Sunday, 15 January 2012

Blue Hawaiian cupcakes

I am rather partial to a cocktail or two, but have never been able to bond with very creamy cocktails. There’s just something about their inherent gloopiness that turns me off. That said, I love the idea of the flavour combinations in creamy cocktails so decided to adapt a cocktail recipe into a cupcake.

The Blue Hawaiian cocktail (not to be confused with the Blue Hawaii, which is totally different) is a classic blend of white rum, coconut, pineapple juice and Blue Curacao. The latter ingredient turns the drink a rather shocking shade of blue and the whole mix of flavours is exotic– the taste of a being on a tropical beach somewhere lovely.

When you think about it (trust me, I have...) cocktails share several similarities with cupcakes – both are pretty, decorated, attention-seeking and designed to be quick hits of happiness. I remember once reading an old book of cocktail recipes and the barman explained that you should drink your cocktail quickly or, as he termed it, “while it is still winking at you”. Cupcakes are the same.

I had to use the Blue Curacao in the buttercream, as the chance to make shocking blue buttercream was too fabulous to resist...but as you will see, that didn’t happen and instead I got a delicate, fresh green. That left the coconut, rum and pineapple for the sponge; I used Malibu, which is a coconut rum, but ordinary rum would be just as nice. I opted for a coconut sponge filled with pineapple curd – this added extra texture and kept the flavours separate. Here they are loaded with curd...

...and this is how it looks in the finished cupcake:

The flavours worked really well in this cupcake and they looked ever so pretty without a lot of effort on my part. These are the perfect cupcakes for January – they’re little hits of happiness!

For those of you nervous about making Swiss meringue buttercream here’s my step by step guide.


For the pineapple curd:

2 egg yolks (keep the whites for the buttercream!)
200ml pineapple juice
50g caster sugar
25g cornflour

For the cupcake sponge (this will make 12 cupcakes):
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
4 tablespoons desiccated coconut

2 tablespoon Malibu (coconut rum)
2 eggs
125g self raising flour
1 tablespoon milk

For the swiss meringue buttercream:
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 teaspoons Blue Curacao

To decorate: maraschino cherries


Start by making the pineapple curd; this can be done several days in advance: place all the ingredients into a saucepan and stir, over a low heat, until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Don’t panic and think yours isn’t working – it can take 10 minutes or more before, in an instant, it thickens and turns into curd.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then refrigerate until needed. It will thicken further as it chills.

To make the cupcakes, increase the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.

Line a cupcake pan with paper cases.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Mix together the coconut and Malibu so that the coconut absorbs some of the rum. Normally, I’d add this after the eggs but I wanted to ensure it was added early and well distributed in the batter.

Beat in the eggs, flour, and milk.

When the mixture is smooth and well combined, spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Mine took 16 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack and remove from the tin when cool enough to handle.

On the day of serving, use a corer or knife to remove the central core of the cupcake sponge out, taking care not to go right down to the bottom of the cupcake.

Now make the swiss meringue buttercream: Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir pretty much constantly to prevent the egg from cooking.

After 5-10 minutes, when the sugar has dissolved (when you cannot see any crystals on the back of the spoon), remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water and whisk until the meringue has puffed up and the mix is cool.

Add the butter to the meringue and whisk until the butter has been completely incorporated into the meringue. At first it will look a disaster – it will collapse and look curdled but don’t worry! Stop when the mixture is smooth, light and fluffy.

Now add the Blue Curacao gradually and beat until the colour of the buttercream is evenly blue.

Fill the whole with half a teaspoonful of pineapple curd.

Pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcake and top with a maraschino cherry.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.



Jean said...

Oh my goodness, they look wonderful, love the little umbrellas.

Jean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trash said...

They are indeed little tropical holidays in a cupcake and who knows the lovely Clarissa the KitxhenAid who has come to live at my house this weekend might be interested in helping make some. (Apple Green in case you were wondering.)

Soo said...

So cute and very yummy looking....

