Friday, April 3, 2015

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Since starting my part-time work at a doctor's office during the Great Job Hunt of '15, I have taken it upon myself to conduct extensive diabetes research among the office staff by bringing my baked goods to a new state. This past week, our young whippersnapper of a boss had his birthday, and I was tasked with supplying the confections and with telling him how your body breaks down once you're no longer 25 (here's to infinitely longer hangovers and bum knees!). I decided to embrace the great Southern charm of Charleston with the most requested recipe in the history of Southern Living- the fruit filled cinnamony delight known as hummingbird cake.

Would the office be inspired by my latest round of cupcake magic leading to a promotion, or would I be out on the streets begging for work?

Hummingbird Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Southern Living
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Time: 60 minutes

Do not be deceived into thinking you're making muffins.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with juices
1 cup chopped pecans, plus additional for topping
2 cups chopped bananas

16 oz cream cheese, softened to near room temp
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon

Make sure you only focus on the really pretty one in the center. The fruit inside may lead to some interesting dimples...
  1. Sip on a mint julep to get in the proper Southern spirit.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  4. Stir in the eggs and oil until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
  5. Mix in the vanilla, pineapple, pecans, and bananas until evenly distributed.
  6. Fill cupcake tins ~ 2/3 full with batter.
  7. Let bake for 18-22 minutes until golden and the toothpick test comes back clean (be careful of pineapple and banana messing up the test).
  8. Let cool on wire racks.
  9. While cooling, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the butter. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until you reach the desired sweetness. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
  10. Top your cupcakes with frosting and additional pecans. 
  11. Resist the urge to eat them all before sharing with your coworkers. 
Since there was not already enough sugar in the cupcakes themselves, I just had to add on pure sugar lettering for extra fanciness.
In the least shocking development ever, it turns out Southern Living knows what they're talking about when it comes to cake. My only real change to the cake was adding more vanilla (which is a given in pretty much every dessert I make), while I added cinnamon and altered some of the ratios of the frosting to reflect some of my previous cupcakery. Hummingbird cake is one of the most moist, delicious desserts you will ever have. The banana and pineapple filling kept the cake interesting without adding much additional work while also preventing it from drying out, and the cinnamon cream cheese frosting reinforced the spiced nature of the cake without making it overpoweringly sweet. When all was said and done, the office was abuzz with praises of the cupcakes, and I was allowed to stick around for at least a little longer.

See if you can guess where I decided to stop worrying about a piping tip and just started piling on delicious frosting.

No comments:

Post a Comment