I’m leaving on a jet plane… headed to incredibly sunny HOT weather to drink margaritas, eat cupcakes, mexican food, AND frozen yogurt. Maybe that’s not exactly how the song goes, but pretty close.
Okay seriously, I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT! I apologize if I’m making you jealous but I’m pretty sure my new favorite hummingbird cupcakes will provide you with a little happiness. I mean they are topped with a heavenly TOASTED COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING!
Again, sorry for the excitement and excessive exclamation marks. I had a giant iced coffee the size of my face this morning. WHOOOOOOOO!
Wow, this is the most outrageous post I’ve ever written so I should just stop right now and give you the recipe. Unfortunately, I still need to explain a few things about these spectacular cupcakes.
What are hummingbird cupcakes?
Hummingbird cupcakes are one of my absolute favorite cupcakes. I would call them a cross between banana bread and carrot cake. They’re unbelievably moist — flavored with banana, pineapple, pecans, and cinnamon spice. The name is a mystery; however, some say these were called hummingbird cupcakes because they make you hum with delight. I can’t help but agree!
How are these lightened up?
Easy substitutes: Instead of using a bunch of oil or butter to make a moist cupcake, I substituted some buttermilk and applesauce to save calories.
Less sugar: I felt because these cupcakes already had sweet ingredients, that they didn’t need a lot of added sugar so I only used 3/4 cup. Now it is extremely important to use SUPER ripe bananas, because of the naturally higher sugar content that release when bananas ripen. Look for bananas with TONS of brown spots.
Reduced-fat frosting: Instead of full fat cream cheese, I used the reduced-fat kind and opted for raw, unsweetened coconut to top it with.
Ways you can make these even healthier:
If you want to make these healthier, you can substitute 3/4 cup of flour with whole wheat pastry flour; this will ensure that the cupcakes are still moist, but aren’t overly heavy. If you do this, I recommend adding another tablespoon of liquid (milk) to your batter.
How to make these vegan:
Instead of buttermilk, use soy, almond, or coconut milk. Leave out the egg, then increase oil by 2 tablespoons. For the frosting, top with my vegan coconut whip cream just before serving, or you can use another vegan frosting recipe.
Another thing I should mention is that these cupcakes are better 24 hours later. The sugars continue to release and so they become sweeter and more moist. I will often bake them the day before, then frost them right before they are ready to eat! Words can’t even begin to describe the frosting; it’s magical.
I hope you’ll make them, they are the perfect Easter treat and you’ll feel great knowing that they are lightened up. Plus, no one will be able to tell… or at least my family couldn’t!
More lightened up desserts to try:
Lemon Blueberry Pistachio Cupcakes (vegan + gluten free!)
Lightened Up Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies (made with coconut oil + dairy free!)
Gluten Free Peach Crisp with Salted Coconut Milk Caramel
Lightened up Hummingbird Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Unbelievably moist, lightened up hummingbird cupcakes, flavored with banana, pineapple, pecans, and cinnamon. Topped with a magical toasted coconut cream cheese frosting, these are divine!
- 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 1/2 bananas)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 3 tablespoons applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (or almond milk)
- For the frosting:
- 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup raw coconut (or unsweetened coconut flakes)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray the inside of the liners with non-stick cooking spray to ensure they don't stick.
In medium bowl, combine banana, applesauce, pecans, and crushed pineapple; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat coconut oil, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Add in egg and beat until fluffy about another minute. Next fold in banana mixture with wooden spoon. Alternate adding in flour mixture and buttermilk and stir until just combined; do not overmix!
Fill cupcakes almost 2/3 full, you should have enough batter for about 16 cupcakes. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
To make frosting: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until smooth.
To toast coconut: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread out coconut in shallow pan and place in oven for 3-5 minutes. Watch the coconut very carefully so it doesn't burn. You'll want the coconut just slightly browned on the edges. It may take more or less time.
Spread a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake then top with a little bit toasted coconut. Enjoy!
Adapted from my banana muffins and Martha Stewart
I love hummingbird recipes – banana and carrot cake all in one, with coconut. These are gorgeous and the fact that you lightened them up. Genius! Pinning!
Thanks for the pin! 🙂
Gosh, darn, these look yummy! I will definitely consider making these for Easter.
It’s always nice to have a lighter recipe for a great tasting cupcake. Yours look so moist, creamy, and delicious!
I’ve always wanted to try hummingbird cake, and I think this is a good place to start! Thanks for the easy, healthier recipe. 🙂
Yum! These sound delicious and could almost be passed off as muffins! That way I could eat more without feeling as guilty 🙂
hummingbird cake is like my all time favorite, love the pineapple, banana, and coconut combo.
these look good. I'll definitely try an eggless version soon. thanks for the recipe. have a nice day!
I absolutely love hummingbird, this is definitely on my to bake list! Looks delicious, especially with the toasted coconut.
Oh my!! I definitely have to try those cupcakes!! Beautiful recipe 🙂
They are delicious!!!! So moist and tasty! My boyfriend ate six for breakfast…Haven’t tried the frosting yet but can’t wait! Thank you!
These cupcakes are delicious! They were a huge hit at my family’s Easter dinner–with the adults and children alike! You are definitely right–they are even sweeter and more moist the second day after baking. Thank you so much for sharing!
These look delicious and so pretty! And light, I will take 3 then =)!
These look delicious, I love hummingbird recipes. Lovely to have a lighter version too
Just made these and they are so moist! I haven’t frosted them yet but they are great even without frosting! Another great recipe for the books!
These look amazing! Is it possible to bake in two 8inch cake pans? Thank you!
Of course. 🙂 I’m not sure on timing though, check them at 25 minutes maybe?
Have you tried these with gluten free flour at all?
So you know if I can make these into a cake instead of cupcakes? I’m also going to use your Vegan options. Thanks!
This recipe is fantastic! I halved the recipe and baked it as a small sheet cake (about 25 minutes in the oven.) So good! All the perfect flavors of banana, pineapple and pecans – plus cream cheese icing – all rolled into a very yummy dessert!
Perfect! So delicious 🙂
These were delicious!! Could they be adapted into a cake?
Hi, Anastasia! So sorry for the delay. Glad you loved them! And yes, two 8 inch cake pans for 20 minutes or so should work well 🙂