Hummingbird Cupcakes: the delicious recipe for a classic Southern dessert

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
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By Cookist

If you've never had hummingbird cupcakes, you're in for a treat. These easy-to-make cupcakes are a classic Southern recipe with delicious ingredients like pineapple, applesauce, bananas, pecans or walnuts, and spices. They're ultra-tender and moist, with a tangy frosting that's similar to carrot cake flavor.

Southern hummingbird cupcakes are perfect for potlucks, picnics, and any large gathering where you'd like to serve something sweet in individual portions. They're so delicious, don't be surprised if they are quick to disappear!


Hummingbird Cupcakes Ingredients

A tasty combo of mashed ripe bananas, pineapple, and applesauce gives hummingbird cupcakes their wonderful sweet, slightly tropical flavor.

Cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg add a tantalizing layer of spice.

You'll also need basic cupcake ingredients like flour, sugar, baking soda, and egg.

A splash of oil helps make hummingbird cupcakes extra moist – use a neutral oil like vegetable oil or some coconut oil for a hint of coconut flavor.

How to Make Hummingbird Cupcakes

To make hummingbird cupcakes, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Grab a second bowl and mix the wet ingredients together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then gently fold in the pecans or walnuts. Make sure you don't overmix the batter! Pour the batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners, filling them to about three-quarters full.

Bake your hummingbird muffins for 18 to 20 minutes at 350F. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down for a bit in the pan, then place the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the mixture, beating until it becomes airy and light. Transfer to a piping bag. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. If desired, garnish with half a pecan or walnut, then serve and enjoy!


Tips for Making Southern Hummingbird Cupcakes

For ultra-decadent hummingbird cupcakes, try adding chocolate chips to the batter.

To make vegan hummingbird cupcakes, leave out the egg and add extra applesauce to make the batter. For the frosting, use margarine and vegan cream cheese instead of butter and regular cream cheese.

Don't overfill your cupcake liners. About three-quarters full should do.

Try topping your cupcakes with candied pecans for an extra pop of sweetness.

To boost the tropical flavor in your cupcakes, try adding shredded coconut.

Your cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean and free of crumbs.


How to Store Hummingbird Cupcakes

Keep your hummingbird cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, stash them in the fridge for up to four days.

Can You Freeze Hummingbird Cupcakes?

For long-term storage, you can freeze your hummingbird cupcakes for up to one month. Make sure you freeze them without the frosting. Let them thaw out in the fridge overnight before serving, then decorate them with frosting.

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for the cupcakes
All-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups
Granulated sugar
3/4 cup
Baking soda
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
ground cardamom
1/4 tsp
grated nutmeg
a pinch
1/4 cup
Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 tbsp
mashed banana
3/4 cup
crushed pineapple, undrained
4 ounces
pure vanilla extract
1 tsp
pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup
for the frosting
Cream Cheese
8 ounces
6 tbsp
pure vanilla extract
1 tsp
Powdered sugar
1 cup


Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg into a bowl. Whisk to combine.

In a second bowl, beat the eggs, applesauce, and oil.

Add the pineapple.

Add the mashed banana, and vanilla to combine.

Fold in the pecans or walnuts.

Whisk until combined.

Beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

Divide the batter equally between the muffin tins.

Make sure to fill each muffin tin to about ¾ full.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool for several minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.

Beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar until airy and light. Transfer to a piping bag.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. If desired, garnish with half a pecan or walnut. Serve and enjoy!


Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before you start baking. This will help them blend easier and help you avoid overmixing the batter.

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