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Patriotic Piña Colada Cupcakes

These Patriotic Piña Colada Cupcakes are the perfect 4th of July dessert! They start with boxed cake mix, which means they’re super easy!

side view of a pineapple cupcake in a blue and white striped wrapper

Pina Colada Cupcakes for the 4th of July

Summertime is here! I can’t believe July 4th is just over two weeks away! Is it me or is June flying by? I am loving these new Piña Colada cupcakes.

My favorite thing about these it the chunks of fresh pineapple mixed in. A few weeks ago, OXO sent me some of their new summer fruit tools to test out. One of them was a pineapple slicer and let me tell you, I am absolutely in love.

I love love love fresh pineapple, but it is expensive to buy pre-cut, and let’s face it, it’s a pain in the butt to try and cut one yourself. The OXO Pineapple slicer takes all the frustration out of it. It is so easy to use and creates the perfect pineapple circles in less than 5 minutes.

You can make these “virgin” cupcakes by omitting the rum. If you don’t have fresh pineapple, you can easily substitute it with a can of crushed pineapple but it’s best to drain the juices.

How to Cut a Pineapple with a Pineapple Corer

  1. Cut off the top of your pineapple down to the 1st, second or third line on the pineapple slicer.
  2. Place the center of the slicer over the center of the pineapple. Slowly press down and twist the slicer clockwise. As long as the pineapple is ripe, it doesn’t take a lot of strength to do this.
  3. Continue to twist until you reach the bottom of the pineapple. Slowly lift straight up.
  4. You can remove the rings by removing the top of the slicer and turning it upside down. Thanks OXO for sending me all of the wonderful tools!
in process shots on how to cut a pineapple

Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ok, back to these cupcakes. They are topped with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream and decorated with coconut, which is dyed with food coloring.

If you are going to make this frosting ahead of time, you can keep it in a glass or a grease-free container for up to three days in the refrigerator.  Since the butter content is high, it will become solid. You will want to allow a few hours for it to come to room temperature. Re-beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.

side view of a piña colada cupcake in a blue striped wrapper with more in the background

How to Color Shredded Coconut

To dye the coconut, place desired amount in a Ziploc bag, and add one or two drops of food coloring. I used Ameri color gels. Mix the color by pressing and shaking the bag. I place it on a paper plate and allow the coconut to dry for 15-20 minutes. If I have a rubber glove handy, I use a rubber glove to sprinkle on the cupcakes because the dye will make your fingertips turn colors!

side view of an unwrapped pina colada cupcake topped with frosting

Go out there and enjoy the summer! Cocktails may not be appropriate for all hours, but cupcakes are, so eat up!

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side view of a pina colada cupcakes with three more lined in the background

Piña Colada Cupcakes

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 22-24 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


These Patriotic Piña Colada Cupcakes are the perfect 4th of July dessert! They start with boxed cake mix, which means they’re super easy to whip up!


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 Box Vanilla cake mix
  • 4 Large egg whites
  • 1/3 C Oil
  • 1/2 C Buttermilk
  • 3/4 C Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Rum
  • 1 tsp Coconut extract
  • 1 C (6.5 oz) Pineapple, diced

For the Frosting:

  • 5 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat over to 350°.
  2. Combine cake mix with eggs, oil, buttermilk and sour cream. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until combined.
  3. Next add orange juice, rum, coconut extract and diced pineapple. Beat into cake on a low speed until combined.
  4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check after 12 minutes, and bake another 2-3 minutes until tops are golden or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Baking times will vary by oven.
  5. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

For the Frosting:

  1. Wipe down the inside of your stainless-steel bowl with vinegar to remove any grease. Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl with candy thermometer attached.
  2. Set the bowl over top of a pot with 1 ¼ cups of water covering the bottom. Place over medium heat.
  3. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture reaches 140°-160°  The sugar should be dissolved in the egg whites. You can test this by placing a drop on your fingertips and rubbing them together. The mixture should be completely smooth.
  4. Immediately place the mixing bowl on your stand. Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the eggs white on low for 2 minutes then increase to medium-high.
  5. Beat for another 5 minutes. At this point, your frosting should have turned white and the body of the meringue starts to form. Increase the mixing speed to high. It will start to look glossy as the peaks begin to form. Beat for another 3-5 minutes until the bottom of your bowl is cool to the touch and your meringue has stiff peaks.
  6. Turn your mixer down to medium-low. Slowly add your butter, 1 tbsp at a time. As you add more butter, the frosting might appear to have curdled and lost its body, but that’s ok. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Switch to the paddle attachment, add the vanilla extract and continue beating on medium-high speed until your frosting starts to have stiff peaks. Beat for about 3-5 minutes.

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41 thoughts on “Patriotic Piña Colada Cupcakes”

  1. These are gorgeous and delicious! Mine turned out very dense and took 3x as long as suggested to bake. I’m wondering what I did wrong. I think the ratio of dry to wet was too wet. Maybe I needed more cake mix…?? Any thoughts? Thank you!

    1. Avatar photo

      Hi Amy, I’m sorry to hear that. Here are some thoughts. Did you drain the pineapple before adding it? Maybe there were excess juices? 3 times longer to bake sounds like a lot. Did you pethaps overfill the liners? If you feel you need more dry mix, I would suggest adding a packet of vanilla pudding, the 3.4oz size. Did you use egg whites instead of the whole egg? One time I accidentally used 4 eggs instead of egg whites.

      1. I think maybe cutting back on the sour cream to 1/4 cup and not 3/4 cup🥰♥️♥️♥️

  2. Oh these look yummy. I think I will try them this year!! Hope you don’t mind if I share your link on my FB page. Thanks.

    1. Avatar photo

      Hi Andrea! Thanks for reaching out. It made 22-24 cupcakes. I have added this into the post. You should use a standard size muffin pan.

      1. Avatar photo

        oh yeah! Please let me know how it goes and of coarse, if you have questions, just shoot me an email.

      2. Avatar photo
        Sandy from Ft Worth

        Looks yummy, can you tell me what size icing tip you used to ice the cup cakes, thanks and i cant wait to bake these.

  3. Boy, that pineapple slicer seems to work like a charm! I have quite a bit of OXO products in my house and I love them. I don’t have the pineapple slicer, but I’m going to get one too. I agree, sliced stuff at the grocers is waaay to much for my pocketbook, so I mostly pass on it.
    You’re such a pro and an awesome baker that the baking and frosting of 300 plus goodies will be super easy for you! 😀
    Still, I’m sending you mega good luck!! Also remember to have fun!!
    Loving your Patriotic Pina Colada Cupcakes!

    1. Avatar photo

      You are so awesome Dalila! Thank you so much! If I can survive the weekend that would be amazing haha. You MUST get the pineapple slicer, it will change your world (of eating fruit that is)!

  4. Wow, that pineapple slicer looks amazing! Pina colada cupcakes sound delicious on a hot summer day. Thanks for sharing!

  5. These cupcakes are SO cute. How perfect for summer!! Good luck with the wedding, and with icing cupcakes in a hotel room!!

    1. Avatar photo

      Thanks Catey! Your wishes are needed! hahah. Thank fully my hotel room has a “full” kitchen and I was able to check it out a few months ago.

  6. These. Are. Beautiful. I haven’t used my pineapple slicer yet and I can’t wait to do it. And I love the dying of the coconut so, so cute! Sharing this one!

    1. Avatar photo

      Thanks Cathy. You will SERIOUSLY fall in love with the pineapple slicer. No longer will I ever pass on buying a pineapple because I don’t feel like cutting it!