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.

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204 comments on “Lei Time”

  1. pineapple mango cupcakes!? that sounds absolutely delectable! and your leis are adorable!

  2. Hahaha these are soooo cute!

  3. Cute, although I don’t know if I have the patience for 50 flowers per lei…I’d definitely eat it though! I love them!

  4. I love this idea. And I love the fact that you made the flowers out of marbled fondant, that way they all look a little different. It makes them interesting.

  5. brown sugar for the “sand” is Awesome :)

  6. These are super cute! And the recipe sounds yummy too. You’ve always got such great ideas =)

  7. oh my – these look UNREAL!!! What a great concept!

  8. Emily – The punch makes it a breeze.

    jodi – I thought about that. I have a few without crumbs. I’m gonna try it.

  9. You are a goddess of patience!

  10. Super cute, as always!

    I need to have a child first to make all those flowers for me! Definitely do not have the patience to do it myself…

  11. Oh my gosh. I generally find Hawaiian themed things a bit tacky; but those leis are to die for. I love how resourceful and creative you are. Love.

  12. I agree with trish about the patience! Just looking at those leis makes me tired! But the cupcakes are so dang cute. Aloha!

  13. So cute and perfect for a summer lual party! (I think thats how you spell it)

  14. These look so adorable and i LOVE mango so thanks for the recipe!

  15. wowza. so creative. luvz it!

  16. That’s a super cute idea for the lei’s I love it. Thought they were candy bracelets when I saw the pic.

  17. You are sheer genius ..I love all your work and how did you get the deal with posting on Disney’s blog and magazine ….ssoooooooo awesome I love Disney !

  18. I so adore these! I am now considering switching my daughter’s birthday party theme. Hmmm. Wait, we did Luau 2 years ago. Damn!

  19. Pure genius, absolutely!! Wish I were as artistic as you are!! I actually have that fondant punch too so now I know another thing to do with it!

  20. Wowzer!…You are just so creative!!!….I love going thru your site again and again..simply to look at your creations!!!

  21. Waiting to see you make Chunggington cake pops!

  22. You’ve thought of everything so it would be easier for us to make these too. Thank you so much! :)

  23. These are so cute! I love anything Hawaii related! My favourite place on earth :)

  24. love love love your cute and amazing creations. Your pictures are outstanding! Love the layout of your website!! Not too busy. I love it!!!!

  25. So cute ! i just love them , going to try them out this weekend

  26. Very cute and original. Love the thought of a pineapple cupcake.

  27. I am in awe of your creativity. Seriously, I’m kneeling and bowing with my arms stretched out. WOW, that’s all I have to say.

  28. So cute! Just an FYI, there is no letter S in the Hawaiian language, so the plural for lei is still “lei.” Sorry, it’s just a pet peeve of mine as it was drilled into my head since I was a little kid.

  29. These are just gorgeous – you are seriously talented. Don’t know where you get the ideas but you are our inspiration x

  30. WOW!!! Pineapple Mango cupcakes sounds divine…I will definitely be trying these.

  31. how can you be so patient ?!?

  32. Those are so cute !!

  33. Oh these are adorable! The cupcake sounds absolutely yummy and the flower garlands are just darling. I need to have a Hawaiian party to have an excuse to make them. Although considering the weather in the UK right now, I may have to wait for the two days of summer we have next year to have the party. Can’t imagine a Hawaiian party in the gloomy rain!

  34. Hi, this is my first comment on your blog. I’m fida from Malaysia. Followed your blog since last year. I like it very much. I’ve made the cheesecake pops but it was messy! well, it needs practice to get as neat as yours. I will certainly try your recipe. Keep up the good work!

  35. You always have the cutest ideas! I tried making my first cake balls yesterday and they came out ok looking…. but the kids couldn’t stop eating them! so great :)

    Next step – I just need to get them prettier :) sprinkles hide a lot though…

  36. Oh my, these look fantastic! Wowzers!

  37. They are too cute! I’d love to make them for my upcoming vacation!

  38. OH my, I laughed when you said “Chunks? Not so much”! I don’t like them either though, it’s good that it’s not just me :0) They are so cute and creative and I love the little “leis”!

  39. The cupcakes sound delicious and the decor is so cute!

    Well done!

  40. Too cute for words! I am so excited to try them!

  41. Love ’em!


  42. These are so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish it were my birthday right NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! — it’s in October, but I’m positive I’m going to make these for myself. Hehe. Except, I think I’ll make toasted coconut cupcakes, because those are my favorite. :)

  43. As usual, these look amazing!!! What a cute idea – and perfect for a summer barbeque!

  44. Look yummy! Will have to try them!

  45. ooohhhh my gosh! so darn precious! we have a luau coming up that these would be perfect for! i have to admit i am a little scared of ‘fondant’, but i just might have to try it for these!!!
    you are such an artist! thanks for sharing your AMAZING ideas!!!!

  46. Sigh… I want to be just like you when I grow up.

  47. The cup cakes are amazing. They are supper cute and easy enough for the kids to help with.
    LOL its funny you chose cupcakes this week .. I was going to sugest rainbow cupcakes. I seen them on youtube and you tint your batter all different colors. They would make a tropical cupcake look even mor sensational from a side veiw looking inside.
    LOL I know what I’m doing today, will post picks of them latter.

