May 16, 2011

be still, my heart

Hummingbirds are pretty incredible little creatures, and I think I'd like to be reincarnated as one. First and foremost, they can fly backwards. Secondly, all they eat is nectar. Finally, I just read that their hearts can beat as many as 1260 times per minute. That's a lot. Clearly, they have some fierce metabolism.


They're living the good life...until they fly into a window or get snatched by a cat.

Who cares about hummingbirds, you ask? Yes, they're fun to watch flit to and fro and they're very pretty critters, but my favorite thing about them doesn't really have anything to do with them--it's the cupcakes to which they lend their name.


This interesting blend of flavors and textures makes me wonder who first decided to throw them all together. It's all a little bit tropical, and it all works together beautifully. The proportions are just right, and the resulting cake is so moist and so magical and so darn tasty that it makes my heart flutter to even recall my last bite. If you've never tried hummingbird cake, you should make it a point to do so!

As far as I know, this is her first and only kill. I'm horrified and strangely proud at the same time.

I-Wish-I-Had-the-Metabolism-of-a-Hummingbird Cupcakes
(from good ol' Martha)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (a little extra wouldn't hurt...)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together banana, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture, mixing until combined. Stir in flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake.

73 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'd love to see a humingbird. That is such a lovely creature.

Your pretty cupcakes look so irresistible!

Cheers,

Rosa

CC11 said...

I LOVE hummingbirds - they are so beautiful and adorable, but I have never tried hummingbird cake, your lilac topping makes them look so sweet and pretty :)

Barbara said...

Those are lovely, Grace. You've chosen well with the frosting color. That soft lavender is divine. (And so are the cupcakes!)
We used to put little bells around the necks of our kitties. Does anyone do that any more?

bellini said...

I wish I had the metabolism of a hummingird too since I could not resist these cupcakes!

Amy said...

Can't wait to try this recipe! I feel like a hummingbird lately!

shaz said...

Squeal! I love the violet frosting:) Y'know, I always thought hummningbird cake was just tropicalised carrot cake. Obviously I'm wrong, and I shall endeavour to bake myself out of that notion pretty soon. I'd love to see a hummingbird up close, only ever seen photos.

Heather said...

I always look at that recipe, yet I have never tried it. I need to, thanks for the push.

Pam said...

I could use some hummingbird metabolism too! Ick about the bird kill, that's a sight that I don't look forward to over the summer.

TKW said...

Gorgeous! I love the frosting! Our cat, Harryboy, can't even catch a grasshopper. :)

Faith said...

My oh my does this sound incredible...would you believe I haven't heard of hummingbird cupcakes until now?! Clearly I've been missing out! :)

The Teacher Cooks said...

I love hummingbirds and hummingbird cake, but I am telling you that icing of yours takes the cake! By the way, we love the water filter pitcher that I won. It is the next best invention since sliced bread! Thanks!

Von said...

haha...i LOVE the name of these cupcakes :D And I didn't know that they could fly backwards! :O I wanna see!

I've never actually had hummingbird cake before, though I've wanted to since I first heard about it- these cupcakes look really yummy! And that purple icing is so pretty! :)

vanillasugar said...

fly backwards? wow that is cool. i wish i could fly, right now i'd fly to california where the sun is out. we've had rain for 3 weeks straight, very depressing.
and all i crave is FROSTING!

Hungry Dog said...

I've never heard of hummingbird cakes but they sound delicious and that lavender frosting is lovely! I'd like a higher metabolism too...

Mimi said...

Yum! Beautiful too.
Mimi

Melanie said...

I wish I had their metabolism, too. I've always wanted to try a hummingbird cake/cupcake. The purple icing on top is the real kicker - love it!

Cheryl said...

I have heard of Hummingbird Cakes and always wondered what made them so! I love that frosting, so springy!

A Plum By Any Other Name said...

