Hummingbird Cupcakes

By now, you were probably hoping that I would have some things to say about our new home state of Kansas.  The truth is, I really don’t.  Some days, I absolutely love it (the weather is pretty similar to northern California), but other days I struggle with the fact that everything is new.  I can’t go into a store and find my way around.  My first day of work, they closed the freeway near our house, which put me in panic mode because who bothers to learn more than one way to get to work in a new town?

Enter cupcakes:  the eternal soul-soother.  Hummingbird cake is one of Southern Living’s most popular recipes.  It is a tender white cake full of banana, pineapple, coconut and pecans.  These ingredients were considered special during our grandparent’s time and were saved for the holiday season.  Since ingredients are available year ’round these days, you can make this cake any time of year.  That’s a very good thing, trust me.

The traditional frosting is cream cheese, but I opted for a brown sugar cream cheese here.  I love that molasses flavor paired with pecans.  If you would like to stick to tradition, use the cream cheese frosting recipe from my Red Velvet cupcakes.

I want to say thank you so much for the sweet, wonderful, kind and touching comments on my last post.  I was worried that I was sharing a bit too much of my personal business, but your kindness proved me wrong.  Thanks for reading and thanks for everything sweet you said.  I took it to heart and won’t forget it.

4.5 from 4 reviews
Hummingbird Cupcakes
Makes 4 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ small banana
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup crushed pineapple, lightly drained
  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
  • ⅓ cup + 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
For the brown sugar cream cheese frosting:
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3-5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • toasted pecans for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and line a muffin pan with 4 cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the canola oil, banana and sugar. Mash the banana into the oil and sugar mixture. Once it's well incorporated, stir in the pineapple, coconut, egg and almond extract. Mix well.
  3. Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt on top. Stir until combined, but don't overmix.
  4. Divide the batter between the 4 cups and bake 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, butter and brown sugar. Begin by adding 3 tablespoons of the powdered sugar and beating it together well. If the frosting is too stiff, add the remaining powdered sugar. Frost the cupcakes and serve.



  1. Julie says

    Dear Lord, I want one of these so badly. Never fear, dear, you’ll figure out your town and before long, it will all make sense. Although, I never did figure out Fayetteville, NC, but that’s because the street name would change in the middle of the road. It was nuts. I loved your last post. You will be beautiful and congratulations!

  2. says

    I’ve only ever really lived in one city so I can’t imagine what it’s like moving to whole different state. I’m sure you’ll come to feel at home there soon though. Until then, cupcakes!

  3. says

    If you haven’t yet, invest in a GPS for each car. They’re pretty cheap these days, and you’ll never have that “OMG I’m LOST!” feeling again.

    Anxiety over that is one of the things that had me hating NJ at first. It really dropped after we got a GPS.

    But I agree with you, Hummingbird Cupcakes are a sure fire way to ease anxiety too.

  4. says

    I will definitely be stopping by your blog more, I am new to the South, and love learning about Southern dishes. I have been thinking about making a humming bird cake, but love the idea of it in cupcake form. They look delicious, and love your frosting choice:-) Take care, Terra

  5. says

    I loved your last post :) Don’t think I commented on it but it was sweet, touching and just a glimpse into your “real” life. Even though the desserts are always gorgeous, delicious and drool worthy, I always want to know juuuuust a bit more about the people behind the blog :) So happy for you and I hope you’ve learned another way to get to work by now! haha

  6. says

    Love, love these! And hopefully you found your way to work OK! Yes, we love learning more about the lovely gal behind the cupcakes. You are wonderful!!

  7. Nancy says

    Ohh, hummingbird cake. So good. I think I’ll make these to take on an upcoming road trip. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. says

    always love getting personal with the authors behind beautiful recipes and blog :) glad you shared! these look awesome! i like how you took the regular hummingbird cakes and made them into cupcakes! brilliant.

  9. says

    I got lost going home my second day we lived in Long Beach. I pulled over and started crying. Ha.
    Brown Sugar cream cheese frosting? Be still my beating heart.

  10. says

    I would never have survived our short move without a GPS… so yeah, the freeway closing would be a disaster for me. I’m sure in just a few months you will know your way around all of the local food stores:-)

  11. says

    It always takes time to adjust to new surroundings and people and I’m sure you will find your way soon and be more comfortable in your new home. Too bad that we all could not have a month off work when we moved and be able to take the time just to explore.

    Glad that you were in the baking mood though…these cupcakes look wonderful.

  12. says

    Regarding your last post: I LOVE hearing about your business ;) I love your recipes, but I also enjoy reading about what you’re up to…the woman behind the blog – keep it comin! Regarding this post: yum on the humingbird cupcakes…yum all over them!

  13. says

    I hadn’t heard of Hummingbird cake/cupcakes until now, but I do think I have eaten something like that … I have only ever lived in/driven in one city, so I can’t even imagine how hard that must be to move somewhere new and learn to find your way around and feel “at home” there.

  14. Brynn_ND says

    I love white cake, but I have never heard of Humming bird cake before. I will have to try this recipe soon!!

  15. says

    In no time it will feel like home :) Time makes most things better :) and cake! ha ha u and I solve our problems the same way – comfort food! ha ha! I love also adore you did a cupcake version, a cupcake version of anything is always sweeter!

  16. Robin Merrell says

    I made these tonight. I cannot get over how delicious they are! I especially like the frosting combined with the toasted pecans. I only had chopped pecans, so I toasted a bunch of them and covered the tops with the pecans.

  17. says

    I am so happy to see these! My grandmother always made hummingbird cake for her Sunday school socials (sounds soooo southern, doesn’t it??), and it always reminds me of her. She died 12 years ago this week, so she’s been on my mind, and when I found this I knew I had to make them! I was looking for some small-batch recipes to make with my 2.5-year-old son, who’s currently obsessed with cupcakes (who wouldn’t be?!). Thanks!

    • says

      Aw, Meghan. Thanks for writing in. I think baking hummingbird cake is a great way to remember your grandmother. I bake lemon bars to commemorate mine :) Happy Baking!

  18. Vika Tsymbal says

    Is there anything I could possibly substitute for the pineapple in the recipe? Like canned mandarins? Or omit it? What are the options?

  19. TracyEllen Carson Webb says

    When baking 2 or 4 cupcakes, which holes work best? And do you leave the unused ones empty?

    • says

      Hi TracyEllen!

      I use the 4 cupcakes on the edge of the pan. They seem to rise higher. I explain this in my first cookbook, but I never have on the site before-sorry! And yes, I leave the rest empty.



  1. […] weekend together. We shopped until we dropped, stuffed ourselves silly with enchiladas, sangria and these hummingbird cupcakes from Christina at Dessert for Two, and watched trashy shows on Netflix until we couldn’t keep […]

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