So what exactly is a tropical smoothie cupcake? Well it is a vanilla-coconut and lemon cupcake with a banana cream filling, a mango, pineapple, coconut icing, and a cherry on top.
I can’t take all the credit for these cupcakes. I had a little help with the concept from a lady who I work with. Unfortunately, she has been sick lately and her doctors have confined her to an all liquid diet. So where do you go when you can’t eat solid food? Tropical Smoothie Café of course.
I feel a bit guilty really. I make all these dishes for Simple and Sweets and bring the leftovers into work – where she has to smell them and stare at other people eating them all day. I was talking to her about my blog the other day when she starting coming up with the most amazing recipe ideas. Talk to a person who can’t eat and they will rattle off the most delicious sounding foods you can imagine (Fried Brie Croutons!).
One idea that really stuck with me was a Tropical Smoothie Cupcake. It sounded like the perfect summer cupcake. So now that I had the concept, all I had to do was figure out how to execute it.
I decided on several flavors right away – pineapple, banana, and coconut. Three standard flavors found in almost every tropical smoothie recipe. Oh, and it didn’t hurt that I knew I had all these ingredients at home.
I made this cupcake that night, starting with my classic cupcake recipe. It is a simple recipe that I knows comes out nicely. I love it because it is so light and fluffy. I doctored it up with some lemon juice and coconut extract. (Extra bonus – I was able to use the 3 egg whites leftover from my Chocolate Silk Pie!)
Next I made a banana cream filling. A quick one bowl recipe that I was able to make while the cupcakes were baking.
Then I started on the frosting. My idea was to use a classic vanilla frosting recipe and doctor it up with some canned pineapple and coconut. That was where things got tricky. I thought I had canned pineapple. I didn’t. I had put the last piece into my morning smoothie that day. By this time is was almost 8 pm I was covered in flour and exhausted after a full day at work. There was no way I was making a trip to the store for a can of pineapple.
Then I remembered a bag of frozen pineapple in the freezer. After a quick search I found a bag of frozen pineapple and mango chunks – SCORE! I took out a handful and nuked them in the microwave before stirring them into my frosting and piping them onto my banana filled cupcakes.
Finally, I topped the whole thing off with a cherry. What self-respecting tropical smoothie doesn’t have a cherry on top?
I brought the cupcakes into work the next day. My coworker was ecstatic even though she still couldn’t eat one L. She ended up bringing one home to her husband though. The rest of my coworkers gave stellar reviews and when I checked my carrier at the end of the day they were all gone.
These cupcakes are made for summer – and look darling with their bright red cherries all lined up. They would be fabulous for a BBQ, your next Pot-Luck, or birthday party. Or even better yet a luau!
- FOR CUPCAKES
- 1 ½ sticks of butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- FOR BANANA FILLING
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 large banana, mashed up finely with a fork
- FOR FROSTING
- ½ stick of butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup shortening
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup small diced frozen pineapple and mango, heated to room temperature
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- 12 maraschino cherries
- For Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prep a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- With an electric mixer, blend butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in egg, vanilla, coconut, lemon juice and zest, and sour cream.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and powder, and salt.
- Add the flour and milk to the butter mixture, alternating between flour and milk, starting and ending with flour. Mix until everything is smooth.
- Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full of batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
- Allow to cool completely before filling and icing.
- For Filling:
- In a small sauce pan over low heat, combine milk, sugar, flour, and salt. Bring to a simmer.
- Continue stirring until mixture becomes thick.
- Add in egg yolk and banana and cook for a few more minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- For Frosting:
- Combine butter and shortening and mix until smooth.
- Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. Min until smooth.
- Stir in pineapple and mango, coconut extract, and shredded coconut.
- Add remaining cup of powdered sugar and mix until desired consistency.
- Using a small paring knife, cut a hole in the center of the cupcakes for the filling.
- Spoon or pipe in filling.
- Smooth or Pipe frosting onto of cupcake. (If piping frosting, be sure that pineapple and mango chunks small enough to fit through tip.
- Top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.