Friday, 1 March 2013

Hummingbird Cupcakes (banana, pineapple and pecan)

 Hummingbird cupcake with caramelised pecans

So, seeing as it was my birthday, I figured I had better make cakes for the netball girls. Netball was on Saturday morning – I had Friday off but was planning to be out all day, so cakes had to be made on Thursday evening after work. This meant two things – I needed to make something that would last well for a couple of days and that wouldn’t take too much time and effort.  I already had some ginger cake made at the weekend but wanted to take a second option. I had a flick through my recipe file and found the recipe for Hummingbird Cupcakes.  This is another recipe from the Sara Stanley cupcake course that I did at the Bertinet Kitchen (see also my Red Velvet recipe) and I love this recipe. I hadn’t made these for ages and they’re fairly easy to make, don’t need a lot of fussy decoration and they last really well, so decision made!

Tins of crushed pineapple aren’t always that easy to find – so, if needed, just use a normal can of pineapple and whizz the pineapple up in a food processor or mini chopper.  I chucked the pineapple and banana in a food processor and quickly blitzed them up together, and this worked really well.

The original Sara Stanley Hummingbird recipe topped the cupcakes with a vanilla cream cheese frosting – this is delicious and complements the cake flavours beautifully. However, the problem with cream cheese frosting is that it should be kept in the fridge – which isn’t great for the cakes themselves. As I was planning to keep the cakes for a couple of days, I wanted to do something different. As I had the pineapple juice leftover from the tinned pineapple, I decided to have a go at making pineapple buttercream. I reduced the pineapple juice down to approx. 60ml by microwaving it for 30 seconds at a time until suitably reduced. I then added this to my normal buttercream recipe in place of milk. It tasted great and really worked well with these cakes.

You may find that you need to make extra caramelised pecans – they’re delicious!

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Mini Hummingbird cupcake with caramelised pecan


  1. 1 large egg
  2. 1 egg yolk
  3. 230g caster sugar
  4. 110g corn/grapeseed/sunflower oil
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 125g low fat yoghurt
  7. 100g mashed banana (1 medium banana)
  8. 100g drained tinned pineapple, crushed
  9. 160gg plain flour
  10. Pinch of salt
  11. ¼ tsp cinnamon
  12. ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  13. Pinch of baking powder
  14. 60g chopped pecans

For the pineapple buttercream

  1. Leftover pineapple juice from the tin of pineapple
  2. 110g butter at room temperature
  3. 500g icing sugar 

For the caramelised pecans

  1. 30g butter
  2. 30g light brown sugar
  3. 60g pecans


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 165C. Place 12 large cupcake cases into a bun tin and about 8 mini cupcake cases into a mini bun tin.
  2. Whisk egg, yolk and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Stream in oil and vanilla, whilst continuing to whisk.
  4. Add yoghurt, banana and pineapple and mix.
  5. Sieve the flour into a separate bowl, add all the remaining dry ingredients and stir together.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir gently until combined.
  7. Fill the large cupcakes to two-thirds full and then use the remaining mixture to two-thirds fill the mini cupcake cases.
  8. Bake until the cakes are golden and spring back when lightly touched. The mini cupcakes will take 15-25 minutes to bake and the larger cupcakes 20-30 minutes.
  9. When baked, remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove from the tins and allow to cool fully on a wire cooling rack. 

For the buttercream

  1. Pour the pineapple juice into a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time until reduced to 60ml. Allow to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, reduced, cooled pineapple juice and half the icing sugar until smooth.
  3. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.

For the caramelised pecans

  1. Melt the butter in a small frying pan, over a low heat.
  2. Add the sugar and pecans and stir for about 3 minutes until caramelised.

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