As I type this, my cousin Lacy is running her first marathon in San Diego! I am so proud of her – she is such an inspiration!

Our go-to cocktail in the summer is coconut rum and cranberry juice. It is so delicious, refreshing, and island-like that I could drink it for breakfast.

Don’t worry. I haven’t gone there.


But sometimes, Mr. How Sweet has me on the verge of going there.

He likes to mix coconut rum, cranberry, and orange juice, but I’ll stop there regarding his passion for fruity drinks. It is a delightful combo, too. He knows his girly beverages.

Malibu rum would be our favorite, but we don’t discriminate.

The same goes for these cupcakes. I used Malibu, but I think any brand would do.

I started with my basic vanilla cupcake recipe and added a slew of coconut flavors – milk, extract and rum.

This could also be made into a cake, and I think a layer of fruit (think strawberries, pineapple, and cherries) would be perfect.


So, grab a cupcake and pretend you’re laying in the sand.


Coconut Rum Cupcakes

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

contents of 1/2 vanilla bean

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup coconut rum (I used Malibu)

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together until fluffy. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and mix until combined.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Add coconut rum and fold in shredded coconut.

Pour into cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 mins at 350. Let cool, then frost.

Malibu Frosting

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 – 2 lbs powdered sugar

1/4 cup coconut rum

1 tablespoon vanilla

Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with rum and vanilla, until desired consistency is reached. Feel free to add more or less sugar or liquid based on how thick you want your frosting.



Mr. How Sweet’s love for coconut stops at rum.

I’ve said it before, but he despises coconut. It’s the texture, people.

If you know someone who likes the taste of coconut, just not the texture, simply leave the shredded coconut out.

I was not that nice.