Tropical muffins in the dead of winter? We’re doing it, guys. I’m making it a thing.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed the onslaught of beach pictures a couple weeks ago. That, my friends, was evidence of one of the most wonderful trips I’ve ever been on. My sister and I gifted my mom a ladies’ trip for her Christmas and early-birthday present. It just so happened that the dates we picked landed right after the start of the “Polar Vortex,” so we were more than ready to get outta dodge. We flew from Minneapolis to Miami for 5 days filled with sun, beach, and awesome people watching (HOLY speedos and plastic surgery, batman!).
Miami also supplied several laughably expensive drinks. We paid $5 for each cup of coffee every day, $11 for one glass of wine, and $18 for a piña colada. Seriously – $18 for ONE pina colada, and no, it wasn’t a pina coladas the size of my face…it was this pina colada:
Not to say it wasn’t worth it, because sometimes you just need a boozy drink in the middle of the day when you’re in the sun, and sometimes that means paying $18 for 12 ounces. I get it. Kind of.
When I returned to the tundra I continued craving piña coladas in a big way. Even in Minnesota’s sub-zero winter temps, an icy, creamy, fruity drink just sounded necessary. I had planned on sharing a recipe for homemade piña coladas this week, but then I realized you people are smart, and you probably already know how to blend coconut milk and pineapple juice together. What you might not know, however, is that those same ingredients make one insane muffin.
I’m not even sure how to convey my love for these muffins. They’re suuuuuuuuuper moist, flavorful, and sweet…but not overpoweringly sweet. That golden brown exterior tastes really buttery, even though there isn’t a drop of butter in the recipe. The trifecta of coconut flavor (milk, oil, extract) gives a rich base to the muffin, and the teeny tiny bites of crushed pineapple make each bite juicy and fruity. The rich and creamy coconut glaze on top hardens at room temperature, so they’re not as messy as they look in these photos.
I didn’t know it was possible for me to love a chocolate-free sweet as much as I love these muffins. Really truly.
To summarize: Miami is great but expensive, my mom and sister are simply the best, and piña coladas can (and should!) be consumed in muffin form. Life lessons.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
- ⅔ cup light coconut milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1½ tablespoons light coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the pineapple, coconut milk, coconut oil, sugar, vanilla and coconut extracts. Whisk in the egg.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and gently mix until just combined. Divide the batter into 12 lined and greased muffin tins. Each tin will be nearly full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the muffins are cooled and ready to be glazed, heat the coconut oil just until it melts.
- Transfer to a large bowl, and use a mixer to beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar. It will appear that the coconut oil is separating at first, but keep beating for 3-4 minutes and it will come together.
- Add the coconut milk and beat for another 3-4 minutes. If you want a thicker glaze, add another tablespoon or two of powdered sugar. Since coconut oil hardens at room temperature, you want to make the glaze right before frosting the muffins, otherwise it will thicken and get chunky when you try to stir it.
- Dunk each muffin top in the glaze (see note). You can dunk 2-3 times if you want a thicker glaze on top.