These Pineapple Turmeric Cupcakes are a healthy tropical treat with a superfood sunshine glow and fluffy-sweet coconut frosting! Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.
So I had this idea to make the simplest pineapple cupcake ever based on these easiest/healthiest/yummiest ever chocolate cupcakes with crushed pineapple in place of the dates. Because dates and crushed pineapple are practically the same thing, right?
Spoiler alert: wrong. Pineapple has a bit more liquid than dates. Just a smidge.
Batch #1 came out of the oven looking…okay. Looking like cupcakes that hadn’t quite hit their fluffy dome-top growth spurt yet. Then I picked one up. And realized it had the density of fudge. Fudge made out of rocks (recipe loosely adapted from Hagrid, of course). And while I love fudge, cupcake-shaped pineapple fudge was not the plan. Now pineapple-shaped cupcake fudge, that would’ve been a different story…
But the plan for this recipe was fluffy and frosting-worthy and golden gosh darnit!
So I nixed the dump-an-entire-can-of-crushed-pineapple-in-the-batter part of the recipe, and went halfsies with dates and crushed pineappple. The second batch was sweeter and softer and all around more scrumptious, but the color was a little meh. So I added turmeric to batch #3 and they glowed! And I frosted them and smushed coarsely-shredded coconut all over their perfect little domed heads because that felt like the tropically-appropriate thing to do. And they tasted like paradise if paradise were made of really yummy cake.
Blending the batter. Before you scurry off to make these, we need to talk about blending. Specifically over-blending the batter after you add the flour and the sad gummy texture that
may will result. So if you want fluffyamazing cupcakes, you have to blend for just the briefest of moments.
On the first blend with just the fruits and liquids, blend till your heart’s content and your mixture is chunk-free. But after you add the flour, blend carefully. If you hit the ten second mark you have gone way too far my friend. Even if there are still a few little bits of un-mixed flour stuck to the sides of the blender, just stir those in by hand to be on the safe side.
The name Pineapple Coconut Turmeric Cupcakes felt like way too many descriptors for a lil golden cup of cake, so one of those words had to be voted off this island. Alas, coconut drew the short
straw palm frond. Actually pineapple had fruity immunity and turmeric made them 17 times prettier to look at especially when the sun hits those fluffy insides juuuuuust right, so coconut was the only choice. Coconut, you understand. I’ll give you a special “with…” mention on the pin. Promise.
The cupcakes themselves are not overly sweet since the only sugar in them is fruit sugar, that’s why I love a not-small serving of coconut whipped cream frosting on top. You could drizzle them with this lemony (but actually secretly pineapple based…shhhh) glaze lusciousness instead. Or you could just leave them naked and call them muffins if it makes ya happy. Your choice–I pass the baking baton to you. By the way the baton is a pineapple, so go make cupcakes with it. Also watch out for the pokey bits.
Happy tropical turmeric treat making!Print
Pineapple Turmeric Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 cupcakes 1x
These Pineapple Turmeric Cupcakes are a healthy tropical treat with a superfood sunshine glow and fluffy-sweet coconut frosting!
- 1 cup crushed pineapple
- 8 pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk ((or any non-dairy milk))
- 1 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Cream from a 15-oz can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled ((*see note))
- 1–2 tbsp sweetener of choice
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a blender, combine the pineapple, dates, and coconut milk. Blend on high until well combined.
- Add the oat flour, baking powder, and turmeric. Blend very briefly just to combine.
- Divide into 6 lightly greased muffin cups filling each 3/4 of the way. Smooth the tops.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- For the frosting, whisk/beat together the coconut cream and sweetener until light and smooth.
- Frost your cooled cupcakes, top with shredded coconut, and enjoy!
*Or you can use a couple of these little cans of coconut cream, they tend to have even better texture for frosting
More golden turmeric magic…
-Glowing pancakes to wake you up sunshine style
-Or maybe a cold frosty frappe is more your morning thing
-The name might read lemon, but between you and me it’s actually turmeric that deserves most of the color credit
-The brightest sprinkle of the whole rainbow bunch
what can I use instead of pineapple if it is not ava??? 🙂
Another fruit puree like mango would work, or even applesauce. Or you can increase the amount of dates to 12 (about 1 cup packed) and the nondairy milk to 1 cup and they will work just fine with the dates alone 🙂
These have a brighter glow than most people I know!! That little turmeric, man, it’s so powerful! These are gorgeous. You really can’t go wrong with the coconut and pineapple combo, and adding some turmeric to the mix helps them emit a hue to draw even more attention to the deliciousness you’re about to experience! Although I can definitely relate to title issues – forever too many seemingly necessary words! And oh nooo, so sad about you first batch of rock cakes! Bet they still tasted better than Hagrid’s. These are just about PERFECT for spring/summertime, Natalie, they look awesome!!
