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It’s been a bit, but I’m back! Since my last post, Charleston has finally decided to accept that it is in fact, Fall. I thought a nice, spiced muffin would be perfect to compliment this newfound sweater weather. With my Pinterest crawling with pumpkin and apple spiced muffins, I knew I wanted to try something a wee bit different. Then I had an epiphany to make one of my favorite desserts, Hummingbird Cake, into a healthier version fit for breakfast. I present Hummingbird Muffins.
First, let me back up a bit to give a little background on something called Hummingbird Cake. In 2012, being a new Charlestonian, I quickly stumbled upon the love affair that Charleston has with this spiced cake. I had never heard of such a thing, but it is now one of my favorite desserts. I promise the cake brings no harm to hummingbirds, but it is deliciously sweetened with pineapple and bananas and spiced with a nice touch of cinnamon topped with tangy cream cheese icing- which I imagine hummingbirds might like? My understanding is that the cake is specifically a southern treat, having first appeared in Southern Living magazine in the 1970s. I don’t know that it originated in Charleston, but we sure do love it. Many restaurants around town take pride in offering the cake on their dessert menu.
I’ve made Hummingbird Cake several times, especially since it’s a husband favorite around here, but I wanted a lighter, healthier version that could be easily popped in the oven or microwave in the morning for warm and toasty breakfast.
Then the Hummingbird Muffin was born.
It’s got all the usual components like bananas, crushed pineapple, cinnamon along with some more unconventional (but healthier) ones such as whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt. Either way my Hummingbird Cake connoisseur of a husband gave them two thumbs up.
I hope you enjoy them!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 medium-large over ripe banana, mashed
- ¾ cup brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp. brown sugar, divided
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup plain, Greek yogurt
- 1 (8 oz.) can of crushed pineapple, drained
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla, plus ½ tsp. vanilla, divided
- ½ block (4 oz.) of cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup (~24 pieces) pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 muffin tin with muffin liners, spray with non-stick spray.
- Combine both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in large bowl and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together mashed banana, ¾ cup brown sugar, eggs, Greek yogurt, crushed pineapple, oil, and 1 tsp. vanilla together until well combined.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined to avoid over-mixing.
- Fill each muffin cup about ¾ of the way up with the batter.
- Mix together cream cheese, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, and ½ tsp. vanilla in a small bowl. Microwave cream cheese mixture for about 30 seconds to further soften.
- With a ½ tsp. measuring spoon, top each muffin cup filled with batter with the cream cheese mixture.
- Take a toothpick and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the muffin batter.
- Top each muffin with 2 pecan halves.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick can be poked into the center of the muffins and come out clean.
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