Hummingbird Cupcakes

If you are reading this and thinking “What the heck are Hummingbird Cupcakes?” then you are not alone. I had never heard of hummingbird cake, though apparently it’s quite popular in the south. The tropical fruits in this recipe make for a thick, dense cupcake and I love the flavor combination of the fruits and cinnamon in the cupcake with the cream cheese frosting. I substituted unsweetened applesauce in this recipe for some of the butter in the original and I overhauled the cream cheese frosting and replaced it with a much lighter version.  Most recipes for hummingbird cake seem to include nuts of some kind (pecans or walnuts), though I chose to omit them. If you’d like to include them, fold 2/3 cup of chopped nuts into the batter along with the pineapple and coconut (will change the P+ value).

I was really excited to make these, partially because they sounded delicious and partially because I couldn’t wait to use my new Wilton Dessert Decorator Plus! After requesting frosting design help in my post for Lemon-Lime Cupcakes (my favorite cupcakes ever), my high school friend Erin told me about the wondrous gadget that is the frosting gun. I ran out and picked one up at Michael’s (it was regularly $14.99 but I got it for even less with a coupon) and it is one of the best kitchen tools I’ve purchased in a while. It is easy to use, has detailed instructions on how to use it to make several different designs and it made me feel like a pro! Pastry bags can be so messy and awkward, but this was clean and simple and didn’t waste any frosting. I especially love the results – my frosting looks great (in my humble opinion)!


Hummingbird Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat cupcake pans with cooking spray or line cups with liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer) combine the butter, applesauce, vanilla and sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each. Mix in the mashed banana. Add the dry ingredients and beat on a low speed until just mixed. Using a spoon, gently mix in the pineapple and coconut.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
  5. While the cupcakes cool, combine the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electronic mixer until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.

MyWW SmartPoints per (1 cupcake) serving: (SP calculated using the recipe builder on

Green: 7 SmartPoints/ Blue: 7 SmartPoints/ Purple: 7 SmartPoints

4 per cupcake (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

174 calories, 29 g carbs, 20 g sugars, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 1 g fiber (from

adapted from Annie’s Eats