Is it warm and sunny enough to be deemed Spring where you are yet? We’re still working on it here on the Eastern Shore – but I’m confident it will be in full bloom before too long. We’ve had daffodils coming up for a couple weeks now, which is always a sure sign. I’m glad I went and picked them all (at my house, as well as my Aunt’s beach home), because after we got snow on Monday – the ones I left behind outside were looking pretty frail and beaten-down come Tuesday.
I’ll also have to get my hummingbird feeder out soon, as the males like to come early to “check out the scene”. While they enjoy the food (simple syrup – they are easy to please!) in the feeder, they adore the Mimosa tree in our backyard even more. I love to sit out there in the warmer months with a glass of iced tea, and just watch them flitter and flutter around, doing their noble work, while the boys play outside.
So, about these cupcakes – so incredibly good. A boatload of tropical fruits are added to the batter, which adds an incredible level of moistness. Jon & I both agreed that they were reminiscent of carrot cake – but fruitier. I topped it off with a coconut cream cheese frosting, the slight tang from the frosting was just perfect against the sweet, fruity cake.
I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend. We’re going to be dying eggs, hunting eggs down, and eating alot of ham for days to come. These cupcakes would be just perfect on your Easter table, and the dried pineapple flowers – though a little time consuming, are super-easy and make such an impressive garnish. I don’t think a hummingbird himself could resist!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
11 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
2/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces butter (1 stick)
3 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1/8 tsp. salt
Dried Pineapple Flowers, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, vanilla, and sugar and beat until blended and smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the mashed banana. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Gently fold in the pineapple, walnuts, and coconut with a spatula until evenly mixed.
Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, cream the butter, cream cheese, extracts and salt in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar until incorporated and beat on medium-high until completely smooth.
Frost cupcakes as desired. Garnish with dried pineapple flowers, if desired.