I had an “uh oh” moment, even though sitting proudly in front of me were the Pineapple Vanilla Rum Cupcakes and Double Coconut Buttercream frosting I had just made. Actually, it was more along the lines of “uh oh, now what? how do I make them look all fancy like I see every day on food blogs?”
Initially, I looked for a piping bag that I knew I didn’t own, but thought would miraculously appear in a drawer. Not surprisingly, that did not happen. Then, I opted for the plastic baggie method, stuffed some frosting in the baggie, cut a little hole and proceeded to “decorate” which produced nothing like I had envisioned in my mind. I slowly put down my baggie and took a deep breath. I then reminded myself that these cupcakes were for a Hawaiian-themed birthday party amongst friends who probably don’t care as much about the visual presentation as I do. As much as I wanted them to look as good as they tasted, I was going to have to take the rustic route. So with that said, out came the trusty back of the spoon and a generous slathering of the frosting to make up for any imperfections.
As I was performing the necessart samplings, the cupcakes were indeed tropical with little bursts of pineapple and the buttercream smelled and tasted just like one of my roadside stops in Maui with its coconut milk and shredded coconut.
As much as I wanted them to look as good as they tasted, I would have to take comfort and embrace that they had the components of Hawaii, even if they didn’t measure up aesthetically. However, they fit in perfectly among the awesome collection of Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, leis and Beach Boys music and bottom line, everyone loved them!
So with my humbling decorating story now over and a yet another new-found appreciation for the skill involved in making people eat with their eyes first, I’d like to give a shout-out to some of the talented folks who make baking look so ridiculously easy. I know it’s not a list of all the amazing people out there, but that list would go on forever if I tried.
Whether it’s cupcakes, cookies, pies, cakes, tarts, flans, pops or pretty much whatever they rock it out every single time!
- Gail at One Tough Cookie
- Bridget at Bake at 350
- Stella at Brave Tart
- Irvin at Eat The Love
- Rosie at Sweetapolita
- Xiaolu at 6 Bittersweets
- Zoe at Zoe Bakes
- Joy at Joy the Baker
- Jen at My Kitchen Addiction
- Callye at Sweet Sugar Belle
- Meghan at Domestic Sugar
- Stephanie at Ice My Biscuit
Pineapple Vanilla Rum Cupcakes (Adapted and encouraged from Brave Tart)
- 1 vanilla bean split and scraped, seeds reserved
- 4 ounces of white rum
- 14 ounces of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 ounces of butter, room temperature – unsalted
- 5 eggs – room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 13.5 ounces of all purpose flour – sifted
- 11 ounces coconut milk
- 1 cup of pineapple – diced into small cubes
- The day before you plan on baking. Combine the rum and vanilla bean together in a small pot. Bring to a boil, shut off the heat, and cover. Steep overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine and sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Put aside.
- Combine the sugar, butter and reserved vanilla bean seeds in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer. Stop to scrape the bowl down when needed. Mix for approximately 5-7 minutes until it’s well-incorporated, light and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer down to medium low and while its running running, add the eggs and then yolk, one at a time, mixing after each until thoroughly combined.
- Turn the mixer down to the lowest speed and add in the sifted flour a cup at a time.
- Immediately add the vanilla rum mixture (remove the bean).
- Slowly pour in the coconut milk.
- Add the cubed pineapple and fold in with a spatula.
- Fill the batter halfway into each muffin tin and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Let cool before frosting.
Double Coconut Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup of butter – room temperature
- 1/4 cup of coconut milk.
- 1/3 cup of shredded coconut.
- 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- With a handmixer, combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut until well combined.
- Add the coconut and stir in by hand.
- Apply generously to the cupcake and enjoy!