Monday, July 26, 2010

Lei Time


Just thought I’d say hi with a few Aloha Cupcakes.

Hi there. Hello. Howdy. How ya doing?

These are Pineapple Mango Cupcakes. All tropical like. With graham cracker crumbs for sand and fondant flowers for the leis. They’d be super cute for a luau party. They’re really pretty easy to make once you have all the pieces and parts.

First start with some cupcakes. Any cupcakes. But if you want to try the ones I made, here’s the recipe.

Pineapple Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained and pureed*

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tray with 24 paper liners.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer for several minutes. Add the eggs one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in three additions with the milk in two additions (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour) Mix until combined with each addition
  • Add the pineapple and mix until combined.
  • Fill cups about 2/3 full and bake for about 15 minutes.

* I pureed the pineapple in a food processor. I’m not a big fan of fruit chunks. Flavor yes. Chunks. Not so much.

Mango Frosting

1-2 Mangoes
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 lb box of confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Cut mangoes. Instructions here.
  • Place mango pieces in food processor and puree enough so you have about 1/3 cup.
  • Beat butter and vanilla until creamy.
  • Add confectioner’s sugar in several additions. beating until well combined with each addition.
  • Add 1/2 cup of mango puree and beat until completely combined.
  • Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.

So that’s the cupcakes. But what about the fun stuff. Who’s ready to play?

Okay, fondant first.


You’ll need some to make these lovely little leis.


You’ll need:

Icing colors
Powdered sugar
Wooden skewers
String or twine

Oh… and a Flower Plunger.

Break off a small amount of fondant. Dip your toothpick into the icing color of your choice and wipe it on your fondant. Begin kneading it to incorporate the color… but not all the way. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on your work surface and rolling pin.

Then roll out the fondant evenly and pretty thin. By not kneading the color completely into the fondant, you’ll get these marbled looking streaks.


Then use the flower plunger. Cut the shapes along the color variations to make flowers that appear to vary in shade.


Repeat with a few other colors if you like.


White works, too.


The flower plunger cuts the shape and also creates an indention in the center of the flower when you press down.

Then you can use wooden skewers to pierce through the center easily. Slide flowers on the skewers and let dry. Make these the day before so the fondant has time to dry out a little. I let them rest on a baking sheet overnight. Just make sure they aren’t pressed together tightly on the skewer or they will dry attached to each other and be difficult to separate without breaking the little flowers.


When they are dry, slide about 50 flowers (depending on the thickness) on a string about 12 inches long and tie a knot.

That’s it.


But what about the cute Aloha signs?

When the cupcakes are cool and frosted, dip them in a bowl of finely ground/crushed graham cracker crumbs.

Sorry, forgot the photo for this one. But you get the idea.

Then make your signs. Just kidding.

I made it easy for you with these…



You’ll also need:

Wooden cookie sticks
X-acto Knife

Cut the cookie sticks down in size. Mine were about 12 inches long so I cut them down to pieces about 4 inches.

Print out the tags on heavyweight paper and cut them out individually. Then use an x-acto blade to cut two slits along the diagonal on each side of the tag.

Slip the sticks through the paper and then insert the sticks straight down into the center of the cupcake.


Like so.

When I first planned these out in my head, I thought they leis would be super cute draped over the signs. But in practice, they worked out better laying around the sign and on the sand.

Hope you like em!


Aloha and … Bye for now.

westseattlekatie said...

OH! I can just see your hello kitty cakepop as Aloha Kitty… make her tan and then use that cute flower punch to give her the aloha spirit… that sounds fun!!

July 26, 2010 04:33 PM
Sandi said...

Wow.. what amazing detail on the leis…

July 26, 2010 05:16 PM
Magdalena Vargas said...

I LOVE em they are so CUTE!!!!!

July 26, 2010 05:27 PM
fi said...

i love these!!

the recipe sounds amazing!

July 26, 2010 06:48 PM
Lydia said...

Super Cute!!! Love it!! Now to go buy the little tool to make it :)

July 26, 2010 07:14 PM
Dani said...

The mango frosting sounds divine!!!

July 26, 2010 07:26 PM
joanne said...

these are awesome!

July 26, 2010 08:00 PM
sarakata said...

I’m from Hawaii, and these totally made me smile. So cute!

July 26, 2010 08:07 PM
Alicia from Team Awesome said...

