When I bought myself the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book, I fell head over heals in love with the picture of hummingbird cupcakes. These girls were beautiful and I knew that I had to have them right away. For months I kept trying to find just the right occasion to make these cupcakes but can you believe, it took me almost a year to actually make them?!? Sure, I could have made them for any old occasion, but I really felt like these beauties had to be brought out at the perfect time and place. It finally happened one day when my mom asked me to make cupcakes for our family’s Easter celebration. A light bulb went off in my head and I immediately thought of these. Thank you Jesus, literally, for giving me a reason to make these cupcakes.
If you’ve never had hummingbird cake, then you’re in for a treat. I first had it at a work get together where someone made it as a cake. I thought it was great, but that there were a few things I’d change about it to make it completely perfect. I love trying to be a perfectionist most of the time, even though I’m almost always failing at that. It never hurts to try, right?
To make the cupcakes, I pretty much followed Martha’s recipe, with a minor change…omit the nuts. I hate nuts in cupcakes, cookies, etc, so unless someone really begs me to add them in, I am almost always going to leave them out of the recipe. And you know what? I think it makes it so much better! Well, mostly because I don’t have to pick out the nuts as I’m eating. So for those who haven’t tried hummingbird cake, it is a delicious, fruity spiced cake with smooth cream cheese frosting. The combination of the banana, coconut, and pineapple really goes surprisingly well with the bit of cinnamon that is in the cupcake.
The frosting for the cupcakes is just a traditional cream cheese frosting, but it really pairs well with the cake almost in the same way that carrot cake and cream cheese frosting go together.
The best part about these cupcakes is the garnish of dried pineapple flowers. These are what really caught my eye about the cupcakes because they look so simple but make the cupcake look beautiful. But in all seriousness, I should really know by now that anything Martha puts out there isn’t going to be simple for the most part. I figured I’d make the pineapple flowers ahead of time and bring them to CT where I was going to make the cupcakes. WARNING: You need a really good set of sharp knives and some serious knife skills to make the flowers! Neither of which I have by any means. It really helped me to watch the video of Martha making the flowers, but again, she makes it look so easy. I could just not cut those pineapple slices thin enough to dry out properly. I ended up with a bunch of thickish, soggy pineapple slices.
What to do, what to do? Since my dad is a pretty good foodie with some nice kitchen utensils, I figured I’d wait until I was in CT to make the flowers. Considering I didn’t get those knife skills overnight, I turned to dear ol’ dad. He’s definitely got some skills, and got those flowers sliced as thin as they could possibly go (oh, and not only does he have the knife skills, but the photography skills to take the pictures of these cupcakes…thanks dad!). Now this is where I take issue with Martha yet once again, even though I had almost paper thin slices, it took much longer than the 1 hour that she says to dry them out. Since I was pretty exhausted from driving from Boston all day and baking cupcakes, my wonderful mom took charge. She watched those flowers like a hawk and took them out of the oven before they got burned…well mostly. We then molded them in empty egg cartons to dry overnight to they would set up. What you finally get is a really beautiful flower but man are those things a lot of work.
The overall consensus was that these cupcakes were a hit, some people even had two cupcakes. But lets get serious here, are there really any poeple out there who don’t like cupcakes? If there are, I don’t think I want to meet them.