Hummingbird Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting – Moist and tender, this is a classic southern favorite loaded with bananas, pineapple, coconut, and nuts. 

Hummingbird Cake Recipe made into cupcakes

You Know You’re A Southern Cook If…

  • Baking a ham is done on a weekly basis, instead of an annual basis. (Preferably on Sundays.)
  • You know how to season a cast iron skillet and keep it seasoned.
  • You aren’t afraid to cook with butter. In fact, the more the better.
  • You’ve got a hand-written grandma-approved Hummingbird Cake Recipe in your kitchen diary. (Ahem… and you know what a kitchen diary is.)
ingredients for Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Don’t worry… If these things don’t apply to you, and you live in the south, I can help you check the latter two off your list here and now.

(I can also help with seasoning cast iron and baked hams, but you’ll have to jump over to another post.)

If you aren’t a southerner, that’s ok too. Just know, there are a few things you’ve probably been missing out on.

Like Hummingbird Cake.

Hummingbird Cupcakes in pan

What Is Hummingbird Cake?

Have no fear. There are no birds in the recipe, only chunky ingredients like:

  • Ripe bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Coconut
  • Pecans

It’s sort of like a carrot cake… Minus the carrots, add fruit. A banana pineapple cupcake, if you will.

Although I’ve heard several theories on how this moist decadent cake got its name, the one I like best came from a granny I met when we first moved to North Carolina.

She told me, “It’s called hummingbird cake, Sugar, because it’s as sweet as nectar. It’s a southern thang!”

Decadent Southern "Hummingbird Cake" Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting on #cupcakes #southern

Butter Instead Of Oil

Well, I love southern thangs. Truly.

So I’ve taken a classic hummingbird cake recipe and altered it ever so slightly, to make “Hummingbird Cake” Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting.

The first change I made was to use butter instead of oil.

Here in the south, hummingbird cake is usually thought of as an oil “ol” cake.

However, when you shrink it down to cupcake size, with frosting on top, instead of sandwiched between multiple layers, butter greatly improves the flavor and overall golden color.

Sour Cream Frosting for hummingbird cake

Less Sugar

I also reduced the sugar a bit.

Believe it or not, the original granny-given recipe called for a lot more. Yet, I prefer less sweetness in the cake when you’re piling frosting on top.

Hummingbird cupcakes already have a lot of natural sweetness in them due to the bananas and pineapple, so it will still be nice and sweet!

Sour Cream Frosting for hummingbird cupcakes

Sour Cream Frosting

Finally, I made a sour cream based frosting instead of a cream cheese frosting like most traditional recipes.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore cream cheese frosting.

Yet, this sour cream frosting provides a bit more tang and is ultra soft and silky. It’s the perfect compliment to the Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes.

Hummingbird cupcakes with wrappers

Hummingbird Cupcakes

You are going to love these Hummingbird Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting!

And you’ll feel like a real Southerner making and eating them, whether you are one or not.

And that, my friends, is a good thang.

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t over-mix the batter! For tender and moist cupcakes, make sure not to overmix the batter once you add the flour! Over-mixing will result in dense and tough cupcakes.
  • Use room temperature butter! The butter has to be very soft in both the cupcake batter and the sour cream frosting! Make sure to plan ahead to have room temperature butter.
  • Don’t have a piping bag? No problem! You can still make beautiful hummingbird cake cupcakes by using an offset spatula to simple spread the frosting on the top!
The Best Hummingbird Cake with Sour Cream Frosting on

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze these hummingbird cupcakes?

Definitely! Freeze the cupcakes unfrosted by wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing them in a freezer safe zip bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. I recommend frosting them after thawing them in the fridge!

What does hummingbird cake taste like?

Hummingbird cake is similar to a spiced banana cake or even a carrot cake. It has banana, pineapple, cinnamon, with a slightly tropical take with the coconut. It usually has a creamy and sweet frosting that ties everything together!

See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make Hummingbird Cupcakes. Enjoy!

Other Southern Recipes You Might Like:

Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting on #cupcakes #southern
Print Recipe
5 stars (41 reviews)
Leave a Review »

Hummingbird Cupcakes Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting – moist and tender this is a classic southern favorite loaded with bananas, pineapple, coconut, and nuts.
Servings: 32 cupcakes


For the Hummingbird Cake Cupcakes:

For the Sour Cream Frosting:


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Then mix the first four dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Then turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the eggs and vanilla. Scrape the bowl and beat on low, while slowly adding the flour mixture. Keep the mixer on low and mix in the mashed bananas, pineapple with juices, coconut, and pecans.
  • Using a cookie scoop, divide the batter between 32 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the tops are golden and bounce back when you touch them. Place on the counter and cool completely, before proceeding.
  • Take the cupcakes out of the pan. Make the Sour Cream Frosting or classic Cream Cheese Frosting for the tops. For the Sour Cream Frosting: Beat the butter until very soft, then turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the sour cream. Scrape the bowl and beat until completely smooth. Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Then slowly add the powdered sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
  • Scoop the sour cream frosting into a large piping bag with a wide tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, then sprinkle with golden sugar sprinkles if desired. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting. Then cover and store in the fridge or at room temperature, for up to several days. (I like them at room temperature best!)


Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 387kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 221mg, Potassium: 83mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 520IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 0.8mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
Making this recipe?Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Share This Recipe With Friends!