I will eat cupcakes for the rest of the week in memory of hummingbirds and the cats that kill them. Looks moist and delicious per usual, Grace.

Pam said...

My cat recently brought a bird to our front door - I was sad for the little bird but my cat seemed so proud!

YOU should be proud of these little beauties - they look and sound FANTASTIC.

Deborah said...

My dad would always have hummingbird feeders growing up and I loved watching them! But for some reason, I've never had hummingbird cake (or cupcakes!) I need to remedy that soon.

Kate said...

Oh how I wish I had a hummingbird's metabolism! I would sit with joy, surrounded by cupcakes and watch the cat just watch the hummingbirds!

Lisa-Marie said...

I have never heard of hummingbird cake! (I thought you were talking about a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery at first). I want to make these, but make my take on them with a wee twist and post it? I will of course link back to you!

The Blonde Duck said...

Until they fly into a window or get snatched by a cat--I laughed for ten minutes and scared Bear off the couch.

pigpigscorner said...

How I wish I have that kind of metabolism too! I'd be eating non-stop!

livinlocal said...

Looks like enough fruit in here to count as a healthy side dish in a school lunch, meaning we'd still get another dessert! Nice!

MaryBeth said...

I simply love the color of the frosting....it would almost make it okay that it has nuts.

Leslie said...

I love love hummingbird cake! Love it in the cupcake form. You should be proud of you kitty!

~~louise~~ said...

What lovely cupcakes, Grace. If I'm not mistaken, the first time I saw a recipe for Hummingbird Cake was in Southern Living many years ago. Now you know I will need to further investigate:)

In the mean time, I'd love to sample just one of your cupcakes...please...

Thanks for sharing...I'm hoping to have many more hummingbirds in my garden this year. I've seen pictures of hummingbirds actually eating from someone's hand. Hopefully that will be me one day!!!

Thanks for sharing, Grace. Your violet cupcakes look heavenly...

5 Star Foodie said...

Such a wonderful combination of ingredients in this cupcake, I have got to try it! The color of the frosting is stunning!

Neil Butterfield said...

I agree, these look absolutely delightful. My kids would love them too :-)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love hummingbird cake too-it's got the moistness and also the icing. Hehe my cat once brought me a bird on my birthday. I felt strangely proud too that it seemed so clever.

Joanne said...

Can I just dive into that frosting? Please? Pretty please?

Luscious.

Leah the Nosher said...

I might just have to make these for my oldest's 4 yr old birthday this month. How did you get the gorgeous color of the frosting?

Gloria said...

ooh Grace you kill with your cakes and cupcakes, and your piuctures, I want eat the computer, je,je,
Look amazing of course my dear.
Delicious! besos, gloria

Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook said...

We have loads of hummingbirds around here and I love the zooming sound they make when they zip past. Your cupcake is calling my name....quite loudly too. Looks fabulous.

lisa is cooking said...

That's a pretty, little cupcake too! I wonder why these are called hummingbird cakes? Whatever the reason, it is one delicious mix of ingredients.

Angie's Recipes said...

My cats haven't killed anything...okay...some flies. ;-)
The cupcake looks gorgeous with that lavender coloured swirl!

Robin Sue said...

I need that kind of metablolism too! The pretty colored frosting won my heart!

Chef Fresco said...

Yum yum yum! Bananas + walnuts + cream cheese frosting = heaven!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I've always thought this type of cake would be a bit too much for me but after your endorsement I'm curious. Your cupcakes look so cute, especially with the colored frosting :).

marla said...

Grace this is soooo pretty. That purple frosting is dreamy & I LOV sweet little hummingbirds :)

Marjie said...

Oh yum! The purple frosting is divine!

kat said...

You know I've never had hummingbird cake, I really need to try it.

Erica said...

This looks wonderful! I think I may have to try it soon!Beautiful color.

Juliana said...

Beautiful cupcake, like the flavors...banana, pineapple and coconut. The frosting is to pretty. Great pictures! Hope you are having a wonderful week Grace :-)

Lori said...

