Hummingbird Cupcakes with Pineapple Almond Butter Cream Cheese Frosting | Cupcake Project

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Pineapple Almond Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Hummingbird Cupcakes

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.

What are Hummingbird Cupcakes?

What is the origin of the name “hummingbird cupcakes”?  There is no definitive answer, but EndlessSimmer has a nice post with some hummingbird cupcake history and a vegan hummingbird cupcake recipe.

Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat

 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.

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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?).

Products Related to Hummingbird Cupcakes

Lyles Golden Syrup, 11oz (325ml)

Although hummingbird cupcakes can be sweetened with honey, I love the subtle sweetness of golden syrup.

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Bob's Red Mill Flour Almond Meal, 16-ounces

Using almond meal makes these cupcakes gluten-free and also gives them a slightly nutty flavor.

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La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil, 16.9-Ounce Cans (Pack of 3)

Walnut oil enhances the nuttiness of the cupcakes.

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Hummingbird Cupcakes Recipe

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Pineapple Almond Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 14 cupcakes

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Pineapple Almond Butter Cream Cheese Frosting


    Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup (honey will also work)
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil (any nut or vegetable oil will work)
  • 1 cup smashed ripe bananas, about two bananas (if you don't have ripe bananas, microwave newer bananas for a minute or so to bring out their sweetness)
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (a can of pineapple works for this, or use chopped fresh pineapple, food process it, and strain out the excess liquid)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • Frosting Ingredients (Note: If you don't like to use a lot of frosting on your cupcakes, you could probably cut this in half):
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (in this case, there is no need to drain it)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond butter


    Cupcake Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, golden syrup, and oil.
  4. Mix bananas and pineapple into the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in the pecans.
  7. Divide evenly between 14 cupcake liners (liners should be filled almost to the top).
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  9. Frosting Directions
  10. Place pineapple and water in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  11. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  12. Mix in brown sugar.
  13. Stir occasionally and reduce the mixture for about fifteen minutes or until most of the liquid is gone.
  14. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  15. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy (about three minutes).
  16. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar until fully combined.
  17. Mix in 1/2 cup of the sweetened pineapple (you may have just a little bit leftover to snack on) and the almond butter.
  18. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.


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72 Responses to Hummingbird Cupcakes with Pineapple Almond Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Brenda April 23, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    I have had hummingbird cake once and it was very good. Your recipe sounds even more delicious than the cake I had. I am stealing it and making it very soon!

  2. Sara April 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Love this version of hummingbird cakes – especially that frosting, sounds fantastic! :)

  3. brinasmurfette April 24, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Can all purpose flour be used also?

  4. Susan E April 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Oh! The almond butter sounds great for the frosting!! My co workers love it when I make hummingbird cupcakes, will need to try this one next time I make them for the lab

  5. Susan E April 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Almond flour is a bit expensive, but I would love to try it, can I use half and half??

  6. Lisa @ Sweet 2 Eat Baking April 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    I guessed wrong! But these are fantastic!

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking

  7. Diana @ Mood Your Food April 28, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    These look sooo great! I bet they taste like summer

  8. Anonymous November 22, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    I went to my organic market and brought the almond flour which was $11.99 and the almond butter was $6. thats a lot on my allowance lol but I’m making these today for Thanksgiving, a nice followup to my Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes that impressed everyone just a few days ago! can’t wait for the turkey to get out so I can put my cupcakes in 😀

  9. Rachel April 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    If I put this in a loaf pan do you think it would turn out okay?

  10. Elizabeth anne September 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Hi, I was wondering if I could substitute bananas for something else?
    I want to make these for my boyfriend but he doesn’t like bananas at all!
    Thank you!

  11. Sherri January 10, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    I will try this for church
    and see how everyone will respond to the cupcakes Thanks!

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  18. Kathy P. April 29, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    I made the cupcakes today and oh my gosh! They are so so sooooooo amazing! The only change I made was to substitute the same amount of unsweetened applesauce for the oil. They are still so very very moist. By the time it came to making the frosting, I was so tired and sore… I whipped up some buttercream frosting and they are great with that! Next time though, I want to make the frosting that you have with this recipe. Can only improve the taste :) This is one I will be making again and again! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe!

  19. Carolyn May 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    do you have other suggestions for frosting that doesn’t use powered sugar? Sugar is a major no-no in our house. I’m looking forward to making the cupcakes :-)

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    I just made these – AMAZING!!!!

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