1cuppineapple tidbitsdrained (keep juice for the frosting)
1cup(2 sticks) salted buttersoftened
¼cuplight brown sugar
4cupspowdered (confectioner’s) sugar
Optional garnishes: Sweetened shredded coconut, pineapple rings and maraschino cherries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 24 cupcake tins with liners or by well greasing them.
Prepare the cake mix by whisking together the dry cake mix, coconut milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and coconut extract until well combined. The batter should be slightly thicker than a normal cake batter when you finish mixing.
After the batter is prepared, stir in the pineapple tidbits (be sure it is well drained but reserve the juice for the frosting).
Fill the prepared cupcake tins with batter, until each liner is ⅔ full. Bake the cupcakes for 18-21 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the top bounces back when you touch it. Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
In a large stand mixer with the whisk attachment, blend the butter and brown sugar on high until creamy and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Colder, firmer butter will take longer. The end result should look like a light, whipped butter.
Blend in the powdered sugar alternately with the pineapple juice. I like to add about 1 and ⅓ cup of sugar and mix it in, starting on the lowest setting and gradually working up to the highest. Once it has been whipped together, add 1 Tablespoon of pineapple juice and mix it again. Do this back and forth, until I have added the last of the sugar. If the frosting is too thick you can add pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Pour in the coconut extract before beating the frosting on high for an additional 5 minutes. It should be very light and fluffy with very little grainy texture.
Fill a piping bag or ziploc bag with your frosting. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip for mine, but you can use any large piping tip for the frosting.
To decorate, top the cupcakes with a pineapple ring, frosting, shredded coconut and a maraschino cherry (all optional).
Storage:Once frosted you can store your cupcakes at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is best to store them covered. The frosting alone can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to a week, and in the freezer for up to 1 month. The cupcakes, unfrosted, freeze well for up to 3 months. Be sure, when freezing, to wrap them individually and place them in an airtight container to avoid them drying out.