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)!
Yield: 24 cupcakes
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat cupcake pans with cooking spray or line cups with liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- 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.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
- While the cupcakes cool, combine the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electronic mixer until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
4 per cupcake (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
174 calories (from myfitnesspal.com)
adapted from Annie’s Eats