Hummingbird Cake

Celebrate spring with this delightful southern favorite.¬†Named after the frantic, nectar-obsessed hummingbird, this cake is guaranteed satisfy your sweet tooth. And for those few, dedicated folks who’ve managed to give up sweets for lent, this might just be the perfect Easter indulgence.¬†Crushed pineapple, bananas and pecans provides an interesting and appealing texture to this cake and is perfectly complimented by the rich, but not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting. (And yes, I dyed some coconut shavings green to look like grass. So what.)

This cake is unreal. Undeniably delicious. Afterall, I wouldn’t break out my awesome Peter Rabbit cupcake kit (someone knows me very well) on any ol’ recipe.

So adorable, right? A prancing Peter Rabbit

Southern Living Hummingbird Cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (8 oz) can of crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups (about 4) mashed, overripe bananas
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional, used for garnish)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter (soft)
  • 16 oz (2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon. The goal here is to get all of the dry ingredients incorporated and to break up any lumps. A fork should work just fine.

2. Beat the eggs until they are foamy and add oil. Stir to combine. Set aside.

3. Mash the bananas in another bowl and add the crushed pineapple, vanilla extract and pecans. Stir to combine.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and oil. Use a spatula to mix but stop when there are still some streaks of flour in the batter. Do not overmix.

5. Add the pineapple, bananas, pecans, and vanilla to the batter. Stir with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, but don’t overmix here either.

6. If you’re making cake, bake in buttered and floured pans for about 45 minutes. If you’re baking cupcakes it should only take 15-20 minutes.

7. While the cake is baking, prepare the icing. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and soft butter until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you add new ingredients.

8. Cool cake completely (at least 2 hours at room temperature) before icing.

9. If you went the shredded coconut route, which I recommend, have it at the ready after icing. Garnish cupcakes by turning them upside down on the coconut, or sprinkle it over the top.

They look good with Peeps too!

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Chocolate Covered Bacon

5 ingredients, (about) 15 minutes and 0 need for explanation. And if you’re still on the fence, consider the facts: not every chocolate covered something makes it on the Wikipedia.

Here’s all you need (amounts vary and the last three are optional):

  • Bacon – Preferably thick cut, and not covered in pepper
  • Semisweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate squares
  • Chopped pecans
  • Maple syrup
  • Wood smoked salt (for the Texans, available in the bulk section of HEB or Central Market)

If you’re not into pecans, wood smoked salt, or maple syrup, then feel free to proceed without. Alternately, you could try a different nut – perhaps slivered almonds – or extracts in the melted chocolate to add some flavor.

Preparation:

1. Cook bacon to desired crispness in either the microwave or by baking it in the oven (I would avoid skillet cooking because the bacon tends to end up too greasy.) For a chewier, more elastic product, cook the bacon less and for a more smoky, crispy end result cook the bacon longer. Pat the grease off the bacon and let it cool.

2. Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat. If you use the microwave make sure that you dial in a low power setting or your chocolate will end up strangely crumbly and scorched (oops). I prefer to use a double boiler on the stovetop since you can control the temperature.

No need to buy a double boiler, simply place a heatproof bowl (filled with chocolate) in a saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Set burner to low heat, and stir chocolate frequently until melted. If the water begins to boil, lower the temperature.

3. Optional. Toss pecans in maple syrup. Toast in foil lined pan for a few minutes at 350 degrees.

4. Spoon the tempered chocolate on the cooled bacon strips. Top with pecans and sprinkle with wood smoked salt.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or wrapped in the freezer for up to a month.