I love the line that you are horrified and strangely proud at the same time. Yup!

Cara said...

I don't know why this cake isn't more mainstream (at least around where I love) - the couple times I've tried it have been thoroughly amazing and so memorable.

WizzyTheStick said...

You totally crack me up with the very appropriate name for these cupcakes:-)

chezsasha said...

I don't even like cupcakes but this lavender frosting looks too good to pass up.

I remember when my cat (may she RIP) brought a dead mouse into my bed. I felt the same way...plus slightly nauseous.

Half Baked said...

Beautiful cupcakes! too bad my metabolism is no where near that of a hummingbird.

Suzanne said...

I LOVE the Jack Handy nature of this post, all lovely and then SMACK and to top it off a picture of your cat with a dead bird! Classic!

Lucie said...

Flying backwards would be cool. Although just flying would be pretty nice too. I love the purple frosting!!

kimberleyblue said...

I adore hummingbird cakes, they remind me a lot of carrot cake. That purple frosting is a perfect touch! So spring-like.

Rosita Vargas said...

Ggracia agradezco tu comentario,es precioso tu cupcakes se ve exquisito,tengo que venir más veces para probar tus lindas recetas,cariños y abrazos.

Christy said...

I am struck by the beautiful color of the cupcake!!:) What a sweet and adorable looking little thing;)
Oh yes, hummingbirds are perfectly beautiful creatures as well; they are rare but I have seen them before, and I would love having them around:) Just like I would love the sight of these beauties (your cupcakes) :D

cookies and cups said...

I have always wanted to try those hummingbird cupcakes, they look so good!!

Kerstin said...

Haha, me too (about the metabolism part!). I've never had hummingbird cupcakes but need to because they sound super tasty!

Amanda said...

I love reading your blog... not only do you share great recipes, but you make me smile!! :)

sweetlife said...

hummingbird cake is my mom's favorite..she can never resist a huge piece! love the color!

sweetlife

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

Why it was called Hummingbird Cake. Made one for my aunt's birthday and it was so good. I will be making it for the Farmer's Market this summer. The cupcakes are a great idea but I still like the look of a real Southern layer cake.

Helene said...

I could not resist those cupcakes.

Indigo said...

All they eat is nectar? I could totally be a hummingbird. Or just a very fat human. I'm on board with either option.

Carolyn Jung said...

Love the color. It is the epitome of spring. ;)

Julie M. said...

You never fail to amuse me. :) These treats look delightful. I adore hummingbird cake! My cat growing up would catch all kinds of presents and present them to us. My current cat is lucky if she catches a spider.

RSA Now said...

Oh man, if anyone put a tray of these in front of me I think they would last about 3 seconds before I scarfed them down ;)

Christine's Pantry said...

Cupcake sounds great. Love the pictures.

Foodhoe said...

I have two hummingbird feeders out back, love watching them buzz around chasing each other. It would be very fine to enjoy this cake while doing so! One of my cats used to bring me back headless birds, never could figure out what that was all about...

Emily said...

Aww that's kinda cute! ...but kinda not. Haha. I just really like cats.

Your hummingbird cupcakes look delicious! I especially love the pretty purple frosting.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

This little cupcakes are so cute! I love the purple frosting :)

oneordinaryday said...

Loving that frosting!!! The color screams spring.

I'm also smitten with that sweet kitty, in spite of that little delicacy. : )

Kelly said...

Hi, this cupcakes looks so good and i would like to bake it but i am not sure of the frosting. Is it just cream cheese and some coloring only?
Please reply, tks.

grace said...

yes, kelly, it's simply cream cheese frosting with a touch of violet coloring added!

Jeanne said...

"They're living the good life until they fly into a window or get snatched by a cat" - BWHAHAHAHAHA!! You crack me up. Love the very pretty, girly cupcakes! Very Sex & The City.