Mar 10, 2014

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Dried Pineapple Flowers

Every year I ask James what kind of cake he wants for his birthday and every year he debates between carrot cake and hummingbird cake.  It's a super hard decision for him because birthday cake is serious business.  (Duh.)  This year hummingbird cake won out and I was so excited to get baking!!

Hummingbird cake is a southern tradition that is seriously delicious.  The cake is moist and filled to the brim with flavor from pineapple, cinnamon, banana, and coconut.  It usually contains walnuts or pecans but I left those out this time. (Even though out peanut-allergic Jack has been cleared to eat tree nuts, yay!)  The cake is topped with a traditional cream cheese frosting and then these are garnished with a super pretty dried pineapple flower.  I've made these with and without the flowers and obviously, they're a little more impressive with them but still just as tasty without!  The flowers aren't difficult, they just take a little bit of time.

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Dried Pineapple Flowers
Slightly adapted from Cook Like a Champion and Annie's Eats, originally from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Frosting from Confections of a Foodie Bride
Printable Version

For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
11 tbsp. coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ⅓ cups mashed ripe banana (about 2 small)
⅔ cup crushed pineapple, drained
⅔ cup shredded coconut

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the dried pineapple flowers:
1 large pineapple, peeled

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F and line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the coconut oil or butter, vanilla and sugar until blended and very smooth, about 2 minutes.
3. Add in the eggs one at a time, on low speed. Mix well after each addition and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Beat in the mashed banana and then the dry ingredients, mixing only until there are a few flour streaks remaining. Gently stir in the crushed pineapple and coconut.
4. Fill each prepared cupcake pans about ¾ full and bake for 18-22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for a few minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes until well combined and very smooth. Add in the vanilla extract. Mix in the salt and sifted confectioners’ sugar until combined and then gradually increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Frost cooled cupcakes.
6. For the pineapple flowers, preheat oven to 225º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. After removing the peel from the pineapple, use a melon baller or a sharp knife to remove any “eyes” from the pineapple.
7. Slice as thinly as possible with a very sharp knife and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 30 minutes, then flip the pineapple slices over and continue baking until the pineapple is completely dried, this will take anywhere from 30 minutes up to an hour more. Flip as needed to dry out the pineapple.
8. Place dried pineapple slices in a cupcake pan (you can use a regular muffin tin, a mini muffin tin, or even a clean, empty egg carton) to cool completely. Let sit for several hours to ensure the pineapple slices hold their shape. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.



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Motownkittys said...

Wish I had one of your cupcakes, They look and sound tasty.

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