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Pineapple cupcakes on platter with cherry on top.
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5 from 1 vote

Pineapple Cupcakes with Cherry Frosting

A refreshing treat and so simple to make, these easy Pineapple Cupcakes with Cherry Frosting are a delicious dessert that will make any occasion all the mo⅐⅐re festive. Pineapple cupcakes with maraschino cherries hidden right inside and a cherry on top--can't beat this goodness!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Baked Goods, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Lorie Yarro


For the Pineapple Cupcakes:

  • ½ c butter, softened to room temperature one stick
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple do not drain!
  • c flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 maraschino cherries optional

For the Cherry Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened 2 sticks
  • 4- 4½ c powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 - 4 T maraschino cherry juice


For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, cream the butter for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the brown and granulated sugars and continue to cream until light and fluffy.
  • Add in one egg at a time, beating only until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and crushed pineapple (along with the juices!) until fully combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture into the pineapple mixture and beat until incorporated. Do not over stir at this point. Spoon mixture into a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners about ⅓ of the way. Add a maraschino cherry in the center and then spoon the rest of the batter over top to fill the cupcake liners to about ⅔ of the way. If you don't want to add cherries, just fill about ⅔ of the way.
  • Bake the cupcakes 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes up clean. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for several minutes in the muffin tin and then remove and cool on a cooling rack the rest of the way.
  • Make the Frosting: Cream butter in a medium mixing bowl using an electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. You can reserve the last ½ cup for the end if you feel it needs to be added.
  • Once the powdered sugar is mixed in, add the vanilla and then the cherry juice, starting 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. For a darker pink frosting, add a drop or two of red food coloring.
  • When cupcakes are completely cooled, spread the frosting or pipe it on top, whatever you desire! Store the cupcakes for about 3 days at room temperature, tightly sealed or about a week in the refrigerator.


  • This recipe makes enough cherry frosting to pipe a lot of icing on your pineapple cupcakes. If you are not planning on piping, and will be spreading the frosting with a knife or spatula, you may end up with a decent amount of leftover icing.
  • Make sure your baking powder is fresh. Old or close to expired baking powder can cause the cupcakes not to rise. To check if your baking powder is still fresh, add a teaspoon to about a cup of hot water. If the baking powder fizzes, you are good to go. If you don't see any immediate fizzing, replace it with fresh baking powder!
  • You can add maraschino cherries to the frosting. In testing these cupcakes, I added chopped cherries to the frosting. While I loved the extra flavor, piping was hard and some of the cherries would get stuck. If you are just spreading the frosting, add some very small chopped cherries. If piping, either skip or make sure they are chopped SUPER small.
  • Prep these cupcakes a day in advanced if desired. If you have a party or celebration you are prepping for, these pineapple cupcakes will work well if you make them in advance. They can be stored in an air tight container in a cool, dry area away from sunlight. You can also store them in the refrigerator--just make sure they sit out for about 2 hours before serving.