About this recipe:These cupcakes are potentially the most exotic specimens I've made ever. When I choose a cupcake, I don't normally pick anything coco-nutty or pineapple-ly, however I was pleasantly surprised by these. When you have so many flavours going on, I think it's important to show what's on the inside, on the outside (famous words by Mary Berry I think??) Hence the bits of fruit and coconut chunks. As well as this, to show the cocktail get-up, you can't show these beautiful cupcakes off without a straw and a bit of bling. Of course if you're going to keep these to yourself, the get-up is not necessary ;) Additionally, if you want to add actual rum or other alcohol to this recipe, I ain't gonna judge, I just thought non-alcoholic cake would be more acceptable eat at tea time!
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases and set aside.
For the cupcakes:
In a bowl, cream the margarine, sugar, coconut cream, rum extract and pineapple juice (you can use 1 tablespoon of the reserved juice from the tin of pineapple used later for the filling) together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl then add a bit of egg and sift in a little of the flour into the creamed butter-sugar mixture at a time, mixing well after each addition. In the last addition of flour, add the desiccated coconut. Chop the dried pineapple into small pieces and stir through the cake mixture. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared paper cases.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden, springy to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling:
Put the pineapple, 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved juice, sugar and cornflour (dissolve the cornflour in a little water before adding) into a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and keep on the heat until thickened. Mash the pineapple chunks to create a smoother texture. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Make a small hole in the middle of the cupcakes (perhaps an apple corer would be useful for this). Pipe or spoon the pineapple puree into the hollows made.
For the buttercream and topping:
Cream the butter, milk and coconut cream together to soften. Gradually sift in the icing sugar and beat after each addition, continuing to mix until light and spreadable.
Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes and decorate with desiccated coconut and edible glitter if desired. To create the cocktail get-up push pineapple chunks and glacé cherries onto the cocktail sticks and push into the cupcakes. Trim some cocktail straws to fit the cakes and push into the sponge, alongside the cocktail stick. Place a bit of fresh coconut onto the cakes wherever there's space after you've adhered them with everything else. Enjoy alongside some real alcohol.