Before fall officially starts, we’re looking to the South to leverage the last gifts of summer. We’ve partnered with Sarah Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to bring you recipes, ideas, and tips inspired by the region’s cooking traditions.
With its banana chunks and cream cheese frosting, this classic southern treat is a perennial favorite. Similar to a carrot cake, the bits of fruit and nuts keep it moist, and it’s the perfect vehicle for the tangy frosting. Compared with several classic versions of this recipe, this one includes less sugar; in addition, the whole grain flours make the cupcakes slightly healthier.
The mixture of spelt and oat flour closely mimics all-purpose flours, and the flaxmeal adds a little more fiber. The whole grains make for a heartier texture not quite as light as white flour would create, but they are sweet and decadent enough that most people likely wouldn’t notice. Without the frosting, these would easily pass for a morning muffin or even baked into a larger loaf.
Most hummingbird cakes are built in three layers, but with a cupcake we can exercise more portion control—and they still present well. If you are serving a crowd or want to make them for a party, you could double this recipe to produce three eight-inch rounds for a full cake.
These are best the day they are made but if time is limited, you can make the frosting and cupcakes a day in advance, then frost them before serving. (The frosting is more forgiving with advance prep, by the way). Whether for a kids’ birthday, bridal or baby showers, or a meal with the family, these are crowd-pleasers no matter the occasion.