Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hummingbird cake

Make that
Hummingbird Cupcakes
with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting & Toasted Pecans.

Yes sir-eee, Bob.
That's what I said.

I adapted this classic Hummingbird Cake recipe by Art Smith,
Oprah's former personal chef.
Rumor has it, she requested that he make this cake for her once a week.
Er, no comment...'cuz I feel you, Opes, it is that  good.
He sells the Hummingbird Cake in his famous southern-themed restaurant
here in Chicago - Table Fifty-Two.
(So good!  Try the fried chicken on Sundays/Mondays.)

Art's recipe makes a fabulous layer cake.
However, I received the following request from the huzz
in regards to his birthday treat to bring to work:

"I like the idea of either a pumpkin, carrot or humingbird type desert.
What ever is easiest and allows me to spend the most time relaxing with you and BB2!!!"

So sweet.
I, however, did not envision a layer cake making the transport successfully.
Enter:  Cupcakes.

I made the batter per the original layer cake recipe
and just altered the baking directions.
The frosting is my own recipe. (Paula Deen would approve.)

Here you go...
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c chopped ripe bananas
  • 1 c crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 c vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c chopped pecans + 1/2 c chopped pecans (divided)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp caramel sauce
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 with racks centered.
Line cupcake tin with liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.
In another bowl, stir or whisk the bananas, pineapples, oil, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
Do NOT use an electric mixer.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold together with a large spatula until smooth.  Do NOT beat.  (Over-working the batter --> tough texture.)
Fold in the pecans.
The batter will appear quite thick.
Use an ice cream scooper to evenly scoop into cupcake tins.
Bake in oven for approximately 20-22 minutes until cake is golden and springs back, or when a cake tester comes out clean.
Transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat your frosting ingredients together with an electric mixer.
Chop remaining 1/2 c  of pecans and toast in a dry frying pan over low heat.
Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with chopped pecans!

Tastes kind of like banana bread with cream cheese frosting.
How bad can that be?

These cupcakes can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Servings:  Approximately 26-30.


~photos by b~

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