You are amazing! Love these.

July 26, 2010 08:23 PM
A Cupcake for Moose said...

Quite lovely!!

July 26, 2010 08:48 PM
my spatula said...

you never cease to amaze me! can i please have one? or twenty? xo.

July 26, 2010 09:20 PM
Ginelle Flores said...

You just AMAZE me more every time, but this time you totally read my mind! A friend was asking for hawaiian cupcakes and then you came up with this.. Just wow thank you so very much

July 26, 2010 09:40 PM
Romantic Comedee said...

These are too cute. I want to try my hand at fondant and such, but I am so afraid of it. I don’t know why.

July 26, 2010 09:55 PM
becky lester said...

you are so talented! Thanks for sharing your skillz and making it look like anyone can do the same. I made your whoopie pies last week for my family and everyone loved them!

July 26, 2010 10:29 PM
Dea said...

Mango Frosting??!?!!?…oh yeh! By the way, I am so addicted to this website! I found this website via Tartlette which I found when researching Macaron recipes and now I think I have spent hours on here drooling over my keyboard and letting out little involuntary sighs and groans at the amazing images. I have pre-ordered the recipe book and eagerly await new updates….thank you for inspiring!

July 26, 2010 11:53 PM
cathy amerson said...

I cannot wait to try this…it sounds so .. yummy…

July 26, 2010 11:56 PM
Diane {} said...

so creative and cute, I made cupcakes for a luau party last week, but sadly not as cute as yours. Mine just had pineapple and a cherry on top :)

July 27, 2010 12:42 AM
DJ Hebrard said...

I love these! Everything you touch is magic! You are so creative! Thank you for sharing all of your ideas with us.

July 27, 2010 01:06 AM
Anonymous said...

I’m thinking….some green grass frosting “skirt” and two dark brown Candy Melts for the “coconut bikini” top? What do you think?

July 27, 2010 01:43 AM
Alice said...

These are super amazing cupcakes!!! They look so gorgeous! Wished we had luaus where I’m from so I’d have an excuse to make these. LOL!

July 27, 2010 07:47 AM
Lise' said...

So cute! My daughter (who lives in Hawaii) is here visiting. Perhaps we should make some of these together while she is here. Aloha!

July 27, 2010 08:41 AM
cheryl said...

wow ! these are so adorable !!! great idea !

July 27, 2010 08:50 AM
Cathy said...

Adorable – incredibly creative and thank you for sharing! I love all the photos too – very helpful!

July 27, 2010 09:15 AM
Gina G said...

how adorable!! you really make it seem so easy ..thanks for that!! :)

July 27, 2010 09:47 AM
pollydove said...

When you think you’ve seen it all – YOU come up with something new! OH.MY.WORD these are stickin’ adorable! One of these days I am going to have to try something on your website! It all just seems a little overwhelming at the moment! But, boy, these could not be any cuter! And pineapple? Perfect! :)

July 27, 2010 12:44 PM
Anonymous said...

the plural for lei is… lei. not leis.

July 27, 2010 02:09 PM
Marèse said...

Wow, those look fabulous and so cute! I made some cc’s with coconut and chocolate the other day, a combination with pineapple and mango would go really well with that.
By the way: thanks for a great blog, your creations always make me smile :-)

July 27, 2010 02:46 PM
Khadija said...

wow Super-creative!

July 27, 2010 03:15 PM
Valerie Peli said...

These are perfect for summer gatherings. Love, love, love them!

July 27, 2010 04:02 PM
Kristen said...

I just made a cake version of this recipe but even after cooking it for double the time it’s still raw in the middle. Do the cupcakes actually get thoroughly cooked in just 15 minutes? I’m not sure what I did wrong… :(

July 27, 2010 06:40 PM
Leslie said...

Oh my gosh….this post is so awesome! Those cupcakes look great!

July 27, 2010 09:17 PM
Virginia said...

Wow, these are so cute and I want to make them soooo bad. My nieces birthday party is in less then 2 weeks and she just decided she wanted to do a tropical theme with sandals and such. These would be perfect. The cupcake sounds soo yummy, but I know if I suggested it to her she would think gross. Kids. LOL

July 28, 2010 12:18 AM
Mrs. Kolca said...

This is perfect for a luau party. Ohhh.. you got me dreaming. Haha.

July 28, 2010 02:37 AM
Izumi said...

