Monday, August 15, 2011

Tropical Luau Cupcakes with Orange Cream Icing






Can't make it to the beach this summer? You can still have a bit of tropical fun right in your own back yard by hosting your very own poolside luau. Suitable for just about any occasion, a luau is the creme de la creme of summertime festivities. Hawaiian shirts, raffia skirts, tropical flowers, all provide a colorful and vibrant atmosphere for guests to kick back and let loose while envisioning themselves on a tropical island. Traditional Hawaiian Luaus include a feast of foods consisting of ham, teriyaki dishes, and an explosion of citrus flavors like pineapple, orange and mango. Consider incorporating these flavors into desserts such as a Tropical Luau Cupcakes.

I stumbled upon a recipe on TLC Cooking for these cupcakes last summer when I was hosting my very own backyard bbq. After receiving glowing reviews, it has become my signature summertime staple for all outdoor picnics. On occasion, I adapt the recipe to include a bit of Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum which slightly kicks up the pineapple flavor in the cake base for a bit of added deliciousness. Most recently, I incorporated the leftover buttercream I had from my Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes which provided an extra burst of citrus flavor that melts in your mouth. Either way you choose to adapt it, your guests will be begging for the recipe!


Ingredients

2 cans (8oz each) crushed pineapple in juice
1 package yellow cake mix Without pudding in the mix
1 package banana cream instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
*** (to toast coconut, spread evenly on an
ungreased cookie sheet; bake in preheated
oven at 350* for 4 to 6 minutes)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line 30 standard baking cups. Drain Pineapple, reserve juice, and set aside.
2. Beat reserved pineapple juice, cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, and nutmeg in large bowl with electric mixer at low speed for 1 minute or until blended. Increase speed to medium. Beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Fold in pineapple. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

3. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in to center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes.

4. Optional Orange Frosting:


Orange Frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
6-8 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 cup orange juice

5. Top cupcakes with toasted coconut if desired!



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