Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hummingbird Cake & Pineapple Flowers

leaves and flours vegan Hummingbird Cake & Pineapple Flowers

While my original intention was to only bake things I have never made before, I snuck in hummingbird cake (my personal favorite) by topping it with dried pineapple flowers. I have seen these beautiful little cupcake toppers floating all over the blogosphere, but never really thought I would actually do it. As I was wondering around the grocery store after work, I decided it was time to put it to the test. I found this quick set of guidelines on The Tasty Bite Blog when I got home & set to it.
I probably should have thought it through a little bit better and maybe read some directions before I bought the pineapple. Because I recently learned how to pick a ripe pineapple (you just grab one of the leaves on top in the middle and if it pulls out easily, then it's ripe!), I put my new knowledge to use & bought a ripe pineapple. Because it was so ripe, it was actually a terrible choice for making dried pineapple flowers! It was so juicy and that makes it even more difficult to cut. I also haven't sharpened my kitchen knife in far too long, which made it even trickier. I didn't get any paper thin slices because I was a bit too pre-occupied with not slicing my fingers open. These ended up baking for almost 2 hours, and many of them were still not actually very dry but I couldn't wait any longer. Now I know?! Enough of them were cute that it was still worth it, plus I ate all the pineapple that was too thick to attempt to bake for breakfast.

leaves and flours vegan Hummingbird Cake & Pineapple Flowers leaves and flours vegan Hummingbird Cake & Pineapple Flowers

The hummingbird cake recipe is from Nikki at the Tolerant Vegan. It's terrific in every way. Don't even think twice about roasting the bananas. It's a total must to get the caramel-y flavor which adds another great note to the cake. Some people like to throw some shredded coconut in their hummingbird cake, but it's just not my thing. Don't get me wrong I love coconut, but the texture of shredded coconut isn't something I want in my cake. Not that you can see the frosting since the point of these cupcakes were to decorate them with flowers, but they are topped with cream cheese frosting.
Red velvet and coconut might be the most recognizable Southern cakes, but hummingbird was the most popular recipe request from Southern Living Magazine until the last few years. In 1978 by a lady from North Carolina submitted the first recipe to Southern Living, and it became infamous. She never shared the name's origin story, but I have heard several theories over the years. That the cake is sweet enough to attract hummingbirds, the people flock around the cake like hummingbirds around a flower, that the flavors originate from Jamaica where the national bird is hummingbird… I'm liking folks flocking around the cake like birds around a flower, because of the way I decorated these little babies, but who really knows?!

leaves and flours vegan Hummingbird Cake & Pineapple Flowers


  1. What a gorgeous topping! makes me want to put an iota of effort into making my food look pretty. How hot was the oven you baked them in? Would dried pineapple pieces have not worked the same?

    1. They baked at 250 for almost 2 hours. I linked to the directions above, but you basically dried them slowly and then fold then while they are warm into a muffin tin so they set into the curved shape.
      Dried pineapple might work if you heated it up and then folded it. I didn't even consider it!

  2. They look so beautiful! And I love pineapple as well so this immediately got my attention. :9

  3. mm, these look lovely! they sound super delicious :)


  4. oh my goodness, these are just amazing! I had never even heard of hummingbird cake until a couple of years ago, and I've still never tasted it. It definitely sounds like something I would like though! And those pineapple flowers are AMAZING. So beautiful! I love cooked pineapple. Mmm!

  5. I never heard about pineapple flowers. What a beautiful and simple idea!

  6. Wow, these are so very beautiful! Never heard of hummingbird cake before, but it sounds delicious. These are on my to-make list as soon as I'm done with mofo!