As a reader from Hawaii, I very much appreciate and love these cupcakes! :D You did an amazing job on the leis – soo neat and soo cute! Thanks for showing our state some love and Aloha. =)

July 28, 2010 04:38 AM
Brittany said...


July 28, 2010 05:03 AM
The Teacher Cooks said...

The leis are so cute. You have more patience than anyone I know.

July 28, 2010 10:22 AM
Chrissy said...

Oh Bakerella!
I’m throwing a hawaiian themed birthday party for my soon to be 9 year old daughter and these are THE PERFECT solution! Thank you for all your creative ideas..they have helped bring my daughters and I closer by spending time together making all sorts of your creations. PS Can’t WAIT for your’s already on order! Love ya!

July 28, 2010 11:23 AM
Katrina said...

These are the absolute cutest! Top me up with a Pina Colada and I’m good to go!

July 28, 2010 12:31 PM
Susan said...

Too cute!

July 28, 2010 03:48 PM
Damaris said...

you know, Polynesians take their food very seriously. You did a good job. this would go very well in Hawaii. Those leis are fantastic.

I want to try making this with Haupia. Have you ever had Haupia? Next time you’re in Hawaii get yourself a chocolate-haupia pie. you’ll love it.

July 28, 2010 04:45 PM
Maria said...

wonderful cupcakes! I’m excited about the mango frosting. Can’t wait to try it out.

July 28, 2010 08:48 PM
Raina said...

These are great! Cannot wait to try:)

July 28, 2010 09:52 PM
Virginie said...

That’s amazing ! love your blog !

July 29, 2010 06:38 AM
Vicky said...

These are just way too cute! Lots of work for the Lei’s, but worth the effort. I have made Mango frosting before and instead of using real Mango’s (which really weren’t the best in the store at the time) I used Mango syrup (which is sold in a bottle like you would find Grenadine syrup).

Hope your ideas keep coming, because even if I can’t make them, they all make me smile!

July 29, 2010 09:02 AM
Aimee said...

You have quite the patience…I think I would have bought the candy bracelets to use as leis. Great ideas!

July 29, 2010 10:47 AM
Tracie said...

In the recipe for the Mango frosting I had a question. It states to prepare 1/3 cup of mango puree. Then in the body of directions it states to mix in 1/2 cup of mango puree. Just curious about how much to add.Thanks!!!

July 29, 2010 03:32 PM
lilyofthevalley said...

Wow…so if you made 2 dozen cupcakes you would have to make an unbelievable 1200 flowers?!?!?!

July 29, 2010 05:18 PM
Made With Pink said...

Very cute! I’ve got the same flower cutter already. Never thought about stringing the little flowers together though!

July 29, 2010 07:08 PM
Cassie said...

How creative! These certaintly would be fantastic for a tropical themed party!

July 30, 2010 03:24 PM
Malu macias said...

Woooww Congratulations, The cupcakes are so cute I love them

July 30, 2010 03:34 PM
Diana said...

Ohhh these are especially cute! The leis are a great touch. :)

July 31, 2010 12:59 AM
Laura Sligh said...

You posted these on my birthday, which is funny because when I was younger, ALL my parties had some sort of “Hawaiian” or “Luau” or “Tropical” theme. I wish these had been around back then- I would have gone nuts over them! Adorable post, as always :)

July 31, 2010 12:29 PM
Maybe said...

Nice flavours !! And I love the sand effect you created with graham cracker crumbs !

August 1, 2010 12:31 PM
Jackie said...

I have to start by saying I totally adore you and your creations. I made these cupcakes yesterday and they tasted amazing. Moist, not too sweet, great texture. However, when I made the frosting, I followed your directions, but decided to add a little more mango puree. It looked like the butter separated the sugar crystalized. Very weird. Have any ideas what went wrong? too much liquid?

August 2, 2010 06:45 AM
Kim said...

These are so adorable and I’m dying to make them. But I don’t care for mango. What could I substitute? Or should I just find a vanilla icing recipe?

August 2, 2010 07:51 AM
Sharon said...

Love these! If I wanted to prep the leis ahead of time, how long do you think they’d last in an airtight container?

August 2, 2010 02:09 PM
Jaclyn said...

I am loving this!! I happen to be visiting friends on Sanibel Island this week and they have been begging me to bake for them! The mangoes here are amazing and I will be making this for my island dwelling friends!!!

