Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas - Pina Colada Cupcakes with Nas Dean!!!

Hey everyone!

I hope you're all geared up and looking forward to the festive season!

KISS author Kimberly Lang with Nas
at the US conference earlier this year
I so have a treat for you this week. A while back I asked gorgeous reviewer, editor and book publicist Nas Dean to share a recipe and a little about herself and in my uselessness hadn't got it up on the blog - so what better time than Christmas?! I LOVE the sound of these cupcakes - especially given pineapple is my all time fave fruit! (Ok, it's tied with raspberries). But these sound uh-mazing!

Here's the how-to:

Pina Colada Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple (drained slightly)

1. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until slightly thickened and a light cream color (about 2 minutes).
3. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended.
4. Add in the pineapple and sour cream and mix until fully incorporated.
5. Add the flour mixture and blend until just combined and smooth.
6. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners and fill about 2/3 full.
7. Bake cupcakes in a pre-heated 350*F oven for about 22 minutes.
8. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
9. Frost with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

Recipe yields 24-28 cupcakes.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
½ cup (1 stick/8 Tablespoons) butter (cool)
8 oz. cream cheese (directly from fridge)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (always use pure vanilla extract if possible)
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract (you may want to start with just 1 teaspoon of coconut extract, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!)
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon heavy cream, heavy whipping cream or milk
1 Tablespoon Dark Rum

*Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.
*Add vanilla extract, coconut extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
*Slowly add the heavy cream or rum.
*Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
*Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)

For added flavor and texture, top frosted cupcakes with toasted coconut.
(To toast coconut- lay about 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut on a baking sheet and bake at 375*F about 4-5 minutes).

Decorate cupcakes with fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries or paper umbrellas.

Nas (on the right) with New Zealand author Louisa George
I adore Nas - she's a fabulous advocate for our books and really, really knows her stuff. She's generous and kind - so be sure to follow her on Twitter and find her group on Facebook - I promise it'll be fun!

An avid and passionate reader of romance, Nas Dean loves reading and when not reading can be found gardening, her second favorite! She blogs at Romance Book Paradise,  and Romance Book Haven Befriend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or 'Like' the ROMANCE BOOK PARADISE Facebook page!

And you can join her Romance Giveaway group on Facebook for information on all the giveaways!

Her reviews can also be found at
·  Barnes & Noble
·  Goodreads
·  Harlequin
·  Library Thing
·  Mills & Boon UK
·  My Shelfari


Nas said...

Hi Natalie!

Thanks for having me here. I wish I were really in NZ at the moment because of the prblem we have regarding electricity and internet. Everything is down after the cyclone.

Thanks for making the post look so lovely and I'm off to make more Pina Colada cupcakes!

Anonymous said...

Nas, they sound like delicious cupcakes! I'm definitely going to give them a try :D Hope your electricity and internet problems are fixed soon. Thank you for all you do for us. You are a legend!

Serena Tatti Story Editor said...

I adore Nas too! She's a good friend and I have used her as a consultant editor. What a brilliant woman!! And she makes Pina Colada cupcakes! YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I am going to have to try these. I hope you get your internet back to full speed very soon, Nas.

Thanks for having Nas as your special guest, Natalie.

Desere said...

Nas is the sweetest,nicest,most generous and kind hearted person in the world,and I also simply adore her! The cupcakes sound simply divine perfect for adding to the Christmas holidays feasts!

Nas said...

Hi Juanita!

Thanks for coming by. Do try the recipe, it's easy actually. And Yum!

Nas said...

Hi Serena,

Thanks for giving me the chance to work with you on various projects. To learn is one thing, but to learn from a Master is quite another altogether!

And I regard you as 'The Master' in editing!

Thanks fro all your support and encouragement thoughout the years!

Nas said...

Hi Desere,

My reviewer extraordinaire! Thanks for all your support throughout the year as well.

You take reviewing to new heights, Lady!

Denise Covey said...

What a lovely post ladies. Hi Nas! What a great recipe! Hope things improve over your way! You are a champion to so many.
Merry Christmas to you!

Jenny Schwartz said...

What heavenly cupcakes!

Maria McKenzie said...

These cupcakes sound sinfully deliciuos!

Nas said...

Hi Denise!

Thanks for dropping by. A very Merry Christmas to you too!

Nas said...

Hi Jenny!

I do hope you try the recipe!

Merry Christmas and have happy holidays!

Nas said...

Hi Maria!

Thansk for dropping by!

Merry Christmas and have happy holidays!

Desere said...

So very kind of you to say,thank you Nas xxxx

Kimberly Lang said...

Merry Christmas, Nas!

And what a cute picture!

Nas said...

Hi Kimberly!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too! Thanks for coming by!

Natalie Anderson said...

Thanks so much ladies and to Nas for stopping by!!! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and get to baking lots of pina colada muffins for the new year! ;)

Natalie Anderson said...

Popping back in - so pleased to announce Maria McKenzie has won a copy of Jenny Schwartz's DRAWING CLOSER which Nas edited. Email me Maria and I can get a copy to you!

Jenny Schwartz said...

Congratulations, Maria! Hope you enjoy "Drawing Closer" :)

TashNz said...

Happy New Year Nas and Natalie. Nas I hope everything is coming right after your dreadful cyclone! Natalie, (i'm catching up on missed blogs) I wish you every success in 2013, I love your updates, so original and fresh, and these cupcakes, I've cut and paste for a rainy day, they sound devine!