  48. these are TOO cute…i want to go to hawaii now! :)

  49. It sound sooo yummy, yummy and it looks gorgeous!!!


    You’re so creative, I envy you!!

    Keep em comin! ;-)

  51. Love this idea and the fun cupcake and icing flavor.

  52. What a great idea! And I am so eager to get your Cake Pops book. I’ve got it pre-ordered!

  53. awesome idea! so cute and pineapple cupcakes with mango frosting?!? mmmm… mmmm. you never cease to amaze me

  54. Rather than go to Hawaii I say we all go to Bekerella’s house…
    Pineapple cupcakes sound great. Will be trying this one..

  55. What a creative idea for the flower leis…these are absolutely adorable!

  56. How adorable! And for those of us who want to simplify the leis, perhaps using the old school round hard candy from candy necklaces on the stretchy string would also work a a replacement for the fondant flowers?! Very cute.

  57. another great creation …………how fun……….

  58. Flavor the fondant! It tastes so much better. I have used pina colada flavoring oil. MMMM! It is fabulous!

  59. I have to bookmark this recipe. Good thing I live in a tropical country. We always have mangoes and pineapples here. And they are my favorite!

  60. these are so cute… I love the flavors too, I have never tried mangoes with pineapple before, I’m going to try this, we have lots of mangoes here :)

  61. really neat idea. I have luau every year but wouldn’t have time to make these. You are ambitious!

  62. I can’t wait to make these for my 6 year old. With Pineapple being his favorite fruit..And Aloha, Scooby Do his favorite movie right now… Thanks a million!!

  63. I can’t believe how cute these are!!! And pretty easy too… I think it would be adorable if you served these inside plastic coconut shaped cups!

  64. These are fantastic!

  65. I love your aloha tags! You are just way to creatively talented and detail-oriented. ;)

    Wei Wei

  66. What a great idea! I especially love the graham cracker crumbs for sand. I’ll be making these for my son’s first birthday- he’s a kama’aina!

  67. The time that must have gone in to making the cute leis and the mango pineapple sounds like such a delicious combination for the cupcakes.

  68. Wow! These are awesome! What an amazing combo of pineapple cupcake with mango frosting. It sounds delicious! And so stinking cute!!

  69. These would be so cute for my son’s high school production of “South Pacific”! Thanks!! I’ll start making the lei’s now for the March show tee hee!!!

  70. What temp do you bake the cupcakes at? I can’t find it in the recipe. 350?

  71. These are absolutely amazing! All yummy real ingredients and hand made, down to the leis! I am utterly in awe of these.

  72. Meghan Baxter – whoops. Adding it right now. 350.

  73. really cute summer idea. but if pressed for time, you could probably use candy necklaces

  74. You always have the cutest ideas for baked goods! Pineapple cupcakes sound amazing!

  75. Wow! I can’t believe you cut out and “beaded” all those little flowers for the leis. I love the idea, though!

  76. Very cute! I think these would be perfectly cute without the signs and maybe cutting out a shirt shape out of fondant and hand painting your own hawaiian shirts.

  77. You are a genious!!!
    I love your work!!!

  78. Oooh what about using those candy bracelets as leis too? Something everyone can hold on to and eat all night after the cupcake is gone.

    Beautiful cupcakes (as always)!

  79. These are so freakin cute!

  80. Hawaii will always be in my heart, and these cupcakes are a fabulous way to feel the love! Thanks for the GREAT instructions; your blog is a feast for the eyes. Heidi

  81. LOVE these!!!

  82. I agree with everyone who usually think luau things are tacky. These are astoundingly precious. You are my favorite blog on the interwebs! <3

  83. I love these cupcakes! They are adorable.
    I wonder how pretzel sticks would have looked instead of the wooden ones. Then you could eat that part too :)

  84. These are perfect for my brother’s beach themed engagement party!

  85. i bet you could use some sort of little candies..check around maybe there is something out there that would make it easier to make the leis.

  86. Those are super cute! :)

  87. Making these into cakepops for a summer party. Yummy!

  88. Love these! Your ideas are the best!

  89. I love it! My husband will be laugh because now I want to buy a new toy! I was talking to a customer of mine, and she was saying how she doesn’t have a lot of cook/bake ware and toys and such, because whenever she has the money to spend she chooses shoes. I told her that I get so excited when it becomes time to spend my extra change on kitchen supplies!

  90. LOVE the little fondant flower leis!!

    If you can stand to hear it just one more time… You are SOOOO creative and fun!

  91. Since I am originally from Hawaii and we are always having luaus, this is awesome. I am thinking I might make my own sign in the shape of an aloha shirt and drape the lei. We’ll see. What a great idea…AGAIN!

  92. Wow! You’re genius again!:)

  93. Adorable, but too much work for me.

    However, I CAN print out the signs and stick THOSE into the cupcakes.

    How on earth do you made graphics like that? please tell me, I am desperate.

  94. You are too talented!!! Soooooo cute.

  95. oooooo, c’est tout mignon, ça donne envie de faire un goûter entre copines vite vite!

  96. Those look great. I love the little leis.

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