Hummingbird Muffins have all the flavors of the classic southern cake by the same name. They're less sweet, which makes them perfect for breakfast or brunch!
You'll love these hummingbird muffins because they're sweet, but not too sweet, and full of fun flavor! If you've ever had hummingbird cake or hummingbird bread you know what a treat you're in for. If not, get ready for a muffin loaded up with pecans, pineapple, bananas and optional coconut. (More on that below.)
Where the idea for this recipe came from
Well, first of all we love hummingbird cake! It's a southern favorite - a very moist, flavorful layer cake with loads of cream cheese frosting between the layers and on the top and sides.
With all of that sweetness it's definitely a dessert, but we thought the fruits and nuts made it a prime candidate for a brunch or breakfast treat. So, we cut back on the sugar and totally eliminated the frosting.
Included in the recipe, however, is a light glaze if you want just a touch of that extra sweetness. The drizzle of glaze does make the hummingbird muffins extra pretty too. Another option is to sprinkle with a coarse sugar before baking. It gives a little sparkle to the top.
Does hummingbird cake have coconut?
Anytime I've had it there was coconut included. It turns out, though, that there are a lot of recipes out there without it. So, if coconut isn't your thing you should feel free to leave it out of these muffins.
With or without the coconut these hummingbird muffins have a real tropical or even Hawaiian twist of flavor, but the pecans definitely give them a southern flair.
Ingredients for Hummingbird Muffins
- Butter - salted or unsalted is fine
- Eggs - should be at room temperature (you can sit them in a bowl of warm water to speed up this process)
- Brown sugar - we use light brown, but dark brown is okay too
- Bananas - should be ripe. It's okay even if they have black spots on the skin
- Self rising flour - If you don't have any, our formula for making it is in the Easy Buttermilk Biscuit post.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
How to make your hummingbird muffins
- First you'll mash the bananas. You can do this in a blender, in a bowl with a fork, or put them in a plastic bag and mash with your hands. The bag method is the same one we use with our Banana Carrot Muffins.
- Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl with a mixer at low speed for about 1 minute.
- Add the sugars and cream an additional minute.
- Add banana, eggs and vanilla and beat on low for about one minute.
- Stir in the flour, pineapple and coconut and then fold in the pecans.
- Put the batter in muffin tins that have been lined with cupcake liners or sprayed with a flour and grease baking spray, like Bakers Joy.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly tapping the top of a muffin. If it springs back and doesn't leave an indentation it's done.
- If a glaze is desired drizzle it on after the muffins have cooled for 2-3 minutes.
- If your bananas aren't good and ripe they can go in a 300 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. The skin will turn black but that's okay. The bananas will be perfect for baking.
- Don't drain the crushed pineapple. That juice is part of what keeps your hummingbird muffins moist.
- Even when using paper cupcake liners we like to spray the insides with baking spray. The muffins will release from the paper easily (see the photo below).
How many muffins does the recipe make?
It depends on how full your cups are before baking. To get about 18 muffins on the small side you would fill about ¾ of the way full.
If you almost fill them, or about ⅞ full, you will get only about 15-16. So either way, you can count on 15-18 muffins from a full recipe. It can easily be halved for a small batch of 7-9.
You can keep your muffins covered on the counter for a day. Beyond that:
Cover and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. They can certainly be eaten cold, but are best warm, so see below for reheating instructions.
These hummingbird muffins are an excellent choice for freezing. Put them in a plastic bag that seals up well with as much air as possible removed, but don't mash the muffins.
If you have glazed the muffins freeze them first uncovered and then move into the bag. That keeps the glaze from sticking to the bag. We actually prefer to wait and glaze them after thawing and reheating for best results.
Whether they've been just refrigerated or frozen allow your hummingbird muffins to come to room temperature before reheating. Set on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated 350 degree oven for no more than 5-7 minutes. They'll be divine!
Yes, the eggs give a richness and structure to them. In other words, it helps hold the muffin together.
Let them cool for just a few minutes and then remove them. Any longer will cause them to "sweat" and get gooey.
Traditionally it does, but feel free to leave it out if you're not a coconut fan!
Test for doneness by lightly tapping the top of a muffin. If it springs back and doesn't leave an indentation, it's done.
Yes! Just put them in a plastic bag that seals up well with as much air as possible removed.
For a fun and quick look at this recipe check out the Google Web Story.
For the Muffins
For the Glaze
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk see notes
For the Muffins
- Cream the butter at low speed of mixer for 1 minute.
- Add sugars and cream for 1 minute.
- Add bananas, eggs, vanilla and mix for 1 minute.
- Stir in flour, pineapple and coconut until well blended.
- Fold in pecans.
- Pour batter into standard size muffin tins that have been sprayed with a baking spray containing oil and flour. Or use paper liners that have also been sprayed with baking spray. Fill ¾-⅞ full.
- Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Test for doneness by pressing lightly with fingertip. If no indentation is left the muffins are done.
- Let cool in pan 2-3 minutes and then remove and finish cooling on a cooling rack.
- If glaze is desired, drizzle over warm muffins.
For the Glaze
- Mix all ingredients until smooth, beginning with 2 teaspoons of milk and adding as needed for desired consistency.
- Butter may be salted or unsalted.
- Eggs may be brought to room temperature in a bowl of warm water if needed.
- Brown sugar may be light or dark brown.
- Self-rising flour can be made using the formula found at Easy Buttermilk Biscuits
- Bananas can be mashed in a blender, in a bowl with a fork, or in a plastic bag and mashed with hands.
- Glaze is optional.