Your first sentence is true and also kinda funny and also rhymes–I love it! 😀 Ugh I know, that title bar is never long enough for all the descriptors and ingredients I want to cram inside. Ha yes somehow I don’t think there are many pineapples growing in the Forbidden Forest so mine were probably a bit more fruity and sweet than Hagrids 😀 Hope your monday had a bit of turmeric-level brightness in it too!
Hey Natalie! These cupcakes look delicious, and I could probably eat the frosting all by itself ? also, this blog post was cracking me up! I love your sense of humor. ❤️
Oh thank you Abby! Hehe yes, extra frosting never goes to waste…cupcake optional 😀
Demeter | Beaming Baker says
You say, “tropical.” I say, “YUM!” “Tropical!” “YUM!” Haha. Nothing like a deliciously new, inventive and decidedly summer-esque recipe from my bestie to make Monday so much less Monday. Dates v. Crushed Pineapple. The verdict is: blergh!! But that’s what I love about ya, you’re always willing to kitchen experiment the heck out of IT. Yes, IT! Blending: Yes!! That’s why I’m always so anxious about blender muffins: gummy muffins are the worst! Thanks for the awesome tips, Nat. Now I’ll just be dreaming that that perfectly half-split cupcake is ALL mine! xoxo Love ya!
I think oat flour is partially to blame for the blender muffin -> gummy muffin problem though. Almond flour or (if you somehow discovered a hidden secret to making muffins out of) coconut flour don’t seem as gummy-risky. Just guessing though, no personal experience here. You can have BOTH halves of the half split cupcake–all yours because you have exciting stuff happening over there and stuff that may require some extra sunshine snack fuel☀️ xoxo
The Vegan 8 says
Ok, I think the turmeric gods are speaking to me because this is the 2nd day in a row I’ve seen turmeric muffins! Maybe it’s the Spring theme that should be happening in my kitchen right now. These are just glowing bright and beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t like pineapple…wahhhhh! I know I’m a total weirdo. I bet it gives some wonderful moisture and flavor to these cupcakes and hello, coconut cream frosting is one of my fave frostings to use because it’s so creamy and light and honestly doesn’t need much sweetener at all, especially if the cupcakes/muffins are on the sweet side. Lol at the title issue…seriously, sometimes the hardest part about a recipe to me is coming up with the name for it, haha! Well, the name for these is perfect and they are just screaming spring and summer at the same time!
You don’t like pineapple either?? ? Wow the fruity favorites list just gets more and more exclusive! But you should totally turmeric it up sans pineapple/fruit. I always seem to pair it with yellow fruit flavors like lemon and mango, but it can fly solo too. I mean you have to embrace those recipe messages from the universe when they come, ya know!? ? Mmm yes I agree 100% on the coconut frosting. I rarely sweeten it for myself, it’s just that fluffy creamy texture next to cake/cookies/baked things that I adore so much❤️
The Vegan 8 says
Ha, yes I know! I was not given tastebuds that like fruit unfortunately and trust me, I hate it so much! I know how healthy fruit is and wish I liked it more. I love apples and I like strawberries and blueberries inside smoothies but that’s about it, lol.
Eh you do amazing dessert things without all the fruit so who cares!! Berries and apples have actually been my go-tos lately too 🙂
audrey @ unconventional baker says
Where do I collect my pineapple baton? I’m ready ??
I love the golden turmeric glow. About the moisture — so been there trying to come up with a pineapple cake before. Also strawberries — and it’s not just the extra moisture you have to contend with but also the acidity which can make doming impossible in some scenarios… So your little cupcakes are pretty darn perfect in every respect ?
