Hummingbird cupcakes are moist, flavorful and one-of-a-kind. Made with crushed pineapple, banana and pecans, they are simply delicious with cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

hummingbird cupcake with a bite sitting on paper cupcake liner

Spring has arrived in New York City! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I’m baking away. To celebrate the season, I made hummingbird cupcakes. These unique cupcakes feature banana, crushed pineapple and pecans. They pair perfectly with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

My first encounter with the hummingbird cake was a year and a half ago when I made the cake for my dad’s birthday. The recipe was first published in Southern Living in the 1970s and has become one of the magazine’s most sought after recipes, with good reason. The cake is darn good!

Why this recipe works: The cake batter uses chopped bananas for texture and flavor. It also uses crushed pineapple, which is not drained to maintain moisture. The cream cheese frosting includes cinnamon to complement the cinnamon in the cupcakes.

hummingbird cupcake ingredients in bowls
photo collage demonstrating how to make hummingbird cupcakes

Overview: How to make hummingbird cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Make cupcake batter: Whisk together dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add vegetable oil, egg and vanilla, then mix until combined. Add chopped banana, crushed pineapple and chopped pecans. Mix just until incorporated.
  3. Bake cupcakes: Transfer batter to prepared muffin tin and bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely.
  4. Prepare cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat just until combined. Add cinnamon and vanilla, then mix until incorporated. Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a tip and frost the cupcakes. Garnish with chopped pecans.

Tips for making cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese frosting can be finicky to make, but there are some tips to success. To start, make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature, but still firm (this is especially important in a warm climate). When you press your finger in to the butter, it leaves and indentation, but still feels firm. Another important tip is to not over-beat the frosting when adding the confectioners’ sugar. You just want to mix until it is incorporated.

If your cream cheese frosting still turns out thin, place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes, then mix the frosting again for 10 seconds.

antique muffin tin with hummingbird cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this recipe into a cake? Yes, but I suggest you see my hummingbird cake post for the more detailed steps on how to make a layered hummingbird cake.

Can you freeze hummingbird cupcakes? Yes, unfrosted cupcakes may be kept frozen in an airtight container for up to one month.

Can I make hummingbird cupcakes without pecans? Yes, these cupcakes can be made nut-free.

Why is my cream cheese frosting melting? Either the cream cheese and butter were too warm or the frosting was over-mixed. Place the bowl back in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes, then mix for 10 seconds before frosting the cupcakes.

Hummingbird cake is an original recipe originally published in Southern Living magazine. I highly suggest you try the layered cake version if you enjoyed these cupcakes! Banana make for a great cake ingredient. I love this banana sheet cake recipe from Joy, Food, Sunshine blog. Crushed pineapple can also be the star ingredient in pineapple cupcakes with pineapple frosting. (The First Year blog)

hummingbird cupcake on open paper muffin liner with tin of cupcakes behind it

Hummingbird cupcakes are the perfect blend of sweet ingredients. The bits of banana and flavor of pineapple pair so well with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting and pecans. I love making these cupcakes in the spring time when the birds are chirping!

What occasion will you be making these cupcakes for? Perhaps Mother’s Day? Let me know by tagging @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media. If you enjoyed the recipe, please leave a review and share your feedback with future readers.

hummingbird cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans on an open paper liner

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Hummingbird cupcakes are moist, flavorful and one-of-a-kind. Made with crushed pineapple, banana and pecans, they are simply delicious with cinnamon cream cheese frosting!
5 from 1 rating

Ingredients

Hummingbird Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups (187 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg,, beaten and room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cup (113 g or 4 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chopped bananas, (about 1 large banana)
  • ¼ cup halved pecans,, for garnish

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup (4 oz or 113 g) cream cheese,, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • 2 cups (240 g) confectioners’ sugar,, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon,, plus extra for dusting

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners and set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Add eggs and oil, then stir with a spatula until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and bananas.
  • Fill prepared cupcake liners two-thirds full with batter (I like to use an ice cream scoop for this step). Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  • To make cream cheese frosting, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar on low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Transfer to a frosting bag fitted with a frosting tip. Frost cupcakes and garnish with 1/4 cup chopped pecans.

Notes

Store hummingbird cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze hummingbird cupcakes (unfrosted) in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Cream cheese frosting: Cream cheese and butter should be room temperature, but not too soft. Your finger should leave a firm indentation, when pressed into the butter. Avoid over-beating cream cheese frosting. If your cream cheese frosting is not thick enough, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes and then beat again for 10 seconds. 
Mini cupcakes (yields 30): Fill mini muffin tin half way with batter. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
Recommended tools: Kitchen scale, mixing bowls, muffin tin, frosting bag and tip.
Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 411kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 180mg, Potassium: 151mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 280IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg

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