We’ve been taking turns bringing lunch at work this summer. Every Thursday someone will bring in lunch for everyone else in the office. There are eight of us participating and we’ve been alternating weeks. Sometimes we have sandwiches and chips, sometimes a mexican feast, and one week we even had a wine tasting followed by a picnic on the winery grounds  – it’s been pretty great!

This past Thursday was my turn and although I wasn’t feeling incredibly inspired with the meal itself (we ended up having Wegman’s subs, potato and pasta salad, and chips) I was motivated enough to make some fantastic cupcakes for dessert.

I really love coconut but didn’t want to make just coconut cupcakes, so I modified my favorite vanilla bean cupcake recipe to create these pineapple coconut cupcakes. The taste is extraordinary and they’re moist, delicious, and might just make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation.

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups pastry flour (I typically use 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups cake flour, combined and sifted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups water, room temperature, divided
  • 6 large egg whites

Cupcake Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line muffin/cupcake pan with paper cups.
  • Split open the vanilla bean and scrape free the seeds.
  • Add butter, 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla seeds to an electric mixer bowl.
  • Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder onto wax paper.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately pour 1/2 of the dry ingredients and 1/2 of the water, mixing well after each addition.
  • In another bowl and the electric mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form.
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter in two or three additions.
  • Spoon the batter into the baking cups, filled to about 3/4 full.
  • Bake on the middle rack of preheated oven until the centers of the cupcakes spring back, between 15 and 2- minutes.
  • Cool pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.