When I think of Spring desserts my mind instantly goes to my mom’s delicious Hummingbird cupcake recipe. It’s like an ambrosia of fruit and comfort flavors wrapped up neatly in cake form. This cake is so good, it needs no frosting, but I will give you a Cream Cheese Frosting recipe that will only add splendor to your experience. I personally LOVE these little cakes warm from the oven, so if you bake them in the morning, you might want to skip breakfast and go straight for this little treat instead.
Hummingbird cake is traditionally considered a sweet Southern girls recipe (say it suthun), and the theories on the name are as endless as it’s appeal. I say it’s a great name because it’s so good that people will hover over it like hummingbirds to flowers. Enough of the small talk though. Let’s get to the recipe. If you go for the frosting, I suggest not overdoing it and maybe add a little garnish on top like a sugar flower, some lovely pastel sugar or a simple sprinkling of shredded coconut.
This recipe that follows is adapted for cupcakes, but it would make nice mini loaves or a layer cake with time adjustments. Here are a couple ways I used to decorate Easter cupcakes at my bakery that were always a hit…
HOW TO: This little Bunny Bums as I call them, are achieved using a large round tip, piping firmly in the center of the cupcake allowing the frosting to spread to the edge. I then used a champagne bubble candies (gumdrop covered in nonpareils) for a tail, and a couple oval pieces of cut fondant marked with an edible ink pen for feet. Looks like a bunny going down the rabbit hole!
HOW TO: My Peeps in Nests are achieved with the same large round piping tip as above, with a little less frosting. After toasting a little shredded coconut on a tray in the oven and letting it cool, I frost a few cupcakes at a time and then gently pat the coconut onto the frosting by hand while the frosting is still tacky. I don’t suggest “rolling” the cupcakes in the coconut as this will flatten your nest. You want the coconut to stand out like little branches. Press the back of a spoon in the center to give a little dip in the middle and then top with a Peep, candy coated chocolate eggs, or even jelly beans.
These designs would be great for any cupcake recipe this Easter, but I think they would be especially delightful with my mom’s Hummingbird…
Mom’s Favorite Hummingbird Cupcakes
Makes about 18
- Flour – 2 Cups
- Baking Soda – 2/3 teaspoon
- Cinnamon – 2/3 teaspoon
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Butter (unsalted) – 2/3 cup
- Vanilla – 1 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar – 1 1/3 cup
- Eggs – 2 ea
- Mashed Banana – 1 1/3 cup
- Crushed Pineapple (drained) – 2/3 cup
- Pecans (chopped) – 2/3 cup
- Shredded Coconut – 2/3 cup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin pan with wrappers or lightly grease pan.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.
- In mixer, beat together butter, vanilla and sugar until well combined.
- Add eggs – one at a time – to butter mixture until each egg is mixed in well. Then beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, stir together banana, pineapple, pecans and coconut. Add to egg mixture by hand, mixing until combined.
- Stir in flour mixture by hand until combined.
- Scoop into baking cups and fill each to about 3/4 full.
- Bake at 350 for approximately 25-27 minutes depending on your oven. Always check often in the last 5 minutes. These will bake similar to a muffin, turn a nice golden brown and spring back to the touch when ready.
Cream Cheese Frosting (double for thicker frosting styles)
- Cream Cheese – 8 ounces (1 pkg)
- Butter (unsalted) – 1/4 cup
- Confectioners Sugar – 4 2/3 cups
- Vanilla extract (optional) – 1/2 teaspoon
- Blend cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Add vanilla extract if desired for additional flavor.
- Add confectioners sugar – a little at a time – blending on low speed until well combined and smooth.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Now go bake up a happy Hummingbird kind of day, and let me know what you think! Enjoy!
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