August 2, 2010 03:24 PM
s said...

my friends have an awesome blog as well if you love baking and need tips!!
ps. bakerella is one their inspirations

August 4, 2010 09:53 PM
deb said...

Pineapple cupcake recipe was delicious! I tried making the frosting twice but tossed it both times because it separated. Maybe the frozen mango pieces? I ended up using my old standard, cream cheese frosting, which is a delicious substitute for those who may encounter similar difficulties. Keep baking everybody!

August 5, 2010 03:58 AM
Fran_desbananes said...

Wow wonderful, magnifique, bravo ;)!

August 5, 2010 06:36 AM
Kris said...

Made these cupcakes and they are delicious, Mango frosting incredilble

August 5, 2010 02:02 PM
Sparky said...

I just got a flower plunger for my birthday and was trying to think of something cute to do with it, this is perfect! Thank you so much for all your inspiration!

August 5, 2010 04:39 PM
Michelle said...

I made these wonderful cupcakes yesterday and they are all gone! But I do have a question about the frosting. I used 1/3 cup of puree mango and it seemed to be to thin. I put it in the fridge for an hour and it seemed harder but after I piped the frosting onto the cupcake it started to drip off. I put them back in fridge and it just never set up. What did I do wrong? They didn’t look to great but were amazing favors!

August 6, 2010 04:14 PM
Celeste T. said...

i LOVE these! SO cute & i love them more since i’m Polynesian! lol! Bakerella, keep the AWESOME ideas coming & SUPER excited for the cake pop book! my nephew LOVED the red velvet ones i made!

August 12, 2010 07:20 AM
Bronwyn said...

The leis are awesome but I bet if you are pressed for time you could use those candy bracelets as a substitute. Very creative Bakerella….as always!!

August 12, 2010 07:21 PM
Allison said...

I LOVE THESE! So creative …

August 18, 2010 01:11 AM
Brooke said...

Those looks so cool. I will have to try that

August 23, 2010 12:56 PM
Ashley said...

I made these cupcakes for our bi-annual girls weekend. We call it Whore Island (LOL NO really we do) But Pineapple cupcakes went with the island theme. Used lemon meringue buttercream and used these fun little hawiian girl toppers. That way everyone could have their own little Whore Island cupcake!

August 23, 2010 04:44 PM
Carlee Johnson said...

Bakerella, I just love your many creations and you are such an inspiration to so many of us.

August 24, 2010 09:14 PM
Darleen said...

HELP! I’m having an issue with the edible pens to draw on the cake pops. Is there a tip to using them? I’m getting broken lines, can’t make circles etc…

August 25, 2010 12:28 PM
Myra Luna said...

Bakerella, I have to say that I LOVE YOU, and most of what you post here. But this cupcakes?? Not so much :( I made them for my birthday Hawaiian Party and they were just OK… The cupcake was overly sweet and I couldn’t taste the pineapple at all :( :( :( Maybe it should have been better to add it in chunks??

After the cupcake fiasco, I decided to not make the mango frosting, and instead, I tried a Cream Cheese-Coconut frosting, and made the sand with coconut flavored cookies… that kinda saved them…

Still love YOU, though… :)

August 30, 2010 02:18 PM
JoAnn said...


September 12, 2010 11:38 AM
meriam from moorea said...

hi,i m following your blog since 1year approximately and i m a fan of everything you do! congratulations for your creativity and thanks a lot for sharing. for sure,i m gonna get your book,this is a must,i know i m not gonna be dissapointed!
well! i ve tried your wonderfull pineapple cupcakes,whitch are so cute!!! but i have a problem! mine are really flat and so light!!
they taste pretty good,but yours have a nice dome.i m wondering what i have done wrong. can you help me whith this?
thanks for answering

September 13, 2010 07:20 PM
Rosell M. said...

Love it!!! I love the little leis!!!

September 15, 2010 11:50 AM
SADHIA said...

olá amei os pop cakes e cupcakes são receitas bem diferentes do brazil conheça meu blog bjus sadhia

October 29, 2010 02:52 PM
Claudia said...

Hi I’m new to the site but I have already tried a couple recipes.
The pop tarts and the cheeseburger and fries it was great. I got alot of praise and everyone enjoyed so thanks for the recipes. I tried the pineapple mango cupcakes and did were really good but the frosting never set it was running and my butter turned into oil like very watery how can I fix that?

