Cupcakes So Good They'll Make You Hum

Last week my sister hosted a Summer cocktail party that doubled as a birthday celebration for two friends. Since I've been known to make birthday cakes in the past, she asked me if I could do two cakes for the party. Immediately I began to worry: baking and assembling two cakes requires a lot of time. Just as I was starting to panic, I remembered the ingenious invention that is the cupcake! Each birthday girl could get her own minicake topped with a candle. Inspired by our slideshow of unconventional cupcake recipes, I decided to make hummingbird cupcakes. A native to the South, hummingbird cake is a cream cheese-frosted white cake with crushed pineapple, coconut, mashed bananas, and walnuts mixed into the batter. It's sweet, moist, fruity, crunchy, creamy, and divine — quite simply, it's everything you want in a cupcake. Although the pineapple topping is extra work, it's worth it. The cupcakes wouldn't be the same without the feathery juicy dried pineapple. To take a look at the recipe I used,


Hummingbird Cupcakes

Hummingbird Cupcakes


  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  6. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  7. 2 cups sugar
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large)
  10. 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  11. 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  12. 1 cup coconut flakes
  13. Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below
  14. Dried Pineapple Flowers, recipe below


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Line cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together banana, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture, mixing until combined. Stir in flour mixture.
  6. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with dried pineapple flowers, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

Makes 3 cups.

Dried Pineapple Flowers

2 large or 4 small pineapples, peeled

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. Using a small melon baller, remove and discard all pineapple skin.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut pineapple crosswise into very thin slices. Transfer slices to baking sheets.
  4. Bake until tops look dried, about 30 minutes. Flip slices; bake until completely dried, 25 to 30 minutes more. Pinch center of each pineapple slice to shape into a cone, and let cool in a clean egg carton to form flowers. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Average ( votes):
Join The Conversation