So I have a fun dessert creation for you today! Since it was my boyfriend’s birthday yesterday, I decided to bake him some cupcakes to celebrate the occasion. Jon is a big fan of all things pineapple- flavored and since his favorite ice cream flavor is Cherry Garden (which is impossible to find….but contains pineapple, cherry and coconut), I used the flavors of pineapple, coconut and cherry as my “inspiration.”
For Jon’s last two birthdays I actually “made” his favorite ice cream for him, meaning I:
- bought vanilla ice cream
- took it out of the carton
- added pineapple chunks, shredded coconut, and marachino cherries
- put the new creation back into the original carton
- Created a label (complete with badly drawn cherries, of course) that read “Cherry Garden”
I’m pretty sure I could give Sandra Lee a run for her money….
But this year, I thought I’d switch things up and go the cake (vs. ice cream) route. I decided to make a Cherry Garden-inspired cupcake creation. While browsing on Pinterest the other week I came across a recipe for Pineapple Fluff cupcakes, so I stuck to the cake portion of that recipe (sticking maraschino cherries into the batter as well), and made a semi-homemade version of coconut whipped cream frosting.
These cupcakes contain no added butter or oil (except for the frosting…) and the actual cake only contains 2 ingredients: cake mix and crushed pineapple (I am always amazed that this is possible – I am a fan of using canned pumpkin in cakes as well). Overall, the cupcakes only require only 5 ingredients!
These made my apartment smell amazing, and I must say that despite my general preference to cooking vs. baking, I really enjoyed making these. They were super easy and seemed so festive. They would be perfect for a tropical themed party.
I think I may need more occasions to come up that give me an excuse to make fun dessert creations. The wheels are turning….
Cherry Garden Cupcakes
(adapted/inspired from Pineapple Fluff Cupcakes)
- Yellow cake mix
- 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple
- 1 container whipped cream frosting (any other vanilla-type frosting would work as well)
- shredded coconut
- maraschino cherries
- yellow sprinkles (optional – and not pictured)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine cake mix and crushed pineapple
- Distribute mixture into lined cupcake tins (should make about 24 cupcakes)
- Add a maraschino cherry into the batter of each cupcake (optional)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (mine were a little underbaked at 15 minutes, so make sure you check on them to make sure they are done)
- Empty container of frosting into a medium-sized bowl
- Mix in 1/2 – 1 cup of shredded coconut into frosting
- Once cool, frost cupcakes
- Garnish with more shredded coconut, a maraschino cherry (I garnished each with 1/2 of a cherry), and yellow sprinkles