November 1, 2010 03:43 AM
oreo lover said...

love them, bakerella, do you know are there leis already made?

February 26, 2011 07:07 PM
hungazit said...

I love it

February 27, 2011 08:01 AM
Janey M said...

Made the cupcakes today! turned out really well. The Mango icing is so yummy!! At first the mango flavor was too subtle – it tasted like a good vanilla buttercream w/ something special. Later in day the mango flavor really infused in icing and I’m trying not to spread it on anything/everything I can get my hands on.

I did have to bake my cupcakes longer then the suggested 15 mins – for my oven it was more like 21-22 mins.

I’ve used crushed grahm crackers and Vanilla wafers together to use as sand because sand isn’t just one color of brown.

Thank you for sharing your creative ideas and recipes! high hats are next!

April 9, 2011 11:52 PM
Odalys said...

Getting ready to make these for my preschool Mother’s Day Tea, but I had one question, which size punch did you use for for the little flowers? So glad I discovered your site. Love your work!

April 24, 2011 02:24 PM
Robena Bleecker said...

This really is such a good useful resource you are giving and you give it away for absolutely free. I really like finding website pages that realize the worth of providing a high quality useful resource for totally free.

May 27, 2011 01:18 PM
Jules said...

They are soooooooooo adorable!!! Another great creation by Bakerella!!!!

June 20, 2011 02:08 PM
Anonymous said...

i need to make these!

June 26, 2011 06:40 PM
Anonymous said...

I made the cupcakes, they didnt taste too good. The Mango frosting was not too good either. Im a little disappointed. good idea though

July 12, 2011 11:08 PM
Diana said...

I just discovered your site, you are truly amazing, i can´t wait to start trying your ideas, thanks!!

July 26, 2011 05:51 PM
Nima Mody said...

Hi Bakerella!
Hope all is well :)
I was wondering if you could help me out b/c I wanted to try to make these for our Luau themed BBQ that’s coming up….
For this pineapple cupcake recipe, could cake/pastry flour be sub’d for the all-purpose flour?
Thanks for your help!
Warmest regards,
Nima :)

July 30, 2011 02:25 PM
Anonymous said...

We tried these cupcakes, but it came out tasting really bland,,,and the frosting started to curdle. Any advice?

August 5, 2011 12:38 AM
Anne said...

Whoa!!!! You made those lei’s? Yow!! You are goooooood!

August 15, 2011 08:03 PM
Jeng said...


November 1, 2011 03:26 AM
Marisol said...

Will this still work with my vegan cake mix and pineapples…

December 23, 2011 07:27 AM
michelle said...

hi there. can you tell me what size flower plunger you used…i found a site where you can order just the one you need for cheaper.

thanks so much for your beautiful idea!

December 31, 2011 03:10 PM
Navu said...

Wow these cupcakes are supercute! I was thnking of making them for my aunt and uncle who just came back from hawaii, i thought the leis were candy bracelets at first but the fondant idea seems alot better! One question though, i make my cupcakes in a cupcake maker and it only makes mini cupcakes….anyideas how i could do this idea on smaller cupcakes?? Please and Thanks!!

January 4, 2012 01:02 PM
Aine said...

Just made these and they turned out AMAZING!!! Completely different than the average cupcake, but in a delicious way.

One more note — I’m only 14 and made these cupcakes easily for my family. The toughest part was making the signs, but those were still pretty easy. I wish i could attach pics!

Thanks Bakerella!!

April 22, 2012 02:07 AM
bobby said...

these look AMAZING! love the flowers

July 18, 2012 09:41 PM
Gabrielle said...


July 25, 2012 10:32 PM
Pam said...

Adorable, and a lot of work!

July 30, 2012 11:21 AM
softballchic said...

these cupcakes r awsome i made them at my 9th b day prty. even though it was 3 years ago i remember it solely because of these cupcakes

August 2, 2012 06:48 PM
Charlemagne Prokopyshyn said...

wow Bakerella do you design your own labels (pdf downloads) or do you have a designer to do that? They are so good! I love the leis too! Reminds me of when I was in Oahu! :-)))

August 21, 2012 12:49 PM
FHTREATS said...

Thanks so much. I recently used the idea for the Leis.

July 26, 2014 06:36 PM
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