Rum coconut cupcakes come together and taste like a tropical cocktail in dessert form! Coconut and rum flavor the cupcakes, which are topped with an EASY vanilla rum American buttercream.
Do you ever have a hard time choosing between after dinner drinks or dessert? I don't usually have this problem because I always choose both!🙄 If you would rather not have to make a choice, I've got you covered with these tropical cocktail inspired cupcakes.
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When I sat down to write this post, I realized that I seem to have a thing for boozy recipes. As evidenced by margarita pie, cherry bourbon crumble ice cream and fudgy Irish cream brownies. And don't worry if I haven't hit your favorite, I've got a couple more in recipe development!
what rum do I need for rum coconut cupcakes?
This recipe isn't finicky about what rum you use. My liquor cabinet usually has some version of dark rum and that is what I've used in these cupcakes. Back in my cruise ship days, I was very fond of Tortuga coconut rum and if I could get my hands on some, that is what I would use.
do I really need to use room temperature ingredients?
Yes! Room temperature ingredients will come together better, which will result in lighter and better textured cupcakes. This rum coconut cupcake recipe will still turn out if you don't have your eggs, sour cream and buttermilk at room temperature, but room temperature butter is a must! And since you are pulling that out ahead of time, just grab the other ingredients at the same time.
let's make rum coconut cupcakes!
You need the usual suspects for the cupcakes ~
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- sour cream
- sweetened shredded coconut
Start by whisking the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and setting them aside. Then cream the butter for 30-60 seconds before adding the granulated sugar and creaming until light in color. Scrape up and down the mixing bowl before adding the egg, followed by the egg whites and mix until incorporated.
Now you will add the sour cream, vanilla and rum. The mixture will start to look quite curdled at this point, but don't worry! It will come together when you add the dry ingredients.
To finish the cupcake batter, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk. I like to do ½ the flour mixture, the buttermilk and then the final flour. Be careful not to over mix the batter. Stop when you see a few streaks of flour remaining and then use a spatula to mix in the coconut.
Finally, distribute the batter between 14 regular size cupcake liners (this brand is my favorite!). Alternately, you can make 12 regular size cupcakes and 6 mini cupcakes. Bake until a tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cupcakes have been moved to a wire rack, brush 2 tablespoons of rum over the tops of the cooling cupcakes (I like using a silicone basting brush).
how to make EASY vanilla rum buttercream
The vanilla rum buttercream is a variation on my not-too-sweet American buttercream. Start with room temperature butter and a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer. The trick to getting this American buttercream silky is to beat the heck out of the butter.
After you've beat the butter for a full five minutes; add the powdered sugar on low until incorporated, then add the heavy cream and beat on high another full five minutes. Finally, scrape up and down the bowl, add the rum and vanilla and beat 2 final minutes.
If you want the look of the rosettes in the photos, I used a Wilton 2D tip.
I hope this finds you healthy and enjoying a bit of summer and maybe even some cocktails on the patio! I swear I've got a Coffee Talk post almost ready for you. Hopefully you'll see it in your inbox in the next week!🤞
for more coconut recipes, check out my:
- Chocolate Coconut Bites
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Coconut Pecan Tart
- Perfect Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Coconut Chocolate Bars
Remember to snap a picture and tag me @twosugarbugs on Instagram if you make these Rum Coconut Cupcakes. It warms my heart to see you bring these recipes to life! Thank you for being here and happy baking!
If you make this recipe (or any recipe!) from two sugar bugs please come back and leave a review and a star rating. I read every comment, and I LOVE hearing from you!
Rum Coconut Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons rum
- ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 5 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons rum (for brushing over warm baked cupcakes)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons rum
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325° F.
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners, line a second pan with 12 liners or a mini cupcake pan with 6 liners. This recipe yields 14 regular size cupcakes or 12 regular and 6 mini cupcakes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Scrape up and down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg, followed by the egg whites. Mix until incorporated, then add the sour cream, rum and vanilla and mix well. The mixture may look curdled, but don't let it concern you.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating additions, beginning and ending with the dry. I break mine into ½ dry, buttermilk, final ½ dry. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, if needed. Be careful not to over mix your batter.
- Fold in the coconut with a spatula.
- Divide your batter equally between the prepared cupcake liners and bake 25-30 minutes or until the cupcakes are baked through. To test, insert a toothpick or cake tester in the center of the cupcake; if it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, it is done. Cool cupcakes in pans placed on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before placing them onto the wire rack, brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 2 tablespoons of rum and allow to cool completely.
FOR THE RUM BUTTERCREAM
Beat the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held mixer) on high for 5 minutes. Stop about half way through to scrape up and down the bowl. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until the sugar is incorporated. Add the heavy cream and beat on high for another 5 minutes. Scrape up and down the bowl, add the rum, vanilla and a pinch of salt and beat 2 minutes more.
*Recipe yields 14 cupcakes or 12 regular cupcakes and 6 mini cupcakes. The mini cupcakes need about 15 minutes of baking time.
I measure both the flour and powdered sugar using the "spoon and level" method.
I decorated with a Wilton 2D piping tip.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Wilton No.2D Decorating Tip, Drop Flower
- Pastry Bag -50 Pack-16-Inch Extra Thick Large Cake/Cupcake Decorating Bags-Disposable Icing Piping Bags Set
- (2 Pack) Standard Paper Cupcake Liners/Baking Cups, 60-ct/Box
- USA Pan (1200MF) Bakeware Cupcake and Muffin Pan, 12 Well, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, Made in the USA from Aluminized Steel
- KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 288mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g
The nutrition information is an estimate and may not be entirely accurate.
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