Bake Sale: Hummingbird Cupcakes

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By Stefani Pollack

Hummingbird cakes, with their alluring blend of pineapple, banana, and pecan, are a Southern staple – right alongside pineapple upside-down cakes.  These hummingbird upside-down cupcakes take the best elements of each and marry them to create a new dessert that still feels like home.  Rather than standing alone (as in the traditional pineapple upside-down cupcake), the pineapple in these cupcakes is joined by the hummingbird cake’s banana and pecan.  The cupcake itself is a basic brown sugar spice cake with an added touch of cardamom – a nod to a classic spice found in hummingbird cakes. 


Yield: 12 Hummingbird Upside-Down Cupcakes

Note: This recipe must be prepared using silicone cupcake liners.

Topping Ingredients:
½ of a large banana, cut into 12 thin slices
3 ounces finely chopped pineapple
12 pecans, roughly chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Cupcake Ingredients:
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3 cup whole milk

Topping Directions:
Place a banana slice in the center of the bottom of each silicone cupcake liner.
Surround each banana with chopped pineapple and pecans, distributing the pineapple and pecans evenly between the 12 liners.
Top the fruit and nuts with brown sugar, evenly distributing the brown sugar between the 12 liners. Top the brown sugar with melted butter, evenly distributing the butter between the 12 liners.
Set aside.

Cupcake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix brown sugar and butter until fully combined.
Mix in egg until fully combined.
Mix in vanilla and sour cream until fully combined.
In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture in three additions, mixing after each addition until just combined.
Mix in milk until just combined.
Divide the cupcake batter evenly between the prepared liners.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
Cool to room temperature.
Remove cupcakes from liners and turn upside-down prior to serving.

Stefani Pollack is the author of the popular cupcake blog, Cupcake Project. While she loves simple chocolate cupcakes, Stefani prefers creative cupcakes inspired by her favorite flavor combinations. She encourages her readers to branch out and experiment in the kitchen. Why cupcakes? They bring out the kid in us! Visit Stefani at


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Reader Comments:


i would like a recipe to use up the rest of my moppin sauce please.

By esther johnson on March 15, 2013


Love watching you on tv when I can. I think you are pretty cool.Love your cook book also

By Doreen Carlton on March 15, 2013

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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am