Hummingbird Cupcakes

This weekend is Mother’s Day – which, for me, is synonymous with gardening. It’s the unofficial start of the planting season here in NJ. I’ll be spending tomorrow morning with both of my Moms, hitting up the local plant sale to stock up on garden goodies for the year and celebrate them being awesome Moms.

These cupcakes scream Mother’s Day to me. I think it’s the pineapple flowers on the top. (Check out the tutorial on Annie’s Eats for details how to make them!) Even without the flowers, they’re a great cupcake option for spring.

Hummingbird Cupcakes
(from Annie’s Eats)
Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
11 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 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. chopped pecans, toasted
2/3 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; whisk together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, vanilla, and sugar and beat until blended and smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the mashed banana. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Gently fold in the pineapple, nuts (if using), and coconut with a spatula until evenly mixed.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

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