It seems that outside of the South (some people think of St. Louis as the South – but we’re definitely Midwest), no one has heard of hummingbird cupcakes. You are missing out!
My hummingbird cupcakes are everything that banana muffins wish they could be. The hummingbird cupcakes have a strong banana flavor, but so much more complexity. The addition of pineapple adds moisture and the sweetness of nature’s candy. The cupcakes have a nutty flavor (thanks to the pecans mixed throughout), but even if you happen to get a nut-free bite (unlikely), the nut flavor will still be there; I baked my hummingbird cupcakes using almond flour rather than the more typical all-purpose flour (bonus – the almond flour means these hummingbird cupcakes are gluten-free!).
Because banana is the most intense flavor in the cupcakes, I wanted to play up the pineapple in my cream cheese frosting. When you add real pineapple (as opposed to pineapple flavor) to frosting, it tends to make the frosting too wet to pipe. The natural tendency is to add more powdered sugar to compensate – making the frosting well above sugar levels I can tolerate. For this frosting, I used almond butter as the thickener, which gave the frosting a pipeable texture (with enjoyable nutty undertones) without adding too much sweetness. I’m in love.
While all hummingbird cupcakes contain banana and pineapple, there are differences. Some, like mine, have nuts (typically pecans or walnuts) while others leave them out. Sometimes, as in the case of Martha Stewart’s hummingbird cupcakes found in her cupcake book and made popular by Annie’s Eats, hummingbird cupcakes have coconut – giving them a more tropical feel than my version.
Hummingbird cupcakes are always frosted with cream cheese frosting. The pineapple almond butter cream cheese frosting is all my own (you didn’t think I would leave well enough alone, did you?).
Hummingbird Cupcakes Recipe