Take the pineapple and run like the wind Audrey!! LOL Hmmm hadn’t even thought about the acidity piece…although sometimes a little acidity is good for leavening! It’s funny how what seems like a simple ingredient swap never is quite so simple 😀
Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper says
Omg these sound amazing. I love turmeric and to be honest, haven’t thought at all about using it in a sweeter recipe before. Will have to try this for sure! 🙂
Well I have yet to use it in a non sweet recipe so we both seem to have some turmeric branching-out to do ha! ? Thanks Lindsay!!
Heidi C. says
Another winner! It’s nice to see Pineapple used, it’s one of my favorites. Question, did you drain the crushed pineapple bits to measure, or did you include the liquid? Thanks!
Hi Heidi! No I did not drain the crushed pineapple, but I did spoon it out instead of pouring so I wouldn’t get all the liquid first. Good question, I should not that in the recipe. Thanks!
rachel @ athletic avocado says
fluffy pineapple cupcakes with fluffy frosting!? Heck yes I’m all about this! My Mom would LOVE these for Mother’s day!
Oh dang that’s soon isn’t it!?? Thanks for the reminder!
Nisha / @rainbowplantlife says
These tropical cuties sound amazing, Natalie! Love the flavor combo of pineapple and turmeric.
Turmeric and any yellow/golden fruit–it just works??
Hi Natalie, quick questions is 1 tablespoon of baking powder correct, that seems like a lot to me?
Yes, 1 tbsp is correct. It is a lot, but all that fruit would make them really dense without the leavening power. If you are worried about the metallic taste you can decrease to 2 tsps, but I’ve never had a problem with it in this recipe or any of my other cupcake recipes with the same amount 🙂
So happy to have found your blog! I no longer have to alter ingredients to make them healthier 🙂
I want to make this for my son’s 3rd birthday but would love to do it as a cake. Any tips for that?
Hi Rebecca! Oh yay, I am happy to hear that we have the same preferences when it comes to ingredients 🙂 I have not made this pineapple version into a cake before, but I have made my similar date-based chocolate cupcake recipe into a cake many times. One batch this size will make a single layer 8″ round cake or if you use a 6″ round pan it will be thick enough to slice into two layers. The ingredient amounts should be fine as is, it will just need to bake longer–approximately 30-35 minutes. Test the center after 30 and it should feel firm/bounce back. Getting the center to cook completely and not fall after you take it out is the only real potential issue with a larger cake. I hope all that makes sense, let me know if not, and good luck!
I live in Germany and as far as I know, we don’t have crushed pineapples here. I would love to bake these for my daughter’s birthday though, so I need your help: is that like a purree or are there pieces in it? so can i replace it by something liquid or would that be too moist?
thank you 🙂
It’s like a chunky applesauce consistency, so a liquid would not work in it’s place. You could use applesauce or mashed banana instead, or if you don’t care about the pineapple part and have access to dates maybe try this recipe instead: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/healthy-vanilla-cake-chocolate-fudge-frosting/ It can be made into cupcakes too, just bake them for less time (25 minutes). And there is a chocolate version too if you prefer. Hope that helps, let me know if not!
Chien Ai says
i made them but without the frosting. super yummy! i made them with my over-ripe pineapple. thank you! they are completely guilt-free to me!
The perfect way to use up pineapple, I am so happy you like liked them!! I like the sneaky little flax addition too, thanks so much for the feedback 🙂
chien ai says
oh another thing to add, i also added a flax egg for more nutrition, delicious
Hi, I used fresh pineapple and I even added a bit of more flour (1-2tbsp) as it was quite liquid, but it didn’t work well… they didn’t bake, and were still moist inside (kept them for a bit longer as well in the oven). Do you think I should reduce the amount of milk? or try to drain the pineapple before? Thanks!
Aw bummer. I would start with draining the pineapple, the fresh vs crushed is probably the biggest difference. And make sure not to over blend the batter either after you add the flour, that can make the inside texture gummy. Hope the next batch goes better!
Marsha Farmer says
Thanks Natalie for posting this cupcakes recipe! I will give it a try one day.
I hope you do Marsha, they are a bit unconventional but so yummy 🙂
Looks delicious! Can you use dried dates with pit as well?
Sure, but you will need to pit them first and use more (probably about 12, or 3/4 cup packed). Happy baking!
