Hummingbird Cupcakes

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   Lately I’ve heard a lot of talk about Hummingbird Cake. I’ve never in my life heard of a Hummingbird Cake let alone tasted one but the reviews have been nothing but positive. I asked for a recipe and got a few that were similar. After seeing what was in the cake I knew I’d have to make one sooner or later.

   We buy bananas a few times a month and usually when they start getting brown I make banana bread. This time, when I saw two of our bananas getting brown I went right to the local grocery store (Martin’s) and bought a can of pineapple and some pecans.

   I was initially planning on making the actual cake but the more I thought about it I decided cupcakes would be better because we could eat some and I could take some into work. I checked two of the recipes I printed out and made some adjustments to turn them into cupcakes. The batter looked and tasted good.

   I put them in the oven and the smell was heavenly. It was sugary with a hint of citrus and bananas. I couldn’t wait to get them out of the oven. They took a little longer to cook then I thought they would, but they came out looking wonderful. After cooling I put on the cream cheese frosting and a pecan on top.

   After the first bite Frank and I could not believe we had never had these before. They were amazing! The cupcakes were moist and sweet with a subtle taste of the bananas, pineapples, and pecan. There was also a hint of spice to them. They were perfect.

   Because it’s just the two of us in the house I only frosted a few cupcakes at a time and kept the remaining icing in the refrigerator since it has cream cheese in it. We learned the next morning that the unfrosted cupcakes make a great breakfast muffin! I can’t wait for our next dinner party or birthday to share these with all of our friends.
Hummingbird Cupcakes (adapted from Southern Living )

For the cake:

3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 ½ c. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. cinnamon applesauce
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 c. chopped pecans
2 ripe bananas, chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 ounce) package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
24 pecans for decoration
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tin cups with paper liners.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

3. In a small bowl beat the three eggs. Add to the dry ingredients along with the oil and applesauce. Stir until the mixture is just moist. (Do not use a mixer). Stir in the vanilla, pineapple (with juice), pecans, and bananas until just mixed in.

4. Pour the batter into prepared muffin tins filling each cup ¾ of the way full. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
For the frosting:

1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with a mixer. Add the powdered sugar 1 c. at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.

2. Spread or pipe 1 ½ T. of icing on each cupcake. Top with a pecan. (Store extra icing in the refrigerator).

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