Thursday, 27 May 2010

Reunited...with an old friend

Well, the question is hummingbird cupcake - where have you been all my life?! it has been far too long since I indulged in one of these delicacies! and in fact as I've been pondering the delightful hummingbird cake I was remembering the first time I ever came across it. When I was 13 I started a Saturday job at a quaint tea room in St.Albans. They served homemade cakes that were delivered daily. As we were always at our busiest over lunchtime we didn't get lunch breaks so one of the perks of the job was that we could help ourself to whatever we fancied at any point in the day. This is definitely where my love of cake began, because it was quite normal to find me eating my way through 3 or 4 pieces of cake in one day! In fact my boss used to joke that my cake habit was reducing his profit! but you see these weren't just ordinary cakes so one piece would not have sufficed!! The chocolate fudge cake was a particular favourite of mine, but there was also a lime and coconut which I always had a slice of, and on very rare occasions the hummingbird cake would make an appearance! This always added a new level of excitement to my day because this cake was just so yummy! The combination of moist pineapple and banana tinged with a cinammon spice and topped with cream cheese frosting is just something you have to try to understand how good it is. Seriously if you haven't tried this cake really must!

I always find it rather funny that Hummingbird Bakery doesn't sell it's 'namesake' as it were! In fact I've never found any restaurant/shop that sells this cake which is perhaps what made it so exciting that they served it in my tearoom! No-one is exactly sure where the cake came from but a recipe for it was first printed in a 1978 issue of Southern Living magazine, and so it is believed to have originated from Southern America. It is usually made with pecans but as I'm not a nut lover I left these out. I also saw a few recipes that had added coconut so decided to try that with mine but I'm not really sure it gave it any extra flavour.

The last time I made these cupcakes were for my birthday last year. I don't know why I waited so long! They never fail to impress me, and taking photos of these cupcakes was painful because I just wanted to keep eating them! The reason I made these tonight was because I had 3 over ripe bananas sitting in my fruit bowl that really needed to be used so I'm pretty pleased for my laziness this week that has prevented me from waking up to a bowl of rice krispies and bananas because it led to me whipping up these treats!

If you want to try them yourself, here is the recipe:

Hummingbird cupcakes:
Makes 24 mini, 18 regular

3 cups plain flour
2 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
1/2 cup flaked coconut

1. Mix all dry ingredients together
2. Add beaten egg, vanilla extract and oil
3. Mix in pineapple, banana and coconut
4. Bake at 180 degrees c for 20-25 mins (regular size) 15 mins (mini size)

Cream cheese frosting:

300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter
100g cream cheese

1. Beat the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer on low speed
2. Beat the cream cheese in on medium-high speed, turn up and beat for 5 minutes until the frosting is fluffy

I'm sharing this recipe at
Cupcake Tuesday at
Check out what all the other talented bakers have made this week.


  1. They look delicious, I could be tempted to try them based on your recommendation :)

  2. They look really delicious. I want to work in that tea room! I've made hummingbird cake previously but only as a large 3 layered cake for special occasions and they are seriously yummy. Love your cupcake version - perfect swirls as always :) PS love your cake stand - where did you get it from?

  3. Yum! I made a Hummingbird Cake, years and years ago. These look really yummy!
    So glad to have you join us on Cupcake Tuesday!

  4. I'm afraid to say I have never had a hummingbird cake, but I adore carrot cake which is quite similar to will definietly give these a go. They sound fab

  5. I have never made a hummingbird cake before. It sounds delicious, and I too have several ripe bananas in my kitchen right now. By the way, I love your site, so many great ideas!! I'm adding you to my links right now! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. They never had hummingbird cake when I worked at Abigails :( How rude! I like the coffee and walnut haha! xxx

  7. These beautiful little hummingbird cakes sound delcious! They've been on my "to make" list for a while now and I will have to give this recipe a try for sure!

  8. I am sure that if I made these I would eat them all by myself because I love hummingbird cake!

  9. These look delicious. I love all the flavours.
    PS. does this tea room still you know if they need any new assistants? Mind you, I think I'd be eating my wages!

  10. I just happened upon your blog. Love it!

  11. yum, these look delicious - like the coconut sprinkles on top. I love humingbird cake so I am sure I would love these!



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