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, read more.
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan Makes 24 cupcakes. 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature Makes 3 cups. 2 large or 4 small pineapples, peeled Makes about 2 dozen.
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup coconut flakes
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below
Dried Pineapple Flowers, recipe below
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
Makes 24 cupcakes.
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Makes 3 cups.
2 large or 4 small pineapples, peeled
Makes about 2 dozen.