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Hummingbird Cupcakes | The Recipe Critic


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A bite-sized take on a classic Southern dessert, these hummingbird cupcakes are sure to win your heart! Filled with pecans, chopped fruit, and topped with smooth cream cheese frosting, you won’t be able to stop at one!

One of the unique things about hummingbird cake is that it’s filled with coconut and pineapple! If you love tropical fruits, this is the dessert for you! A few more recipes I think you’ll love are this pineapple upside down cake, coconut cream cake, and key lime poke cake!

Frosted hummingbird cupcakes on a stone serving platter.

Hummingbird Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’ve never had hummingbird cake before, you’re in for a treat! There’s a reason it’s been popular since the 70s! It’s similar to carrot cake in terms of spice and texture, but filled with coconut and pineapple for a pop of tropical flavor. In cupcake form, it’s even better! These delicious spiced cupcakes are so good, you won’t be able to stop at one. All of the tasty mix-ins these cupcakes have make them so amazing! Plus, they’re supremely moist and tender!

Topped with homemade cream cheese frosting, they become completely irresistible. Hummingbird cupcakes are such a unique dessert. If you’ve been looking for delicious new recipes to add to the dessert lineup, hummingbird cupcakes are the answer! You’re going to want to make them again and again! They have the perfect fall flavor with a twist.

Why is it Called a Hummingbird Cupcake?

These are called hummingbird cupcakes because some say they’re sweet enough to attract even hummingbirds! Others say that it’s called hummingbird cake because you’ll be humming in delight while you eat it! The most likely reason is that hummingbirds are Jamaica’s national bird and that’s where this tasty dessert first originated.

Ingredients Needed

In addition to standard baking ingredients, you’ll need a lot of fruit for this hummingbird cupcake recipe! It’s a great way to use up canned pineapple if you have it! Check out the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Butter: Makes your cupcakes nice and tender and also adds rich flavor!
  • Sugar: I used both granulated and brown sugar here.
  • Large Eggs: The trick to a smooth batter is to have your eggs at room temperature before you mix them in.
  • Vanilla: I always go for pure vanilla extract in my baking, but imitation vanilla works too if that’s what you’ve got on hand!
  • Mashed Bananas: As a lover of banana bread, this is one of my favorite ingredients here! Mashed bananas add flavor and make the cupcakes extra soft.
  • Shredded Coconut: Adds texture and also tropical flavor.
  • Crushed Pineapple: The star of the show here! Drain it before you throw it in your batter.
  • Flour: All-purpose works just fine!
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is a must-add because it makes your cupcakes light and airy.
  • Spices: I used cinnamon and cardamom!
  • Salt: A pinch is all you need to enhance the flavor of your hummingbird cupcakes.
  • Chopped Pecans: I use these for the batter and reserve some extras for topping the hummingbird cupcakes with!

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter: Makes the frosting rich and luscious.
  • Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese for the tastiest frosting! Soften before using.
  • Vanilla: Adds an extra pop of flavor!
  • Salt: Helps boost the flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar: Makes the frosting smooth and sweet!

How to Make Hummingbird Cupcakes

You’re going to love how easy it is! Anyone can make hummingbird cupcakes. With the holidays coming up, they’re the perfect dessert to whip up!

  1. Preheat Oven, Prep Pan: Preheat your oven to 350℉ and prepare a 24 space cupcake pan (or 2 with 12) by lining it with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix Wet Ingredients and Sugars: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy 6-7 minutes. Add in your eggs one at a time and incorporate completely, then mix in your vanilla.
  3. Combine Fruit: In a separate bowl mix your bananas, coconut, and pineapple.
  4. Mix Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Add it to your butter and egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in Pecans: Add in your banana mixture and mix in gently, once everything is incorporated, fold in your chopped pecans.
  6. Bake: Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way and bake about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool: Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan about 10-15 minutes before removing and cooling completely.

How to Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Butter and Cream Cheese Mixture: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or using a hand mixer, whip your butter and cream cheese together until fluffy, and free of lumps. Add your vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
  2. Mix In Powdered Sugar: With the mixer set to low, add in your powdered sugar in ¼ cup at a time until it is all completely mixed in.
  3. Cool Cupcakes: Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Pecans for Garnish: Take about ½ cup of your chopped pecans and crush them in a plastic bag until you have fine pieces you can sprinkle on the top of your frosted cupcakes.
4-photo collage of cupcake batter being prepared.

Baking Tips

These are a couple easy ways you can customize your hummingbird cupcakes! This is such a great dessert to have in your back pocket. Everyone is going to love it!

  • Frosting: There are many ways to frost a cupcake, I used a piping bag fitted with a star tip to do a simple swirl on top, but there is no one right way to do it. Be creative!
  • Topping: I crushed my extra pecans into finer pieces to sprinkle on the top of the cupcakes to give them a nice little touch but this is optional. Sprinkling with cinnamon or adding a drizzle of caramel sauce would look great as well.

Top-down view of hummingbird cupcakes on a gray serving tray. One is cut in half.

Storing Leftover Hummingbird Cupcakes

Since these cupcakes have a cream cheese based frosting, you’ll want to keep them in the fridge for best results!

In the Refrigerator: Store hummingbird cupcakes in a covered container for 2-3 days.

Closeup of a cupcake cut in half.


  • Preheat your oven to 350℉ and prepare a 24 space cupcake pan (or 2 with 12) by lining it with cupcake liners.

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy 6-7 minutes. Add in your eggs one at a time and incorporate completely, then mix in your vanilla.

  • In a separate bowl mix your bananas, coconut, and pineapple.

  • In another bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Add it to your butter and egg mixture. Mix until just combined.

  • Add in your banana mixture and mix in gently, once everything is incorporated, fold in your chopped pecans.

  • Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way and bake about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  • Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan about 10-15 minutes before removing and cooling completely.

Cream cheese frosting:

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or using a hand mixer, whip your butter and cream cheese together until fluffy, and free of lumps. Add your vanilla and salt and mix to combine.

  • With the mixer set to low, add in your powdered sugar in ¼ cup at a time until it is all completely mixed in.

  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

  • Take about ½ cup of your chopped pecans and crush them in a plastic bag until you have fine pieces you can sprinkle on the top of your frosted cupcakes.



Serves: 24

Calories429kcal (21%)Carbohydrates58g (19%)Protein3g (6%)Fat21g (32%)Saturated Fat12g (60%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat6gTrans Fat1gCholesterol70mg (23%)Sodium264mg (11%)Potassium113mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar46g (51%)Vitamin A644IU (13%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium33mg (3%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert, Snack

Cuisine American

Keyword hummingbird cake, hummingbird cupcake, hummingbird cupcake recipe, hummingbird cupcakes, hummingbird cupcakes recipe




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