Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

Throwing food away, especially fruits, vegetables and meat, really bums me out and I get kinda mad at myself for not making better use of it and being a better planner.  I’ll just get too excited about all the fruit that looks good at the store and wind up with way more than our family of 4 can consume before it goes bad.  Thankfully our son would eat nothing but fruit if we’d let him, so he helps out a lot when we have a surplus.  I’d bought a container of fresh pineapple for a fruit salad and had over half of it left.  I’d mixed some of it in with coconut yogurt (a terrific tropical summertime breakfast by the way) but wasn’t going to use it up in time that way.  Solution?  Cupcakes.


These were tasty and I’d make them again.  They are sweet, but not too sweet.  One cupcake for dessert was the perfect size.  The cake has great moist texture and all the cupcakes came out cleanly.  Some of the topping got stuck in the pan and so I had to fix a couple of them.  But overall these were pretty easy and quite lovely.

The original recipe, found here, uses canned pineapple.  I’m sure they’d be great with canned pineapple, but if you have access to fresh you should use it.  I ran out of cherries and so a few of the cupcakes just had pineapple…and I kind of preferred them that way.  While there is something wonderfully nostalgic and lovely about the cherry in the center of the pineapple ring I like the simplicity of the pineapple by itself.


The only change I made was to use a little less butter and brown sugar in the topping.  It calls for 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in each cup.  That just seemed like a lot to me.  I had to eyeball the butter, a little less than 1/2 tablespoon per cup.  And I used about 2 teaspoons of sugar in each cup.  I guess that’s not a huge change and it probably doesn’t make any difference…

I filled the cups 2/3 full.  While filling them up I realized that there was going to be a lot of batter left over, enough for 2 or 3 more cupcakes.  They baked right up to the top of the cups, so each one could have used a bit more batter, but better to have them too short than overflowing.  Enjoy!

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes




  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup (2 teaspoons per cup) brown sugar
  • 6 maraschino cherries, halved
  • 4 fresh pineapple rings, cut into quarters


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the butter and milk for the batter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts.  Place in a bowl and let cool.
  3. While the butter cools, prepare the topping. Spray the muffin pan with nonstick spray.  Place a little less than 1 tablespoon of  butter into each muffin cup then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of brown sugar over the butter. Place the pan in the oven until the butter melts, about 3 minutes.
  4. Arrange the pineapple and cherry on top of the melted butter.  This may take a little finagling depending on the size of your pineapple pieces.  Set pan aside while you finish the batter.
  5. To finish the batter, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and stir just to combine.  Then add 1/2 of the milk mixture, stir just to combine.  Follow by 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the milk, then the rest of the flour, stirring between additions.
  6. Pour the batter into the muffin pan, dividing it evenly among all the cups. Bake the cupcakes until they’re lightly browned, dry around the edges, and pulling away from the pan a little, about 25 minutes.
  7. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a butter knife to carefully loosen each cupcake from the edges and bottom of the pan, then place a cookie sheet over the top. Invert the pan, turning the cupcakes out onto the cookie sheet, then flip them pineapple side up to cool completely.  You may need to replace some of the pineapple if it sticks in the pan. Serve at room temperature.




Baby Shower: Strawberry Cupcakes, Lemon Coconut Cupcakes and Flower Sugar Cookies

This past weekend I got to help host a baby shower for a good friend.  Everything turned out wonderfully.  I think the mommy-to-be felt showered with love and lots of pink and ruffles!

One of the ladies suggested a onesie making table.  I ordered some adorable iron-on appliques and bought onesies in various sizes.  When people were done they could pin them up on a clothesline.  Here is the Etsy shop I ordered them from, NanaBleu.

The space we used for the shower didn’t need much decoration, but I made these Martha Stewart tissue paper pom poms.  We hung a few and scattered the rest around the room.  Here is the link to the craft.  The instructions say to use 8 sheets of tissue, but I discovered that 10 made for a much fuller pom pom.  Use different widths of paper to create different sized pom poms.  Now that I know how to make them, I think I am going to use some in baby girls nursery!

For dessert I made strawberry cupcakes using the Sprinkles cupcake recipe that I also used to make this strawberry cake.  One batch of batter and frosting is the perfect amount for a dozen cupcakes.  If you’re not a generous froster, you will have some frosting left over.

These lemon coconut cupcakes were a bigger hit than I expected them to be.  I breathed a sigh of relief when someone said she loved them since it was the first time I’d tried the recipe.  I tinkered with the recipe a bit, which isn’t always a smart move the first time you make something.  Thankfully it was a good decision and they were delicious.

These flower cookies were party favors and turned out well.  I used a new sugar cookie recipe.  Big mistake.  The dough softened too much during the rolling and cutting which made getting them from board to cookie sheet a very frustrating task.  I think I might have muttered some not so nice language under my breath more than once.  On the bright side, the cookies tasted better than my usual sugar cookie.  I’m just not sure if the frustration is worth it.

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

Adapted very little from Taste of Home

Makes 15 cupcakes


Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted



  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Beat just until combined. Fold in coconut.
  3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  2. Beat in grated lemon peel, vanilla and lemon juice until combined.
  3. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth; stir in 1/4 cup coconut if desired.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes; sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Sailboat Cookies and Life Preserver Cupcakes

My sister Lindsey came down to Houston to help throw a baby shower for a friend of hers, and she asked me to make cookie favors.  I made these sailboat cookies to go along with the sailboat (but not all out nautical) theme.

Here are the invites, made by my sister Lisa.

And here are the finished cookies in their cellophane bags complete with Merci! tags, also by Lisa.

I had to share these cute and kitschy cupcakes.  These were kind of a pain to make.  The life preservers are mini donuts, cored (very carefully) with an apple corer, covered in white candy coating to make for a smooth surface and then piped with red icing.  We put a blob of frosting in the middle of the cupcake, placed the donut on top, and then frosted using a star tip around the donut.

And a start-to-finish on the cookies, Day 1 to Day 3.

If I could make a living doing this, I would.


Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

These cute little cupcakes were for a December birthday lunch at work.  I really over-committed myself this week.  We attended Ben’s office party on Tuesday night, I volunteered to make a dessert for the birthday lunch, I’m bringing Swedish meatballs and a very time consuming little cookie to a Christmas party tonight, and I’m hosting a cookie swap tomorrow that I have yet to bake cookies for.  Yikes!  Needless to say, I did not want to make something complicated or too terribly time-consuming.  So, I made spice cupcakes…from a box! 

I wasn’t lazy enough to use canned frosting, so I made a basic cream cheese frosting and added a few tablespoons of maple syrup.  It was a bit of a stretch for me as a recipe follower, but it turned out to be a nice frosting for the spice cupcakes. 


Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  1. Cream together butter and cream cheese.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until it is a bit thicker than your desired consistency.
  3. Add maple syrup and beat until smooth.

Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Frosting

My friend Jackie had a birthday this past Friday, so she was getting a dozen cupcakes whether she liked it or not.


I used a boxed chocolate cake mix for the cupcakes.  I know…baking from a mix is not my style.  But cake mixes are always reliable, and I haven’t yet found a terrific chocolate cupcake recipe.  So, cake mix it is!

I added a tablespoon of instant coffee to the batter, but it wasn’t a dominant flavor in the cupcake.  I might try to add some brewed coffee next time in place of some of the water in the recipe.   (more…)