Hummingbird Cupcakes

During our last trip to New York, we hit up the Cupcake Stop truck for an afternoon treat. I was surprised to find Hummingbird Cupcakes on their menu. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular cake, it is a fabulous Southern dessert that has been around for ages.

I hadn’t had Hummingbird cake in years. Actually, I hadn’t even thought about it in a while. I’m also pretty sure I’ve never made one. But, when I saw it in cupcake form on the menu that day among their other tasty flavors, I had no hesitation in making my choice. Since that day, I developed a hankering for Hummingbird cake that I just couldn’t ignore. I decided to try them in cupcake form, too, as a tribute to the awesomeness that is Cupcake Stop.

Hummingbird Cupcakes are a delicious combination of bananas, pineapple, nuts, and cinnamon, all topped with cream cheese frosting.

If I’d never eaten this cake, I probably wouldn’t have read through the recipe and thought that it was a must-make cake. It’s a bit of an odd combination – cinnamon, pineapple, pecans, bananas. Trust me, though, it is exceptionally good. It’s a bit like eating banana bread with cream cheese frosting. Only better.

Taking chocolate options out of the equation, this is definitely one of my top-rated cakes. You know, even considering chocolate, I might just have to put it in the top ten.

Hummingbird Cupcakes are a delicious combination of bananas, pineapple, nuts, and cinnamon, all topped with cream cheese frosting.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 36 standard-sized cupcakes

Hummingbird Cupcakes


    For the cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  • chopped pecans or sanding sugar, for garnish
  • For the frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 ounces confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour regular cupcake pans. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, pecans, and bananas.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting:

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.

After cooling, frost cupcakes. Garnish, if desired.


Recipe adapted from Southern Living.

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  1. Val June 30, 2010 Reply

    Yum! That looks irresistable. I would love to make these but I’m allergic to pineapple. What do you think I could substitute the pineapple for?

    • Susan L January 30, 2014 Reply

      Pineapple gives breads and cakes a unique texture and increases the moisture greatly. The only thing I can think of that MIGHT work is mandarin orange segments, chopped up.

  2. Esme June 30, 2010 Reply

    This looks incredible-I am going to try this recipe-I like the combination. Where did you see the cupcake truck in NYC-I was just there and did not see any.

  3. Satpreet June 30, 2010 Reply

    Well, if it beats out so many of your chocolate recipes, then I have no choice but to try it, now do I?

  4. The Blue-Eyed Bakers June 30, 2010 Reply

    Oh the cupcake truck…it’s such a happy sight to see. And you never know where it’s going to be…so you just MUST get a cupcake each and every time you see it. Simply must. And now this hummingbird cupcake is calling out to us!

  5. jose manuel June 30, 2010 Reply

    Se ven deliciosos. Saludos

  6. Patricia Scarpin June 30, 2010 Reply

    I have seen hummingbird cakes around so many times but have never tried making them – and these are adorable! I don’t know why I have never given this a go, since I love each and every flavor mixed here…

  7. This looks and sounds amazing! I’ve never had hummingbird cake, but I think I won’t be able to say that for long!

  8. Natalie June 30, 2010 Reply

    Mm wow these sound amazingly good, i love the picture you took as well, it makes them look so tasty yum!

  9. jennifer June 30, 2010 Reply

    Val, if it were me, I’d add extra bananas. Let me know what you try and how it works.

  10. Anna June 30, 2010 Reply

    It’s my fallback cake for potlucks and such, but I never thought to serve it in cupcake form.

  11. Joanne June 30, 2010 Reply

    If these babies make the chocolate-included top ten…then wow they must be good. Okay. Bookmarked.

  12. Oh the cupcake truck! It’s such a happy sight to see! You just have to stop and get a treat when you pass…because who knows when you’ll see it again! You really don’t have a choice. And now we’re dreaming on this hummingbird cake…yum.

  13. LimeCake July 1, 2010 Reply

    hummingbird cupcakes always seem very hearty to me – like delicious ‘kitchen sink’ cupcakes. yours look incredible!

