Southern Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes
Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting – Moist and tender, this is a classic southern favorite loaded with bananas, pineapple, coconut, and nuts.
You Know You’re A Southern Cook If…
- Baking a ham is done on a weekly basis, instead of an annual basis. (Preferably on Sundays.)
- You know how to season a cast iron skillet and keep it seasoned.
- You aren’t afraid to cook with butter. In fact, the more the better.
- You’ve got a hand-written grandma-approved Hummingbird Cake Recipe in your kitchen diary. (Ahem… and you know what a kitchen diary is.)
Don’t worry… If these things don’t apply to you, and you live in the south, I can help you check the latter two off your list here and now.
(I can also help with seasoning cast iron and baked hams, but you’ll have to jump over to another post.)
If you aren’t a southerner, that’s ok too. Just know, there are a few things you’ve probably been missing out on.
Like Hummingbird Cake.
What Is Hummingbird Cake?
Have no fear. There are no birds in the recipe, only chunky ingredients like:
- Ripe bananas
It’s sort of like a carrot cake… Minus the carrots, add fruit.
Although I’ve heard several theories on how this moist decadent cake got its name, the one I like best came from a granny I met when we first moved to North Carolina.
She told me, “It’s called hummingbird cake, Sugar, because it’s as sweet as nectar. It’s a southern thang!”
Butter Instead Of Oil
Well, I love southern thangs. Truly.
So I’ve taken a classic hummingbird cake recipe and altered it ever so slightly, to make “Hummingbird Cake” Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting.
The first change I made was to use butter instead of oil.
Here in the south, hummingbird cake is usually thought of as an
oil “ol” cake.
However, when you shrink it down to cupcake size, with frosting on top, instead of sandwiched between multiple layers, butter greatly improves the flavor and overall golden color.
I also reduced the sugar a bit.
Believe it or not, the original granny-given recipe called for a lot more. Yet, I prefer less sweetness in the cake when you’re piling frosting on top.
Sour Cream Frosting
Finally, I made a sour cream based frosting instead of a cream cheese frosting like most traditional recipes.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore cream cheese frosting.
Yet, this sour cream frosting provides a bit more tang and is ultra soft and silky. It’s the perfect compliment to the Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes.
You are going to love these Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting!
And you’ll feel like a real southerner making and eating them, whether you are one or not.
And that, my friends, is a good thang.
See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make My Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes. Enjoy!
Other Southern Recipes You Might Like:
- Southern Orangeade Recipe
- Southern Chicken Berry Salad
- Easy Cinnamon Drop Biscuits
- Fluffy Southern Cat Head Biscuits
- Baked Mac and Cheese from Oh Sweet Basil
Southern Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes
For the Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large bananas (smashed)
- 1 cup canned crushed pineapple (in juices)
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
For the Sour Cream Frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups softened butter (3 sticks)
- 1 cup sour cream (strained, no extra liquid on top)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 8-10 cups powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Then mix the first four dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Then turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the eggs and vanilla. Scrape the bowl and beat on low, while slowly adding the flour mixture. Keep the mixer on low and mix in the mashed bananas, pineapple with juices, coconut, and pecans.
- Using a cookie scoop, divide the batter between 32 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the tops are golden and bounce back when you touch them. Place on the counter and cool completely, before proceeding.
- Take the cupcakes out of the pan. Make the Sour Cream Frosting or classic Cream Cheese Frosting for the tops. For the Sour Cream Frosting: Beat the butter until very soft, then turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the sour cream. Scrape the bowl and beat until completely smooth. Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Then slowly add the powdered sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
- Scoop the sour cream frosting into a large piping bag with a wide tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, then sprinkle with golden sugar sprinkles if desired. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting. Then cover and store in the fridge or at room temperature, for up to several days. (I like them at room temperature best!)
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I ADORE making these cupcakes (3 times in the last few weeks…. Tonight I want to make a cake, do you this will hold up as a cake, with the butter rather than the typical oil (6 inch diameter, 3 layers). I found other recipes, for a cake, but simply love your flavor, and don’t want to risk it not being as good
I’m thinking of trying this for my sons birthday. Do you think the cream cheese frosting will dye alright with gel food coloring for decorating? I’ve only decorated with buttercream frosting before. Thank you!!
It should be fine to add food coloring of any kind… Maybe have a bit of extra powdered sugar on hand, in case you need to add a little for stiffness.
They are delicious and that frosting is great!!! I will use it on other cakes!!!
Made these exactly according to recipe (very rare for me) and they were delicious! The frosting too was a big hit with my family who often don’t like buttercream much and hate cream cheese icing. The texture was really nice, a little more dense than your typical cake, and held its own with all the mix-ins. Will definitely be making these again when I can share them with friends. (Truthfully I did add a little cardamom, but that’s the only alteration I made to the recipe, I swear)
The cupcakes are wonderful. Still trying to find out what is sprinkled on thp, this would make it complete.
In the photos, I’m just using golden sugar sprinkles. I think I found them at Hobby Lobby.
My friend is gluten intolerant. So for her I try to make a dessert that I can us cake flour. There cookie recipes that I have done this & they were great & she had no stomach problems afterward. Can I use cake flour instead & how much versus all purpose.
You can use 3 1/4 cups of cake flour in this recipe. However, if your friend truly struggles with gluten intolerance, you may want to consider using a 1-to-1 gluten-free baking mix instead of wheat flour.
