These hummingbird cupcakes are the most soft and moist cupcakes. Hummingbird cake is a soft banana-pineapple spice cake with a cream cheese frosting -- a southern classic!
If you never had hummingbird cake, you need to give this southern classic a try! I usually sprinkle them with crushed pecans, but sometimes I like to go the extra mile and top my hummingbird cupcakes with dried pineapple flowers for a beautiful presentation.
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Hummingbird cake ingredients
Grocery List for Hummingbird Cupcakes
- All-purpose flour (2 cups)
- Vegetable oil (½ cup)
- Eggs (2 large)
- Ripe bananas (2 medium)
- Crushed pineapple (8 oz. can)
- Chopped pecans (½ cup)
- Vanilla extract
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon
- Cream cheese (8 oz.)
- Butter (4 tablespoons)
- Powdered sugar (2+ cups)
The above ingredients are for the hummingbird cake and the cream cheese frosting. You'll need extra pecans for the optional topping. If you plan to top with dried pineapple flowers, you will also need to pick up a fresh whole pineapple at the grocery store.
Hummingbird cake recipe
Moist, sweet and carrot cake-like is the first description that came to mind when I took my first bite. Minus the actual carrots, of course. Ben especially likes these, which doesn't surprise me because carrot cake is his favorite. The first time I made these, Judah ate two of them in one setting - I was in an especially good mood that day for letting him, I guess. I even had one for breakfast!
How to make hummingbird cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with baking cups.
- In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk wet ingredients.
- Mix together wet and dry ingredients.
- Scoop batter into prepared cupcake liners.
- Bake 20 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
- Top with cream cheese frosting.
Click here for the full hummingbird cupcake recipe ingredients and instructions.
Why is hummingbird cake called hummingbird cake?
Originally called doctor bird cake, hummingbird cake originated on the island of Jamaica named after their national bird. After a push of marketing efforts from Jamaican tourism, the hummingbird cake became very popular in the southern United States. The recipe was originally published in Southern Living magazine and has won numerous cake awards.
Cream cheese frosting
These hummingbird cupcakes are topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. Easy to make homemade, although you are more than welcome to buy a store-bought tub. After slabbing on the frosting, top with crushed nuts, or pineapple flowers, or simply leave them plain.
If you choose to top these with the dried pineapple flowers, they create such a lovely presentation for any special event, especially Mother's Day. In fact, a friend of mine is considering having these served at her wedding, which I think is a fabulous idea and very fitting with her particular theme. Alternatively, you can dress them down by eliminating the flower and instead topping with just the frosting, and maybe a sprinkling of crushed pecans. (Do you say, "pee-CAN" or "PEE-can" or "peh-CAHN"?) 🙂
How to make dried pineapple flowers
If you want to top your cupcakes with pineapple flowers, you can follow this tutorial. I recommend making the pineapple flowers the day before you make the cupcakes because they require overnight to dry -- and you need to use the cupcake pans to form the flowers.
Other delicious cupcake recipes:
- Birthday Sprinkles Cupcakes
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 medium ripe bananas , mashed (about 1 ⅓ cups)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 8 oz. crushed pineapple , drained
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the bananas, eggs, oil, sugar, pineapple and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the pecans.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until passes the toothpick test. Let cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, gradually beat in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, then top with optional toppings, such as crushed pecans or dried pineapple flowers.
This recipe was originally published November 15, 2011 and updated May 6, 2020.
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