  14. jennifer July 1, 2010 Reply

    Esme, the Cupcake Stop truck was on 5th Avenue somewhere around 20th Street. They usually post their spot for the day on Twitter and Facebook.

  15. Eliana July 1, 2010 Reply

    Oh my this looks delicious. I have never heard of it before but it looks like it’s a must make.

  16. Liz July 1, 2010 Reply

    I never knew of Hummingbird cake or cupcake…I love all the ingredients it includes so now I will just have to try it!!!
    Thanks for this blog.

  17. One of my favorite cakes translated into a cupcake!!!

  18. Mary July 1, 2010 Reply

    These are incredible. This is my first real visit to your site so I’ve spent some time reading your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did. You have fantastic recipes and I love the tone of your blog. I’ll be back often to see what else you’ve been cooking. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  19. CaSaundra July 1, 2010 Reply

    Ohh this post just reminded me that I need to make a hummingbird cake..I never have!

  20. Heather July 2, 2010 Reply

    I grew up in the south and still live here but have never heard of a Hummingbird Cake before. I’m trying it out at my family get together on the 4th. One question… do you drain the juice off of the can of pineapple or use it as is??

    • Janet Sechelski January 21, 2015 Reply

      do not drain the pineapple…..use juice and all…

  21. Kirsten July 2, 2010 Reply

    yayyy! My most favorite cake EVER! It is a tradition that every year my mom makes me this cake for my birthday, and I do the same for her when her special day rolls around. I only make it once a year because it is just too dang dangerous to have in my house.

  22. jennifer July 2, 2010 Reply

    Heather, I drained some of the juice, but you can use it all.

  23. Jane July 5, 2010 Reply

    I made these cupcakes for the 4th and they were wonderful. The cream cheese frosting is perfect! I didn’t drain the pineapple, thought it needed the extra moisture. The end consistancy was just like my banana bread batter, thick and yummy to lick off the spoon!

  24. Maytina July 7, 2010 Reply

    I recently made Hummingbird Cake and my friends kept asking if I had used real hummingbirds in it. 😛

    I loooooved it and will make it again for sure – maybe next time as cupcakes!

  25. sherry July 8, 2010 Reply

    i wish we had a cupcake truck here, those look so wonderful, i think i will give them a try. Thank you for sharing the wonderful recipe and photos

  26. sherry July 8, 2010 Reply

    this is a wonderful recipe, it was really easy to make, i made them in mini cupcakes and my kids loved them. Thanks for sharing

  27. Sherri July 10, 2010 Reply

    These look fantastic, I tried one when I was down South and just loved them. Now I finally can try and make them myself. Thanks!

  28. Tv Food And Drink July 11, 2010 Reply

    These look terrific, and pretty easy to put together also, which is big plus in my book when it comes to cupcakes. Thanks for the post! – Gary

  29. Jeanna July 15, 2010 Reply

    I had extra bananas and was looking for recipe that wasn’t banana bread. When I came across Hummingbird Cake, I knew I had to make it because I loved the name so much. When I made it I didn’t have time to bake cupcakes (only have one cupcake pan) so I made a cake. (I just baked it longer.) It was delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe.

  30. fotographiafoodie July 15, 2010 Reply

    Its like my favorite cake encapsulated in a lovable bite-sized portion. Thanks for the recipe – definitely going to make for my next get together with friends!

  31. Donna July 20, 2010 Reply

    Delicious!! I made these to take to my Grandmother’s 84th birthday and it was a huge hit. The one comment that stands out for me was from my hubby saying “were these difficult to make” and when I responded “no”, he was pleased stating to keep the recipe on top. :)

  32. Kristy July 20, 2010 Reply

    I miss your posts – hurry up and make something! LOL

    Seriously, though, I really do enjoy your posts and look forward to your latest and greatest. The hummingbird cupcakes are on the “soon” list, to be sure!

  33. ApplesandOnions July 21, 2010 Reply

    I’ve never heard of hummingbird cake before, but now I’m dying to try!

  34. irmina July 25, 2010 Reply

    I like very much this web.

