Pineapples are ubiquitous during CNY, at least in South East Asia. Pineapples are consumed in the form of pineapple tarts, hung in the form of paper lanterns, or printed on ang pows (red packets). What is the reason for the obsession with this tropical fruit? Well, it’s all because the word for pineapple in the Hokkien dialect sounds like ‘prosperity comes’! So the Chinese, especially in Singapore, welcome each new year with hopes of wealth and prosperity expressed through the humble pineapple.
This year, I wanted to keep to the pineapple theme but explore other uses for the ingredient apart from the usual pineapple tart. I started searching for pineapple cupcake recipes and ended up getting extremely inspired by hummingbird cupcakes. What are hummingbird cupcakes, you may ask? Well, rest assured that it does not contain any actual hummingbird parts and no birds, humming or not, were harmed in the process of making this cupcake.
This hummingbird cupcake is a blend of three tropical ingredients – bananas, pineapples, and coconut. Some say it’s called the ‘hummingbird’ because it will make you hum with delight after the first bite. Others say it’s because your guests will descend on them like hummingbirds attracted to a flower. Whatever reason you subscribe to, fact is, it’s pretty good cake! Moist and fruity with all the tropical flavors of South East Asia, adorned with a pretty pineapple “flower”… one bite and you’ll be transported to a white sandy beach sipping a cold pina colada under the sun.
(Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
Yields: 20 cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 & 1/3 cups banana, mashed (2 to 3 large bananas)
2/3 cup canned pineapple cubes, drained and chopped
2/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 cup (240g) sugar
3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C
2. Whisk butter, sugar and vanilla extract until homogenous. Then add eggs one at a time and mix till combined.
3. Stir in bananas, pineapples, and coconut.
4. Sift remaining dry ingredients together, then fold into mixture.
5. Fill lined cupcake tray, then bake immediately at 350F/180C for 15-18 minutes, or until skewer inserted in middle comes out clean.
6. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
300g cream cheese, softened
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
75g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp pineapple syrup (reserved from the can of pineapples)
1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
2. Add sifted icing sugar and mix until combined.
3. Add pineapple syrup.
4. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
1 whole fresh pineapple
1. Remove skin and eyelets of pineapple. Slice pineapple cross-wise into very thin slices.
2. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 250F/120C for 30 minutes. Flip pineapple slices around and bake for another 30 minutes.
3. Transfer slices to a muffin tin to form rounded shape, then dry out in oven for another 15-20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven to cool, then place on top of piped cupcakes.
If you missed the previous CNY-inspired recipe…