Hummingbird cake is Jamaican in origin, but enjoys particular popularity throughout the Southern United States. It's a lightly spiced fruit cake made with banana, pineapple and toasted pecans. In our hummingbird cake recipe we scale it down to cupcake size, adding coconut for extra texture and finishing the whole thing off with a zesty orange buttercream icing. The perfect bake for springtime teas.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas mark 6. Line 2 12-hole bun tins with paper cases.
- Spread the pecans across a baking tray and toast in the oven for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mash the banana and set aside. Finely chop the pineapple, loosening with a little of the pineapple juice, or blitz until chunky in a food processor.
- Chop the toasted pecans into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl along with the remaining dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, pineapple, eggs, vanilla extract and oil and beat until mixed.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together with a wooden spoon until evenly combined.
- Divide the mixture between the cake cases and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until golden and springy.
- For the buttercream, combine the butter, sugar, orange juice and cream cheese together in a large bowl and beat until smooth and thick. If it’s still too runny add a little extra icing sugar a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Using the tip of a knife, carefully cut the tops off the cakes leaving a little well in the centre. Spoon some frosting into the hole and top with grated orange zest or citrus curls.