Enjoying one of those cupcakes would be like a mini holiday in the sun!!!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Trash

Apple green you say - sounds lovely! I think you need to break Clarissa in with something yummy...cupcakes would be good!

Happy baking

Lauralovescakes said...

These are making me want to go and book a sunny holiday immediately!! They look and sound lovely! :-)

C said...

Oh they look gorgeous! The perfect thing to cheer up a gloomy January day (even if it has been bright sun here!) and remind you of summer holidays! I love the bright red cherry on top - the perfect finish. I'm impressed at you making pineapple curd too, must have been delicious!

Maria♥ said...

Oh wow, these are so cute!


Cakefairyblog said...

They look great. What fab flavour combination. I love using booze in cakes.

Beth Sachs said...

Wow, I can taste it now. Fab!!

Anonymous said...

such a ray of sunshine in a cup cake!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

These most definitely bring a little joy into the most gloomy of months. A month when comfort, cheer...and cocktail cupcakes are most welcome! Brilliant idea CC!

Hazel at Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

These are amazing! Great job on all the flavours. Perfect for brightening up these frosty January days. I absolutely adore the cherry cupcake cases - where can I find them, please?!

Maggie said...

These made me smile CC which is a good thing in the worst month of the year. Anything made with Malibu, pineapple and coconut gets my vote.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Hazel

They're from Squires Kitchen and are still available - they have a wonderful range of products. Here's the link:

Happy baking!

Cakelaw said...

These are just gorgeous! Blue Hawaii makes me think of Elvis.

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

Consider this recipe officially stolen! Love the little umbrellas too really completes the look, love love love!

Nom! x

At Anna's kitchen table said...

That is one sexy cupcake!!

Fallen From Flavour said...

What splendid specimens! The mere sight of them transported me to sunny, exotic climes and made me forget its January. I love the idea of a curd filling. I'm sure they taste just as lush as they look.

Katie said...

They sound gorgeous and very tropical. Not heard of the blue drink before but sounds delicious, and much better as a cupcake :)

Love the sound of the homemade pineapple curd

Rolling Pin Claire said...

Absolutely amazing - so different and so delicious. Thanks for this recipe!

Rachael said...

I love these! They're making me want to get on a plane!

~Lexibule~ said...

Ils sont trop mignons ces cupcakes:) Bon lundi!!xxx

MissCakeBaker said...

Sunny cupcakes for a cold January day! I love this injection of the tropics!

Lucy said...

These look so pretty - I love the pretty shade of the butter cream. Sound delicious, particularly the pineapple curd.

Lucie said...

I LOVE them - Just wonderful! - As usual!! xx

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

This is so pretty! I've had a pina colada once, and that was pretty nice, it sounds quite similar to this so I think it will be yummy! I like the photo with the cake split into two - it makes my very hungry!

Baking Addict said...

These are so beautiful and cute! I've yet to make a cocktail cupcake (I don't think Baileys count!) I also need to master the swiss meringue buttercream - will try your method next time. thanks!

Pauline said...

Want at least one of these- they look beautiful, found myself on a site offering pina coladas , sensing a theme here...

Choclette said...

These are an absolute delight. Love the idea of a cocktail cupcake and the flavours sound so good.

missflash said...

These cupcakes look stunning. Thanks for sharing the recipe, is it from a particular book?
I wish my baking skills was as beautiful as yours x

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Missflash

Thanks for your kind comments.
This recipe is my own invention!

Happy baking

Ruby confusing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruby Confusing said...

These look amazing! I love reading your blog but it always leaves me hungry and craving cakes :) x

yolepole35 said...

OMG.... this looks amazing. It's a edible cocktail. got to try this out mmmmmm : ))

susan spencer said...

If you were to freeze these unfrosted, would you put the curd in before freezing or wait until you thaw to use?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Susan

On looking down the ingredients list I can't see why curd wouldn't freeze, but my fear would be that during thawing it would leech into the sponge and make it mushy. Therefore, I would advocate freezing the sponges, then thawing and filling with curd when you wanted to serve them

Happy baking