Aloha Cupcakes

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling


1 dozen

Updated: Apr. 24, 2022
A friend asked me to make a coconut and pineapple cupcake for a gathering she was hosting. Everyone agreed that this beauty took them to the tropics. The macadamia nuts are completely optional (the friend happens to be allergic), and the cupcakes are still fantastic without them. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta


  • 1-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Whisk first 4 ingredients; set aside. Beat eggs and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute. Add oil and coconut extract; beat 1 minute more. Add half the flour mixture; beat on low speed. Combine coconut milk and vinegar. Add half to batter; beat just until combined. Beat in the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining coconut milk mixture just until smooth.
  2. Fill prepared cups two-thirds full. Bake until cupcakes are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched, 15-18 minutes (do not overbake). Cool on wire rack.
  3. For frosting, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time, adding finely chopped pineapple and pineapple juice after beating in 2 cups of sugar. Add additional confectioners' sugar and pineapple juice to reach desired consistency.
  4. Spoon frosting onto cupcakes. Top with toasted coconut and, if desired, chopped macadamia nuts.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Do not substitute all-purpose flour. Cake flour is so magical in a white cupcake!
  • No fresh pineapple? Use canned pineapple tidbits and juice instead.
  • For topping, toast 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut by heating over medium-high heat in a small skillet for 3-4 minutes. Watch it very carefully, as it will start to toast quickly once it gets going.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 frosted cupcake: 533 calories, 29g fat (11g saturated fat), 51mg cholesterol, 287mg sodium, 67g carbohydrate (55g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.