Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Humming Bird Cake

Buzz Buzz. Its a warm day with pastel 
colored flowers dispersed among the field, with butterflies, bees and hummingbirds flying from flower to flower. It's Spring. Can you see it? Well actually currently it isn't spring. It actually just the start of winter, but this cake (err well in this specific case, cupcakes) will make you feel like you are in spring. It has a warm and heart array of spices but also summery sweetness from the tangy pineapple and sweet bananas. Plus delicious pecans are added to this mix? What more could you ask for? Maybe cream cheese frosting to top it all off? I can make that happen.
Some may not be a fan of 'littering' the moist and light texture of the cake with the pecans. But for me, with a pecan farmer uncle, there always seems to be an abundance of pecans sitting around just waiting to be used in a new way. Plus the parentals are big fans of nuts in the cake, so the nuts stay. If you don't like nuts in desserts, maybe try it with the pecans topped on the frosting. They really do add a lot to the cake, but if you are totally anti-nuts, the cake can be made with out them.

Humming Bird Cupcakes
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour,
  • 1 cup pecan pieces finely chopped 
  • 3 ripe bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • For the Frosting:
  • 16 oz of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange 
  • zest
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg


Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the muffin tins or line with with  paper cup liners.
Toss pecans with the bananas, pineapple and 1/2 cup flour in a small bowl.In a separate bowl mix the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer, beat the eggs and granulated sugar in a separate  bowl on high speed until thick and light, 3 minutes. Once pale in color, slowly add  in the vegetable oil.Combine the flour mixture with the egg mixture to make a thick batter. Fold in the pecan-fruit mixture, then transfer the batter to the prepared pans. Fill the cups 3/4 full. Bake until the cakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Make sure they are completely cool before topping with frosting.

For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer until fluffy. It is extremely important that the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. (Do not try to do it with cold cheese and butter.)  Add the powdered sugar, zest and spices to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. 

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