Say hello to some intensely tropical cupcakes! There’s coconut, pineapple, banana and a dreamy-creamy cream cheese frosting. Crunchy almonds for some texture fun and really, I dare you to stop at one. To make them even cuter, they’re actually called Hummingbird cupcakes and here’s apparently why.
This recipe is adapted from a Hummingbird layer cake I saw on the Wood and Spoon blog but it’s been a while since I made cupcakes and they’re far easier to store and frost than a layer cake sooooo, I scaled it down quite a bit. Pecans are traditional, but almonds are cheaper and more easily available, so I swapped them. Still crunchy, still good!
The cupcakes are tender, light and taste of mostly banana, with some coconut. The pineapple is crushed and mixed into the batter, so if you want more prominent flavour and chunks, you can also just chop it into small pieces. I was a little surprised at the dark colour but it seems to be the result of some sort of acid reaction from the pineapple juice so nothing to panic about 🙂
Ok now let’s talk frosting. SOOO GOOD!! It’s tangy and creamy and perfectly sweet, light and fluffy and I add very little butter to it, just for flavour. Extra buttery frostings that weigh me down are not my favourites. But feel free to add more if that’s how you like it!
They’re filled with fruity flavour and are the most unique banana-flavoured anything I’ve eaten in a long time. Let me know how you like them!
- For the cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp (lightly heaped) baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ⅓ cup pineapple pieces, fresh or tinned (and drained)
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- 1 large banana
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extra
- 2 tbsps milk, optional
- ⅓ cup flaked almonds
- For the frosting
- 150 gms cream cheese (about ¾ cup) at room temperature
- ⅓ cup butter, at room temperature
- 3 to 4 tbsps caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift the flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Grease or line 9 cupcake moulds and preheat the oven to 175 C.
- In the bowl of a food processor, blitz the pineapple, coconut and banana until smooth and combined. This ensures that the pieces of coconut are not too large, and that the fruits are well blended.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the oil and sugar till well-blended. Then add the egg and vanilla and beat again till pale yellow and fluffy. I did this by hand but you can use a hand mixer too.
- Add the banana mixture and mix well. Fold in the flour mixture and the almonds. If the batter feels too thick, pour in the milk and mix till smooth.
- Divide the batter equally into the cupcake moulds and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Simply beat all the ingredients together with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Taste and adjust the sugar if you want it sweeter.
- Frost the cupcakes, then chill for 10 minutes before diving in! If refrigerating longer, allow the cupcakes to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before eating. Happy baking!
*You could increase the butter in the frosting if you want it creamier. If you'd like to increase the sugar, you may need powdered sugar so the frosting doesn't taste too too grainy.
*Pecans are traditional in Hummingbird cake, if you'd like to use them instead of almonds.
*I haven't made these without the egg but ⅓ cup yoghurt should work as a substitute if you want to try that. Let me know how it goes!
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