This is a special cake made for 3 special people - a dear friend who is back to work after maternity leave, an excellent student who has finished her placement with us and a blogger friend Karen who celebrated her birthday in May. Karen, I've eaten your cakes on your behalf as a good friend of course ;-)
These are hummingbird cupcakes which have pineapple, bananas and pecans in them. I think the original recipe has coconut but as I don't like coconut I chose not to use it. It's the same recipe I used previously for a 3 layer cake but adjusted to cupcake proportions (I've just realised I seem to make hummingbird cakes for people named Karen!!) It's topped with a cream cheese frosting and finished with a dried pineapple flower. They tasted absolutely AMAZING!!! The cakes were really moist and flavourful. The nuts gave it a good crunch and texture to contrast with the bananas and pineapple.
It was Mother's Day recently in USA and I've seen an explosion of these hummingbird cupcakes with dried pineapple flowers on the blogosphere. The Pink Whisk (Great British Bake Off Finalist) also recently posted a very helpful tutorial on how to make these (highly recommend reading). They are also in my Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book. The stars have aligned, it was meant to be :)
Quick digression here... next month I am hosting The Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Club. I have chosen roasted banana cupcakes page 141. If you would like to join in, please click on the link to read how. We will be posting on the 15th of June.
So I am entering these gorgeous cakes to Tea Time Treats hosted by the fabulous birthday girl Karen from Lavender and Lovage and co-hosted by Kate from What Kate Baked. The theme is floral flavours and flowers. I think these dried pineapple flowers count!
I am also entering them to my own AlphaBakes hosted this month by Caroline from Caroline Makes as the letter is 'H' for Hummingbird Cupcakes! If you haven't made your AlphaBakes entry yet, get baking as the deadline is 25th May!
Makes 10 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
150g caster sugar
125mls sunflower oil
2 ripe bananas, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g fresh pineapple, chopped (you will have some left from making the pineapple flowers)
50g pecans, roughly chopped
For the cream cheese frosting
200g icing sugar, sifted
50g butter, softened
125g cream cheese
For the dried pineapple flower
1 large fresh pineapple
- Preheat oven to 170C.
- Mix the sugar, eggs, sunflower oil, banana and cinnamon.
- Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix well.
- Stir in the pineapple and pecans.
- Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for approximately 15 - 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the frosting by beating all the ingredients until smooth.
- Spoon the frosting on top of the cooled cupcake and decorate with a dried pineapple flower (or other decorations of your choice)
To make the dried pineapple flowers
- Preheat the oven to 120C
- Cut the top and skin off the pineapple.
- Use a melon baller to remove the eyes.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut VERY thin slices crosswise as shown.
- Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking tray and bake until the tops look dry.
- I recommend starting with 30 minutes on each side - remember to turn the slices over!
- As my slices were quite thick, they took about 50 - 60 minutes on each side to dry!!
- Pinch the centre of each pineapple slice to shape into a cone and allow to cool in a cupcake tray to form the flower shape.