If you are reading this and thinking “What the heck are Hummingbird Cupcakes?” then you are not alone. I had never heard of hummingbird cake, though apparently it’s quite popular in the south. The tropical fruits in this recipe make for a thick, dense cupcake and I love the flavor combination of the fruits and cinnamon in the cupcake with the cream cheese frosting. I substituted unsweetened applesauce in this recipe for some of the butter in the original and I overhauled the cream cheese frosting and replaced it with a much lighter version. Most recipes for hummingbird cake seem to include nuts of some kind (pecans or walnuts), though I chose to omit them. If you’d like to include them, fold 2/3 cup of chopped nuts into the batter along with the pineapple and coconut (will change the P+ value).
I was really excited to make these, partially because they sounded delicious and partially because I couldn’t wait to use my new Wilton Dessert Decorator Plus! After requesting frosting design help in my post for Lemon-Lime Cupcakes (my favorite cupcakes ever), my high school friend Erin told me about the wondrous gadget that is the frosting gun. I ran out and picked one up at Michael’s (it was regularly $14.99 but I got it for even less with a coupon) and it is one of the best kitchen tools I’ve purchased in a while. It is easy to use, has detailed instructions on how to use it to make several different designs and it made me feel like a pro! Pastry bags can be so messy and awkward, but this was clean and simple and didn’t waste any frosting. I especially love the results – my frosting looks great (in my humble opinion)!
Hummingbird CupcakesSource: adapted from Annie’s Eats
2 c all-purpose flour
½ t baking soda
¾ t salt
½ t ground cinnamon
4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
7 T unsweetened applesauce
1¼ t vanilla extract
1 1/3 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 c mashed ripe banana
2/3 c crushed pineapple, drained
2/3 c shredded coconut
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
1 ½ t vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat cupcake pans with cooking spray or line cups with liners and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer) combine the butter, applesauce, vanilla and sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each. Mix in the mashed banana. Add the dry ingredients and beat on a low speed until just mixed. Using a spoon, gently mix in the pineapple and coconut.
4. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
5. While the cupcakes cool, combine the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electronic mixer until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.
Yields 24 servings. WW P+: 4 per serving; 174 calories per cupcake