Bake or Break
New to BAKE or BREAK? Start Here!

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Hummingbird cupcakes are a Southern favorite made with a delicious combination of bananas, pineapple, nuts, cinnamon, and cream cheese frosting. Best of all, this recipe is easier than you think!

Closeup of hummingbird cupcake on wire rack

Hummingbird cake is a fabulous Southern dessert that has been around for ages, and this recipe puts all that deliciousness into convenient cupcake form. It’s a bit of an odd combination, with cinnamon, pineapple, pecans, bananas, but it’s exceptionally good. It’s a bit like eating banana bread with cream cheese frosting, only better!

Why You’ll Love This Hummingbird Cupcake Recipe

  • Easy to put together. There’s nothing difficult or fussy about making these hummingbird cupcakes, and even the frosting can be slathered on with an offset spatula if you’re not in the mood for piping!
  • Old-fashioned favorite. If you grew up in the South, these cupcakes will feel like a taste of home. Like coconut cake and Italian cream cake, they’re a classic Southern recipe.
  • Perfect for a party. Cupcakes are always an excellent choice for get-togethers because they’re perfectly portioned (no slicing and serving needed!) and don’t require any silverware.
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, you’ll get more of my best recipes in your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

By entering your email, you consent to receiving emails from Bake or Break. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Overhead view of ingredients for hummingbird cupcakes

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

For the Cake:

  • All-purpose flour – Here’s how to measure flour.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar – There’s quite a bit of sugar in this recipe, but don’t be put off—we’re making 3 dozen cupcakes here!
  • Ground cinnamon – For a flavor reminiscent of carrot cake.
  • Eggs – Beat the eggs before adding them to the recipe.
  • Oil – Vegetable or canola oil are good choices, as they have a neutral flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – I like to use my homemade vanilla extract.
  • Crushed pineapple – This adds tropical flavor, but it also makes these hummingbird cupcakes supremely moist.
  • Pecans – Since you’ll be chopping them anyway, buy pecan pieces, which are less expensive than halves.
  • Bananas – Unlike when making banana bread, you don’t want completely brown bananas; you’ll be chopping them, so they should have some substance to them and not be mushy.
  • Garnishes – Chopped pecans or sanding sugar are the perfect finishing touch.

For the Frosting:

  • Cream cheese – Use the full-fat blocks, not the kind that comes in a tub.
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Also known as powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla extract

How to Make Hummingbird Cupcakes

  • Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F, then grease and flour 36 standard-sized muffin cups, or line them with paper liners.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. 
  • Finish the batter. Add the eggs and oil to the flour mixture, stirring until they’re moistened. Then, stir in the vanilla, pineapple, pecans, and bananas.
  • Bake. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove them from the pans and set them directly on the wire racks to finish cooling. (Learn more: Why Every Baker Needs Wire Cooling Racks)
  • Make the frosting. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the cream cheese and butter until they’re creamy. Slowly beat in the sugar until the frosting is light and fluffy, then stir in the vanilla.
  • Finish. Frost the cooled hummingbird cupcakes and garnish, if desired.
Closeup of hummingbird cupcake on wire rack

Tips for Success

  • Let the eggs come to room temperature. They’ll mix better into the batter and hold more air when beaten.
  • Soften the butter and cream cheese. This keeps the butter and cream cheese from sticking to the beaters and ensures that your frosting is smooth, without any little unmixed lumps.
  • Sift the powdered sugar. On the subject of lumps! You’ll also want to sift your powdered sugar. It’s much easier to sift it first than to pick little clumps of sugar out of your frosting.
  • Know the basics. Read over my baking tips for beginners before you get started.
Wire rack with hummingbird cupcakes


  • Try another frosting. White chocolate frosting, brown butter frosting, or maple cream cheese frosting would all work well for these hummingbird cupcakes.
  • Make them nut-free. You can omit the nuts if you’re not a fan or if you or someone you’re baking for has an allergy.
  • More garnish ideas. Top each cupcake with a candied nut, add white chocolate curls to the top, garnish with dried pineapple, sprinkle cinnamon or cinnamon sugar over the frosting—don’t be afraid to get creative!

How to Store

Store your hummingbird cupcakes in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Let them sit at room temperature before serving.

Side view of hummingbird cupcake on wire rack

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

It’s best to freeze these hummingbird cakes unfrosted, then make the frosting and frost them when you’re ready to serve them. If you have already frosted them, they can still be frozen, though; place them on a sheet pan and freeze them until the frosting is solid.

Store frosted or unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 2 months. Unfrosted cupcakes can be thawed at room temperature, while frosted cupcakes should be thawed in the refrigerator.

Hummingbird cupcake cut in half to show texture

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Yield 36 standard-sized cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Hummingbird cupcakes are a Southern favorite made with bananas, pineapple, nuts, cinnamon, and cream cheese frosting. Easy and delicious!

Wire cooling rack with hummingbird cupcakes


For the cake:

  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup (237ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 8-ounce (226g) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup (120g) roughly chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  • chopped pecans or sanding sugar, for garnish

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 ounces (453g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 36 standard-sized muffin cups, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the eggs and oil, stirring until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the vanilla, pineapple, pecans, and bananas.
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla.
  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Garnish, if desired.


