Hummingbird Cupcakes

I went to the a baby shower this weekend and brought cupcakes. I wasn't asked to, but I will use any occasion as an excuse to bake. Baking is so fun but I simply cannot do it for a random reason because I will fall victim to whatever sweet treat I've created, and finish it entirely in less then 10 minutes. I can't be trusted! Parties are perfect, I'm safe if I'm baking for a party. I've had coconut on the brain and have been wanted to try my hand at Hummingbird cake for awhile so after poking around the interwebs I set my sights on this recipe. Have y'all heard of Hummingbird cake? It's a pretty effing awesome southern cake that has bananas, pineapple and walnuts and is topped with cream cheese frosting. Only a few of the recipes I found called for coconut but I am crazed for coconut these days so I decided to use one of those. And the verdict is: very, very delicious. Everyone at the shower loved them and I would definitely make them again. And I recommend that you give them a try.

Hummingbird Cupcakes from Annie Eats

{cake from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride}

Yield: approximately 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
11 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
2/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting:*
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, vanilla, and sugar and beat until blended and smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix in the mashed banana.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Gently fold in the pineapple, nuts (if using), and coconut with a spatula until evenly mixed.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

*If you are big on frosting as I am, you may want to increase the quantities by 50%.  That is what I typically do for a batch of 24 cupcakes.  I usually end up with some left over, but I would rather have too much frosting than not enough! [yes! I did this and I think it's a good tip. Is there anything worse than not having enough frosting?! THE HORROR!]