  35. Pam @ Best cookware July 26, 2010 Reply


    Wow I did not know there was something called hummingbird cupcake or even a cupcake stop truck. I have been a New York many times but never seen it. In California, we have lot of taco trucks and they are great!

    This looks yummy enough to eat from the page, will be back for sure. Love your blog.

  36. Paula July 27, 2010 Reply

    This is the first time on your site for me, and I’ve spent a long time admiring your photography and recipes! I will be back!
    Let me know if I could feature your site on mine-thanks!

  37. Brilynn August 4, 2010 Reply

    Those look great! I had never heard of Hummingbird cake until my cousin requested that I make her one for her birthday. The combination of flavours does work really well together.

  38. Brittany August 14, 2010 Reply

    I have just found your site and it is amazing! All of your baking looks delicious. You are doing something I have always wanted to do! You are def an inspiration! I can’t wait to start baking! Thanks for all the hard work and keep it up.

  39. Madison September 1, 2010 Reply

    I love hummingbird cake!

  40. Fallon September 1, 2010 Reply

    I love cupcakes. This is a cupcake I would definitely try because I like all the different components that are in the cake.

  41. Brittany September 1, 2010 Reply

    Moist? Check!
    Good icing? Check!
    Nuts? Check!

    What more could you want??? 😀

    Fabulous recipe. I always add pinneapple, banana etc to mine.

  42. Eliana September 2, 2010 Reply

    This does indeed look and sound like a must-bake. Can’t wait to try it for myself.

  43. Hanna September 3, 2010 Reply

    These look awesome….I’ve never had it before…..I’m definately going to try it. Thanks for the recipe:)

  44. CaSaundra September 4, 2010 Reply

    I just recently tried hummingbird cake for the first time–I am still trying to decide if I like it better than carrot cake..but regardless, your cupcakes look amazing!

  45. Sprinkles October 18, 2010 Reply

    Totally love these cupcakes! I have never tried the hummingbird cupcake, but it is now on my list! Also I’ll be featuring them on Friday this week on Cheers!

  46. Julie Hunt October 29, 2010 Reply

    I love your blog! Your recipes look amazing and the photography is beautiful! My good friend, Amy, requested Hummingbird Cake for her birthday many years ago and I have been making it ever since (at least once a year on her birthday). I am inspired now to make it in cupcake form. Thanks!

  47. Spencer January 12, 2011 Reply

    It’s nice to see Hummingbird Cake in cupcake form. The recipe is the perfect combination of fruit, cinnamon spice and cream cheese. Adding walnuts on top is great, but using coconut is also a nice change-up to the traditional recipe.

  48. Jess Wakasugi March 4, 2011 Reply

    I made these last night to bring into the office today for my birthday and they are AMAZING! So incredibly moist and flavorful, I described them as banana bread but WAY better than that! Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s been a hit! And I’ll be featuring this recipe on my blog either this weekend or early next week, just FYI. And I’ve already featured your Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake, which I am obsessed with. Thanks again, love it all!

  49. Angel August 31, 2012 Reply

    This look gorgeous! I can’t wait to get my hands and kitchen dirty.

  50. Carlos January 26, 2013 Reply

    Looks great! Thanks! Can’t wait to try them!

  51. samia February 22, 2015 Reply

    I made them this morning and they are excellent. I didn’t have Pecans however and used Walnuts but they gave the same crispy texture. You don’t taste the pineapple much, its mostly the banana taste (Which is yummy).

    Thank you for the great recipe am definitely going to add it to my favourites. :)

  52. Charlotte Bernard March 26, 2015 Reply

    WOW what a simple and easy recipe. I made a cake instead of cupcakes and it was a huge success at our monthly ladies gathering. The cake was very moist and delicious and the cream cheese frosting not overly sweet. The ladies all wanted copies of the recipe and took extra slices to share with their husbands. This is our all time favorite. Thank you.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry March 27, 2015 Reply

      Hi, Charlotte! I’m so glad the cake was a hit! It’s one of my all-time favorites.

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