Recipe adapted from Southern Living.

Recommended Products

Bake or Break is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Show off your baking masterpiece!

Snap a pic, tag @bakeorbreak, and use #bakeorbreak on Instagram. Can't wait to see your creation!

Share this:

    80 Comments on “Hummingbird Cupcakes”

  1. Yum! That looks irresistable. I would love to make these but I’m allergic to pineapple. What do you think I could substitute the pineapple for?

    • Pineapple gives breads and cakes a unique texture and increases the moisture greatly. The only thing I can think of that MIGHT work is mandarin orange segments, chopped up.

  2. This looks incredible-I am going to try this recipe-I like the combination. Where did you see the cupcake truck in NYC-I was just there and did not see any.

  3. Well, if it beats out so many of your chocolate recipes, then I have no choice but to try it, now do I?

  4. Oh the cupcake truck…it’s such a happy sight to see. And you never know where it’s going to be…so you just MUST get a cupcake each and every time you see it. Simply must. And now this hummingbird cupcake is calling out to us!

  5. Se ven deliciosos. Saludos

  6. I have seen hummingbird cakes around so many times but have never tried making them – and these are adorable! I don’t know why I have never given this a go, since I love each and every flavor mixed here…

  7. This looks and sounds amazing! I’ve never had hummingbird cake, but I think I won’t be able to say that for long!

  8. Mm wow these sound amazingly good, i love the picture you took as well, it makes them look so tasty yum!

  9. Val, if it were me, I’d add extra bananas. Let me know what you try and how it works.

  10. Pingback: Tweets that mention Hummingbird Cupcakes | Bake or Break --

  11. It’s my fallback cake for potlucks and such, but I never thought to serve it in cupcake form.

  12. If these babies make the chocolate-included top ten…then wow they must be good. Okay. Bookmarked.

  13. Pingback: SCAVENGER HUNT | Cancer basics Blog

  14. Oh the cupcake truck! It’s such a happy sight to see! You just have to stop and get a treat when you pass…because who knows when you’ll see it again! You really don’t have a choice. And now we’re dreaming on this hummingbird cake…yum.

  15. hummingbird cupcakes always seem very hearty to me – like delicious ‘kitchen sink’ cupcakes. yours look incredible!

  16. Esme, the Cupcake Stop truck was on 5th Avenue somewhere around 20th Street. They usually post their spot for the day on Twitter and Facebook.

  17. Oh my this looks delicious. I have never heard of it before but it looks like it’s a must make.

  18. I never knew of Hummingbird cake or cupcake…I love all the ingredients it includes so now I will just have to try it!!!
    Thanks for this blog.

  19. One of my favorite cakes translated into a cupcake!!!

  20. These are incredible. This is my first real visit to your site so I’ve spent some time reading your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did. You have fantastic recipes and I love the tone of your blog. I’ll be back often to see what else you’ve been cooking. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  21. Ohh this post just reminded me that I need to make a hummingbird cake..I never have!

  22. I grew up in the south and still live here but have never heard of a Hummingbird Cake before. I’m trying it out at my family get together on the 4th. One question… do you drain the juice off of the can of pineapple or use it as is??

  23. yayyy! My most favorite cake EVER! It is a tradition that every year my mom makes me this cake for my birthday, and I do the same for her when her special day rolls around. I only make it once a year because it is just too dang dangerous to have in my house.

  24. Heather, I drained some of the juice, but you can use it all.

  25. I made these cupcakes for the 4th and they were wonderful. The cream cheese frosting is perfect! I didn’t drain the pineapple, thought it needed the extra moisture. The end consistancy was just like my banana bread batter, thick and yummy to lick off the spoon!

  26. I recently made Hummingbird Cake and my friends kept asking if I had used real hummingbirds in it. 😛

    I loooooved it and will make it again for sure – maybe next time as cupcakes!

  27. i wish we had a cupcake truck here, those look so wonderful, i think i will give them a try. Thank you for sharing the wonderful recipe and photos

  28. this is a wonderful recipe, it was really easy to make, i made them in mini cupcakes and my kids loved them. Thanks for sharing

  29. These look fantastic, I tried one when I was down South and just loved them. Now I finally can try and make them myself. Thanks!

  30. These look terrific, and pretty easy to put together also, which is big plus in my book when it comes to cupcakes. Thanks for the post! – Gary

  31. I had extra bananas and was looking for recipe that wasn’t banana bread. When I came across Hummingbird Cake, I knew I had to make it because I loved the name so much. When I made it I didn’t have time to bake cupcakes (only have one cupcake pan) so I made a cake. (I just baked it longer.) It was delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe.

  32. Its like my favorite cake encapsulated in a lovable bite-sized portion. Thanks for the recipe – definitely going to make for my next get together with friends!

  33. Delicious!! I made these to take to my Grandmother’s 84th birthday and it was a huge hit. The one comment that stands out for me was from my hubby saying “were these difficult to make” and when I responded “no”, he was pleased stating to keep the recipe on top. 🙂

  34. I miss your posts – hurry up and make something! LOL

    Seriously, though, I really do enjoy your posts and look forward to your latest and greatest. The hummingbird cupcakes are on the “soon” list, to be sure!

