Piña Colada Cupcakes

Pina Colada Cupcakes | The Gluten Free Vegan

I offered to bring dessert the other night to a friend’s place. I suggested cupcakes since I am in experimentation baking mode lately. Then I was reminded … one of them doesn’t like chocolate. There goes my standby cupcake recipe.

So, time to get creative.

I wanted to make a white cake recipe for a while but like always, I just need a bit more adventure in the kitchen. Plain vanilla just isn’t what I felt like.

Pina Colada Cupcakes | The Gluten Free Vegan

Piña Colada Cupcakes
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 19 ounce can crushed pineapple (in pineapple juice), blended until mostly smooth
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat grapeseed oil and applesauce together and add to dry ingredients.
  4. Add in blended pineapple and juice.
  5. Stir until combined.
  6. Measure into medium-sized cupcake papers.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until tested done and golden brown.
  8. Let cool 5 minutes in muffin tin, then remove to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.


I frosted these with Toasted Coconut Frosting.

Some notes:

The first time I made these I left the crushed pineapple in juice as it comes in the can. The flavor was just great but I found the pineapple had a tendency to sink to the bottom of the cupcake and caused it to be extra moist on the bottom. Blending the pineapple helps get that flavor distributed through the whole cupcake, I think.


  1. says

    I’ve been knee deep in vegan/gf cupcakes lately and this post spoke to me. It is good to know there are others out there doing the same. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  2. Karina says

    Thanks for the great recipe. I’ve already made these several times. These are a family favorite! I filled them with a little mango butter from Trader Joe’s and frosted them with mango buttercream (I didn’t do vegan buttercream, but I’m sure you could). They turned out amazing.

  3. says

    Hi Megan
    Today we are having a Luau Party at our house. I made three batches of cupcakes…in a row. The 20 ounce can of Crushed Pineapple worked Great!!! I wasn’t’ sure how many cupcakes batter was supposed to make so the first time I put the batter into 22 cupcakes…Next time 18….Last time 16. How much should I fill them up? Do you put the batter into 12 cupcakes?
    I frosted them with a different frosting and added coconut to the sides. Then I added a cherry and piece of pineapple on the top. I also put on little cocktail umbrellas. I can’t wait to try them tonight. I tried them without the frosting and the cupcakes were GREAT!!!
    Thanks so Very Much…Hugs, Viv

    • says

      Hey Viv,
      Sorry I didn’t get to replying to your first comment sooner. I’m glad the 20 oz can worked great, I would have said to go ahead and use the full can too. As for filling up the cupcake tins, usually I make 24 cupcakes with this recipe using medium-sized cupcake liners. I like nice flat little cupcakes so that I can pile up the frosting if I choose to frost these.

      The luau party sounds like a ton of fun! I hope your guests love your version of these – love the idea of adding cherry and pineapple to the top!

      • says

        Hi Megan
        Everyone Loved the Cupcakes. They were So Delicious!!! Thanks so much for the recipe :)
        About the cupcake batter and how many it made…I kept trying to put the batter in less and less cupcake cups because they didn’t fill up the cup as much as yours. I don’t know why.
        They all turned out so Great!!! I was so Happy that I could eat them. No one at the party eats Vegan and Gluten Free so it was great that I could make and eat these.
        I am so Very Happy I tried out your recipe and they turned out So Delicious!!!
        Love and Hugs, Viv

  4. Shelley says

    I’m thinking about using these for my son’s birthday party (hope you’re not offended that they’ll be colored green and decorated like dinosaurs). Our youngest can’t have grapeseed oil. Any substitution better than another?

  5. Usha says

    All your cake recipes have sugar..we have cane sugar sensitivity in our family. Do you have a recipe that could use agave or coconut palm sugar?

  6. Angela says

    I would like to make this recipe as a two-tiered cake. How long should i bake the cake layers and do you have any advice for making the cake turn out as good as the cupcakes do?

    • says

      I’m so sorry for missing your comment until now Angela. Not sure how I didn’t notice it!

      Since this is a pretty moist cupcake you’ll want to make sure that you bake it slightly longer than you’d think just to make sure it’s baked all the way through. Line your baking pans with parchment paper to help make removing the cakes from the pan easier.

      I’ve not made this recipe as a cake before so I don’t know for sure how it’ll turn out but the idea of a pineapple cake with a pineapple filling and coconut frosting just made me drool! I hope you have success making this into a cake. Please let us know how it goes and any tips you can share with the rest of us!

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