So far have made the cupcakes and tasted one. They are yummy. Am serving for my book club that is reading “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.” What are the sprinkles on top of the icing? Makes a nice finish…
The Hummingbird cupcake you made was delicious. I will learn to make this cake for my children.
We enjoyed the cupcakes! They baked up nicely and the frosting was delicious on top of them!
These are delicious! I always love making cupcakes over a cake.
My kids loved these! So good and delish!
These cupcakes are stunning!
I love hummingbird cake but the 3 of us cannot eat a whole cake! Your cupcakes were delicious plus I love the portion control. I froze half of them and will frost them when I get my next craving!
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wow, these turned out GREAT! I used my own special GF blend, 1/2ed the recipe, made 36 mini muffins and used a lemon glaze instead of sour cream. Big hit! I plan to use it as sheet cake for Strawberry Shortcakes . Your recipe adds the sweetened coconut and that really puts it over the top. Well done – love your blog.
Sorry, my iPad had a moment. I was wondering if you could add shredded carrots to this recipe. I saw the carrot cake recipe, but my daughter loves the pineapple, carrots, coconut and raisins. She lives in Idaho and I’d love to take these cupcakes instead of a cake.
Absolutely! I would start with about 1 cup of shredded carrots and see how it turns out. If you would like to add more, maybe remove one of the bananas. Good luck! :)
another new recipe to me, and butter in place of oil always works, so thank you again for another great recipe
Going to make these for my friends birthday this week!
So fluffy, moist and flavorful, thanks for sharing this recipe!
I am a northern born and raised and I can do all of those things so could my mothers, grandmother and great grand mother.
LOL! I love it. You’d fit right in down here. :)
These are so pretty and so delicious!!
I love that you have my favorite cake in cupcakes! These are so simple to make!
Some of my all time favorite flavors combined into one little cupcake?! Can not wait to try this recipe!
Strained sour cream?
Is that to make the sour cream thicker?
Tried to google it but only got a marijuana strain, ha!
Oh no! Lol!! Really it just means to pour off any liquid on the top, so the sour cream is as thick as possible. How did they turn out? :)
I made these n they came out so good. But I made them today but cut the recipe in half n they did not rise at all. They were very dense n not fluffy at all like the first time I made them. Any comments as to why ?
Hmmm… It’s hard to say Diana. I wonder if you need to replace your baking powder. Sometimes it goes flat. I like to replace all my leavening agents a couple times a years whether I have some left or not, just to be safe. So glad you liked the cupcakes the first time. Hopefully this fixes the problem. :)
1. Sweetened or unsweetened coconut?
2. I want to make this as a 9″ layered cake for my mother-in-laws birthday. Any suggestions on cooking time?
Thanks a million,
2. Are you making the cake in 2 or 3 layers? I’d guess a 3-layer cake in 9 inch pans would need to bake 12-15 minutes.
Let me know how it turns out! XOXO
Sommer you’re saying unsweetened coconut but the recipe says sweetened??? Which one is correct. Thanks byw, love your site.
I’d go with sweetened, but you could use unsweetened coconut to take the sugar down a notch. :)
This East coast gal just came up with some serious southern aspirations. I love that it is called hummingbird cake, I love cream cheese frosting, and I really want to take better care of my cast iron.
how do you strain sour cream?
i need to make! Sweetened or unsweetened coconut?
so going to make these!!! I’m having some girlfriends over on Sunday.
How could I make these into muffins? do I need to adjust the recipe? make them denser?
Thanks for any advice.
Can I just pipe the frosting directly into my mouth? Because I think I may just do that. These cupcakes are awesome, Sommer! Love this Southern classic; it’s on my to-bake list!
LOL! Yes… And I won’t tell. ;)
A hummingbird cake is on my bucket list. Love this cupcake version.
I love the name, and your recipe looks great!
do you think could make this gluten free? Thanx Tracy
HI Tracy! I’ve never tried making a gluten free version. However, if you have a good gluten free flour mix you trust, it would be worth a shot. Let me know how they turn out!
What size can of pineapple, please?
Hi Peggy, the recipe calls for 1 cup. A 10-11 ounce can should be more than enough. Happy Baking!
Love this recipe for muffins – would this ‘work’ in loaf pans? Love to have a few loaves of hummingbird bread !!
Hi Marlene, I don’t see why not, but you’ll need to bake a bit longer. I can’t tell you an exact time, because I’ve never baked one in a loaf pan before. Let me know how it turns out! :)
The hummingbird muffin recipe worked out quite well in loaf pans
The recipe made two 8×4 loaves and 1 mini – baked 350 for 55-60 minutes.
Thanks.. Happy Easter
These are over the top! So fantastic!!!
these are my moms favorite! so pretty!
These cupcakes are fantastic, amazing recipe!!!
One of my fav. cakes! Love it here in the cupcake form.
These are so pretty – I think I need one right now!!
Oh Sommer! Hummingbird cake is my one of my favorites! Be-still my southern heart :-) I’m looking forward to trying your version. Perfect for Easter!
Those are beautiful! I’ve always stayed away from Hummingbird Cake because we have nut allergies in our family. But now I’m wondering if I could simply omit the nuts? Do you think it would still be as good?
Hi Jenna, Absolutely!! Let me know how they turn out. :)
You’re making me crave cupcakes at 8am!!
Your photos are gorgeous.. Hummingbird cake was my dad’s favorite so I think I will start a new tradition and make those every year on his birthday… so much easier than baking a layer cake. Thanks for posting this beautiful recipe.