Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hummingbird Swirls

 Last night I had my parents over for dinner, dessert, and games. I had a request to do Hummingbird Swirls. The recipe comes from the book "Cupcakes!" by Elinor Klivans, and can be found here.  The recipe calls for two recipes: Easy-Mix Yellow Cupcake Batter and Cream Cheese Frosting. According to the cookbook, "Hummingbird Cake is a banana, pecan, and a pineapple cake that has a cream cheese frosting."

I made a few mistakes (but learned from them) while working this recipe, and I won't let it happen again.
#1: I let the batter sit for a while (I still had dinner in the oven, and had to wait to put the cupcakes in). This caused the cupcakes to not rise as much in the oven, so the cupcake was very dense.

#2: I let the frosting sit out instead of cool in the fridge. After the cupcakes were baked, and while we were playing cards, I let the frosting sit out. This made the frosting very liquid-y and didn't hold its shape on the top of the cupcake. If I had refrigerated it, the frosting would have firmed up a bit and I could have made the frosting into pretty designs.

Prep Time: 25 min
Total Time: 1 hour 25 min
Makes: 12 big-top cupcakes (if done correctly :-/) or 48 (says 4 mini-cupcake pans) mini-cupcakes

1 1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 C sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C sour cream
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C mashed banana (1 banana)
1/2 C canned crushed pineapple in its own juice, drained
1/2 C (2 oz) pecans, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the egg, yolk, and sugar on medium speed until the mix is thick and cream-colored, roughly two minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl if necessary. On a low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Continue mixing and add the sour cream until completely blended. Mix in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth. Add the banana, pineapple, and pecans until completely blended. 
4. Fill the cupcake liners with 1/3 cup of batter, to about 1/4 of an inch from the top of the liner. If making mini-cupcakes, fill with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter, to just below the top of the liner.
5. Bake the cupcakes until the tops are golden and when a toothpick is inserted comes out clean (about 25 minutes for regular cupcakes and 16 minutes for mini-cupcakes).
6. Cool the cupcakes on a rack and frost as you please!

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 10 min
Makes: 3 cups

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

1. With an electric mixer on low, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth, roughly one minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl if necessary.
2. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about one minute. Beat for an additional minute to lighten the frosting.

Overall, it was a great success! I have several left over and my sister and niece enjoyed a couple today, and my husband’s friends are here to watch soccer and I'm sure they will eat some. I might run to the store and get some more ingredients and make some more for tonight, as we are going to a friend's house for dinner and I am providing dessert, or I might make a different kind. I would like to try again so that I can pop the batter directly into the oven and see if they rise better. Monday is a co-worker's birthday and as head of the "Birthday Club" I collect money to support the cakes for everyone's birthdays. I will be making Fudge Marble Cupcakes.

(my personal photos taken by Roger Worden)


  1. Banana, pecan, pineapple sounds like a heavenly flavor combination! Nom, nom, nom.

    Also, great pictures Roger!