  35. I’ve never heard of hummingbird cake before, but now I’m dying to try!

  36. I like very much this web.

  37. Jennifer,

    Wow I did not know there was something called hummingbird cupcake or even a cupcake stop truck. I have been a New York many times but never seen it. In California, we have lot of taco trucks and they are great!

    This looks yummy enough to eat from the page, will be back for sure. Love your blog.

  38. This is the first time on your site for me, and I’ve spent a long time admiring your photography and recipes! I will be back!
    Let me know if I could feature your site on mine-thanks!

  39. Those look great! I had never heard of Hummingbird cake until my cousin requested that I make her one for her birthday. The combination of flavours does work really well together.

  40. I have just found your site and it is amazing! All of your baking looks delicious. You are doing something I have always wanted to do! You are def an inspiration! I can’t wait to start baking! Thanks for all the hard work and keep it up.

  41. I love hummingbird cake!

  42. I love cupcakes. This is a cupcake I would definitely try because I like all the different components that are in the cake.

  43. Moist? Check!
    Good icing? Check!
    Nuts? Check!

    What more could you want??? 😀

    Fabulous recipe. I always add pinneapple, banana etc to mine.

  44. This does indeed look and sound like a must-bake. Can’t wait to try it for myself.

  45. Pingback: South Faced Windows » Delicious Dessert Ideas for Your Weekend Barbecue

  46. Pingback: Delicious Dessert Ideas for Your Weekend Barbecue

  47. These look awesome….I’ve never had it before…..I’m definately going to try it. Thanks for the recipe:)

  48. I just recently tried hummingbird cake for the first time–I am still trying to decide if I like it better than carrot cake..but regardless, your cupcakes look amazing!

  49. Totally love these cupcakes! I have never tried the hummingbird cupcake, but it is now on my list! Also I’ll be featuring them on Friday this week on Cheers!

  50. Pingback: Have you tried a Hummingbird Cupcake? | Party Cupcake Ideas

  51. I love your blog! Your recipes look amazing and the photography is beautiful! My good friend, Amy, requested Hummingbird Cake for her birthday many years ago and I have been making it ever since (at least once a year on her birthday). I am inspired now to make it in cupcake form. Thanks!

  52. It’s nice to see Hummingbird Cake in cupcake form. The recipe is the perfect combination of fruit, cinnamon spice and cream cheese. Adding walnuts on top is great, but using coconut is also a nice change-up to the traditional recipe.

  53. Pingback: Delicious Dessert Ideas for Your Weekend Barbecue | GlamNest

  54. I made these last night to bring into the office today for my birthday and they are AMAZING! So incredibly moist and flavorful, I described them as banana bread but WAY better than that! Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s been a hit! And I’ll be featuring this recipe on my blog either this weekend or early next week, just FYI. And I’ve already featured your Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake, which I am obsessed with. Thanks again, love it all!

  55. Pingback: Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes | Bake or Break

  56. This look gorgeous! I can’t wait to get my hands and kitchen dirty.

  57. Looks great! Thanks! Can’t wait to try them!

  58. I made them this morning and they are excellent. I didn’t have Pecans however and used Walnuts but they gave the same crispy texture. You don’t taste the pineapple much, its mostly the banana taste (Which is yummy).

    Thank you for the great recipe am definitely going to add it to my favourites. 🙂

  59. WOW what a simple and easy recipe. I made a cake instead of cupcakes and it was a huge success at our monthly ladies gathering. The cake was very moist and delicious and the cream cheese frosting not overly sweet. The ladies all wanted copies of the recipe and took extra slices to share with their husbands. This is our all time favorite. Thank you.

  60. I don’t eat cheese at all is there any other frosting I can use instead of cream cheese? Thank you and I love your blog

  61. Made these for my Grandma’s 85th birthday…they were a huge hit! Super easy to make. Was worried about leaving them out after the party due to cream cheese frosting on top but they kept moist for several days in the fridge!

  62. can i just spray the cupcake pan for the hummingbird cupcake without using the paper cups?

  63. Hi, is there a way you can give us the instructions for half the size.

  64. Any chance you could make this as a sheet cake?

    • Hi, Jon! You can, but it’s more batter than you’d need for a 9″x 13″ pan. Usually, a dozen cupcakes equals a 9-inch round pan, which means 2 dozen would be two of those pans or a 9″x 13″. You’d either need to scale the recipe down by 1/3 or make a 9-inch round (or 8-inch square) in addition to a 9″x 13″.

  65. Does the canned pineapple need the juice drained?

  66. I needed a big batch bake so I made these last week. They were really delicious and moist. I ended up baking 24 large cupcakes instead of 36 regular ones and the baking time still only took 23 minutes. Fabulous recipe. Thank you!

  67. i made these,,, but while they were cooling before I could frost them…the family came along and ate them without the frosting and declared them to be delicious with out any more done to them….they are light and are perfectly with a cup of tea or some coffee in the mornings…give it a try

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *