Tropical Luau Cupcakes
by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.
Yield: Makes 30 cupcakes
2 cans (8 ounces each) crushed pineapple in juice
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix without pudding in the mix1 package 1(4-serving size) banana cream instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 container (12 ounces) whipped vanilla frosting
3/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted*
3 to 4 medium kiwi
30 (2-1/2-inch) pretzel sticks
*To toast coconut, spread evenly on ungreased baking sheet; bake in preheated 350°F oven 4 to 6 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring frequently.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 30 standard (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper baking cups. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Set pineapple aside.
2. Beat reserved pineapple juice, cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil and nutmeg in large bowl with electric mixer at low speed 1 minute or until blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Fold in pineapple. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full.
3.Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
4. Frost tops of cupcakes with frosting; sprinkle with coconut. For palm trees,* peel kiwi and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Create palm fronds by cutting each slice at 3/8-inch intervals, cutting from outside edge toward center. (Leave about 3/4- to 1-inch circle uncut in center of each slice). For palm tree trunk, push pretzel stick into, but not through, center of each kiwi slice. Push other end of pretzel into top of each cupcake.
*Palm tree decorations can be made up to 1 hour before serving.