern hush puppies.
- They’re perfect for a weekend or Mother’s Day brunch with this chorizo breakfast skillet.
- For even more decadence serve them up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or strawberry ice cream and some homemade caramel sauce.
How to Store Pineapple Cupcakes
Store your cupcakes in an airtight container in a single layer for the best results. You can leave them at room temperature for up to one day but you should refrigerate them after that time.
How long will pineapple cupcakes last in the fridge?
They are best enjoyed freshly made but you can store them in the fridge for up to four days.
Can I freeze pineapple cupcakes?
Yes, you can definitely freeze them with or without frosting! Wrap the cupcakes in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container. Depending on how long you plan to freeze them you may want to double wrap in foil or place them in a container to prevent freezer burn. They will last up to three months when properly stored.
When you’re ready to enjoy place the cupcakes in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
First off, these cupcakes have a moist bottom because of the pineapple, but they shouldn’t be soggy. The most likely cause of soggy cupcakes is that the crushed pineapple used in the bottom of the cupcake liner wasn’t drained well.
Sure thing! You can use a store-bought vanilla frosting and mix in the pineapple and juice to give it a hint of pineapple flavor. You can also skip the frosting and simply top the cupcakes with a dollop of whipped cream.
These Pineapple Cupcakes offer a delightful tropical twist on a classic favorite. From caramelized pineapple to the moist tender cake, they are a must-try treat.
More Cupcake Recipes
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
- Blackberry Limeade Cupcakes
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Gingerbread Cupcakes
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- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ¼ cup sour cream room temperature
- ⅓ cup whole milk or another milk of your choice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rum or pineapple extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 8.25 ounces crushed pineapple drained (save juice)
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons pineapple juice
For The Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place rack to middle position. Place cupcake liners in two 12-cup muffin pans. (You will need four more so you can wait until a batch of cupcakes bake before lining with the remaining ones.)
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix butter, oil, and sugar on high speed, until very pale and fluffy, about 4minutes. Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Reduce speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time combining well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add sifted dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Lastly, add sour cream, milk, vanilla, and rum. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix until just combined. Turn off mixer.
- Spoon 1 teaspoon of melted butter into the bottom of each liner. Top butter with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Finally spoon 1 teaspoon of crushed pineapple over brown sugar and spread out on bottom of liner.
- Using an ice cream scoop, add cake batter to each liner over the pineapple. The liner should be three-quarters full.
- Bake until light golden brown, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes come out clean, about 18-20 minutes.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
For The Pineapple Frosting
- While cupcakes cool, place butter, cream cheese, and confectioner’s sugar in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Mix on high for 2 minutes.
- Next, add crushed pineapple, vanilla extract, and pineapple juice in small amounts to frosting, making sure the frosting isn’t too loose. Mix until thickened and fluffy.
- Frost each cupcake once it’s completely cool and enjoy!