Made them & they turned out amazing 💗 Posted pics on my ig @veganrecipestester 🙂
They look so so good Nathalie! They can definitely play the role of muffins or cupcakes, that glaze is completely optional 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!
Is there a way to sub the pineapples with oranges for example?
Hi Daniela! Hmm oranges are much more watery so pureed oranges would have quite a different consistency than pureed pineapple. What I might suggest instead for an orange-y cupcake is to sub the water in this recipe with orange juice: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/everything-free-vanilla-cupcakes-2/
I’m planning on making this for my mother but her health condition prevents her from consuming dried fruits but welcomes pineapple greatly in her diet. If I were to omit the dates, should I be increasing the pineapple (I’m using fresh as she does not like the taste of canned ones) and if yes, by how many cups? If pulling an all-pineapple thing is not recommended, what is your suggestion for me to replace the dates that would be best to complement the pineapple?
Unfortunately swapping the dates for more pineapple won’t work, the pineapple adds SO much more moisture that it will make the cupcakes mushy and not cook through properly. There is no perfect sub for the dates in this recipe, they are pretty essential. But maybe try this date-free cake recipe instead: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/lemon-yogurt-bundt-cake/#tasty-recipes-15780 And you could use crushed pineapple in place of some or all of the yogurt and swap the lemon juice for non-dairy milk😊 I think that will work better!
OK where do I start coz I have so many to write lol…
First and foremost, I”m throwing a tantrum here as you responded to my question too late that I had already baked them when you replied! (j/k on the tantrum ha ha). It’s my fault mostly ha ha.. should have not asked a technical ques too close to the time planned on trying out a recipe.
Anyways, I couldn’t wait longer and had to bake as I was planning on visiting my mom who lives in another state about 3 hours away the next day. I baked them fingers crossed with ALL fresh pineapple, crushed, measured at 1 and 1/2 cup total, waited for them to cool, got your reply, and turned out something urgent came up and I couldn’t visit my mom as planned and had to postpone to the next day lmao.
So…. my recipe was, for the benefit of other readers who MAY be interested, everything as per your recipe except that I omitted date altogether, and replaced those with 1/2 cup of crushed fresh pineapple. My pineapple was quite watery, but I did not squeeze the juices out, but (can I use two ‘buts’ one sentence after another, consecutively? Sorry I’m not that clever ha ha) I also tried not to include all the juices that was left on the cutting board (I just chopped them into tiny bits before measuring).
Aaaaaannddd whaddya know? They baked up beautifully, NOT mushy at all inside, all spongey and moist! Is that a success or is that a success? He he….
I did not have coconut cream on hand, so I whipped up 7 minute frosting, lightly iced the top and sprinkled toasted shredded coconuts liberally on top. My mom loved them.
A HUGE BIG THANKS TO YOU for coming up with this recipe. I just love your recipes as they uses few ingredients but they are certainly not lacking in taste.
And oh… if anyone’s interested in the calorie count, mine came up with 110 kcal per cupcake without frosting and topping.
I followed your recipe, but used almond flour instead of oat flour because I was feeling too lazy to make it (which now I feel silly for), and they ended up looking like toasted cups of mush. Where did I go wrong? Should I have used a different amount of almond flour (I’m a noob at gluten free baking)?
Almond flour doesn’t work as a sub for oat flour, its MUCH more moist than oat flour so that is what went wrong. Sorry! You have to make a lot of adjustments to swap between the two flours and still make it taste good, so I’d recommend sticking with recipes designed for almond flour! Hope that helps 🙂
These were great for my daughter’s first birthday! Trying not to spoil her with sugar too early. Now that many of your new recipes have tapioca flour, would you recommend adding that here?
I am so happy you guys liked them! Perfect for little ones 🙂 You could try adding a few tbsp of tapioca, it’s a binder so makes things less crumbly for the most part. These are quite moist so its not super essential here!
In the comments you mention 1 cup packed dates = 12 dates. My dates are much smaller – would be about 20 dates in 1 packed cup. Should I use only 8 dates or 2/3 cup of packed dates?
How are you?
I would like to make these for my daughter’s 2nd birthday…would Gluten Free Mutipurpose Flour work?
And, how about frozen pineapple chunks?
The flour should be fine! And I’ve never tried with frozen pineapple, you definitely need to defrost it first, but I don’t see why that won’t work. Hope she enjoys them 🙂