HUMMINGBIRD CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Recipe courtesy of The Bear Cupboard (http://bearcupboard.blogspot.com)

Adapted from Southern Living

Rating:  9.5 out of 10


CUPCAKES:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda, scant

1/2 tsp. salt, scant

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 large egg, room temperature

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup mashed bananas

4 oz. crushed pineapple, undrained*

1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans 


Heat oven to 350F.  Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon.  In medium bowl, whisk egg, oil, vanilla, bananas, pineapple and pecans till well combined.  Stir into dry ingredients, mixing just till barely moistened.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, using about 3-1/2 Tbsp. for each cup.  Bake 15-18 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs. Cool on wire rack.  Frost with cream cheese frosting when thoroughly cool.  Yield:  12 cupcakes


*You can use fresh pineapple, finely chopped, in place of the canned crushed pineapple, if desired.


FROSTING:

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

4 Tbsp. butter, room temperature

1 cup confectioner's sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed of mixer till fluffy and smooth.  Gradually add sugar, beating till smooth after each addition.  Add vanilla and beat on high till fluffy.


TIP:  Believe it or not, these actually taste better as they age, making them a perfect make-ahead dessert.  Store in fridge, of course, for up to one week.  They also freeze beautifully -- thaw at room temperature for one hour before serving.