Thursday, August 2, 2012

Can't leave well enough alone; or, Hummingbird Cupcakes

I always envy those around me who can procrastinate or have that magnificent ability to enjoy when they have a lighter work load. I'm always looking to make more work for myself, and can never sit still. I always need to be doing something.

Right now, things are slow with my work, and I should take the time to enjoy it. I should be soaking up the early days of August, filling up my time with bike riding, running, picnicking, and lazing away outside reading a fluffy novel.

Nope. I'm looking for things to do, and taking it out on myself in my personal life.

I was invited to a barbeque/pool party, and was told that I didn't have to bring anything. Not gonna fly.

I chose to try my hand at Hummingbird cake, which I had on my bike tour last November in North Carolina. It was amazing... but again, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I had to add more ingredients to the already lengthy list. Diced apples? Extra cinnamon? Boom.

These cupcakes are light and fruit-filled, with the summery taste of cream cheese frosting. They're kissed with cinnamon, a flavor which always screams autumn to me-- perfect for the last days of summer and for transitioning into fall. Also perfect for a barbeque or outdoor party, as cream cheese frosting holds up better in this 95-degree heat and humidity than buttercream does.

I may not be able to power down and stop working and doing (if anyone has any suggestions on how to do this, please tell me!), but boy, these cupcakes were totally worth the work.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Adapted from the Complete Magnolia Bakery

For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 mashed overripe bananas
8 oz crushed canned pineapple
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup diced apple

For the frosting:

Two 8 oz packages cream cheese
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups confectioner's sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another large bowl of a mixer, beat oil with sugar until smooth; add eggs one at a time, and beat until light in color. Add vanilla, pineapple, and banana. Slowly add the dry ingredients in three or four parts, beating well in between. Fold in pecans and apples.

Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.


In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth; add vanilla and combine. Slowly add confectioner's sugar until desired texture is achieved.

Frost the top of each cooled cupcake with a generous dose of frosting. Top with chopped pecans.

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