This whimsical take on our classic Hummingbird Cake recipe shrinks the moist, three-layer cake into cupcakes, garnishing with bright candied pineapple wedges in honor of the canned pineapples that give the cake batter its incredible moistness. There are a few rules for success in this recipe that make it truly stand out. First, vegetable oil is used instead of butter to get the moist, quick-bread-like texture of the layers. Second, you need a can of crushed pineapple in its juice (such as Publix Crushed Pineapple in Pineapple Juice), which you will NOT drain. The juices add so much flavor to the cake batter and keeps it incredibly moist. Lastly, always take the time the toast your pecans! When baking the cupcakes, some of the oil may leach through the paper liners and into the muffin cups themselves. Grease-proof or aluminum foil muffin cups will help, or you can forgo the paper liners altogether and grease and flour the individual cups.
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained (such as Publix Crushed Pineapple in Pineapple Juice)
2 cups chopped ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
2 (16-oz.) pkg. powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Candied Pineapple Wedges
6 candied dried pineapple rings
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Yellow sparkling sugar
Pale yellow sanding sugar
How to Make It
Prepare the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and toasted pecans.
Place 24 paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) standard-size muffin pans. Spoon batter into prepared cups, filling about three-fourths full.
Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Prepare the Candied Pineapple Wedges: Slice 6 candied dried pineapple rings into 4 wedges each. Microwave 1/4 cup light corn syrup in a small microwavable bowl on HIGH until warm, about 10 seconds. Brush wedges with warm corn syrup, and sprinkle with desired amount of yellow sparkling sugar and pale yellow sanding sugar.
Pipe or spread Cream Cheese Frosting onto cupcakes. Garnish with Candied Pineapple Wedges.