. So yesterday was my birthday. Milestone #24. Whew, I can't believe that I'm almost at the quarter century mark. I've already predetermined that this year should be the best year of my life though because my favorite number is 24, so it just makes sense. Subconsciously I think I've waited for this age because in my mind, it's the best age to be! It all started when I was just a youngster, literally. Here's my [short] list:
- My mom was 24 when she had me.
- I was born at 6:24 A.M.
- Ken Griffey was #24 when he played for the Seattle Mariners (and up until age 8, we lived in Seattle, so there's that connection) and he is one of my ALL TIME favorite players.
I know, it's only three bullet points, but they've stuck with me my ENTIRE life. It's basically verbatim what I tell anyone who asks why my favorite number is 24 (and yes, I actually list these off).
But let's get back on track. For my birthday at the office, I obviously needed to bring in some baked goodies. I've had a little chocolate overload lately though, so I was thinking of something 'lighter' in flavor. Lemon? We all know my feelings on that. And then I came across a cupcake recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Bake or Break. Remember them? I tried out their Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake recipe and the world has never quite been the same.
Hummingbird Cupcakes. The main response I got from people was "What's Hummingbird?!" And seeing as I didn't actually know where the Hummingbird Cake originated, I described this wonderful treat as "banana bread, but WAY better." Seriously, I probably repeated this line 18 to 20 times to anyone that asked. It was the only and (and in my opinion) best way to describe the perfectness that is Hummingbird Cupcakes.
The cake itself is fabulously moist, with a slight tropical twist, made with the help of ripe bananas and juicy chunks of pineapple. Pecans are also included, which gives it a hint of fantastic nuttiness (that's actually a word). For the final touch, the cupcake is topped with a simple (yet ever so delicious) cream cheese frosting. Honestly, the cake could go without the frosting, making it an absolutely delightful breakfast item. But morally, I could never recommend to leave out a cream. cheese. frosting.
So thank you yet again, Bake or Break, for your outstanding recipes. As my Director said to me with cupcake still in his mouth, "These are the best damn cupcakes I've ever had!"
P.S. - Aside from the beautiful presents my boyfriend gave to me, he also offered to bake ME a birthday cake last night! As I was drafting this very post, he was in the other room preparing a cake. Good [or bad], there will be a post about this experience! Eek, I can't wait! .
3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 c. vegetable or canola oil
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 c. chopped pecans
2 c. mashed bananas
Whole or chopped pecans (garnish)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
16 oz. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour regular-sized muffin cups or line with muffin liners; set aside.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in large bowl. Add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla extract, pineapple, pecans, and bananas.
3. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.
5. For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add in powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract.