Hummingbird Cupcakes

cupcakeshum Hummingbird Cupcakes

I made these especially for Jude’s birthday party, and they are made very similar to the Carrot Cake I made earlier last week. The main difference in flavor being that the recipe uses bananas instead of carrots. I used my new favorite gluten free flour blend, which includes brown rice flour, millet, almond meal, sweet rice flour, and tapioca flour. The batter will look very similar to Pamela’s Baking Mix (mainly because of almond meal). And can I just say, millet flour has such a fantastic flavor. I still like sorghum flour and teff flour but I am using those flours mainly with my chocolate cocoa-y desserts right now. Even though it is more high-maintenance, I like eating different grains rather than just sticking with one main mix.

These cupcakes were a big hit with gluten-eaters! I would serve these to anyone- gluten-free or not. My sister, Caroline, took five cupcakes home with her. If you know anyone that is gluten-free, you know how their face just lights up when you give them gluten-free goodies.


1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup sweet rice flour

1/2 cup millet flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1 cup brown rice flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 bananas mashed (about 2 cups)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (if you are trying to reduce sugar you can get away with reducing by 1/4 cup if you wish)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (you can add a little juice depending on thickness of batter)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup shredded coconut, ground (food processor works well)

3 large eggs

2 sticks butter or butter substitute


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the rack is in the center of the oven. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Grind the almond meal and coconut. Set aside.

In a med. bowl, sift together the flours, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan gum.

In your stand mixer, cream together your butter and sugar- about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy- about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine pineapple, banana, and coconut. Add to the batter. Stir in flour mixture.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake tins. This batter will make at least 24 cupcakes but maybe a little more. Only fill the cupcake tins about 2/3 full.

I baked all the cupcakes at one time, rotating front to back once. My cupcakes took about 20 minutes to bake, but I would recommend setting your timer for less in case yours bake faster. The millet flour will give these a beautiful golden color once baked.

Once your cupcakes have cooled, frost them with your favorite gluten-free frosting. I made these the night before Jude’s little birthday party and stored them in the refrigerator. I think they will keep for about 3 days in the fridge, but they didn’t last more than 2 in my house!

Makes about 24 cupcakes (maybe more)

Note: The banana flavor in these makes them perfect for a gluten free toddler’s birthday cupcake. My little boy loves bananas!

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13 Responses to “Hummingbird Cupcakes”

  1. Thank you so very much for all the wonderful information and recipes! It is so kind of you to share what you have learned. I truly love your blog. My kids and husband have enjoyed everything I have cooked from your site. What a tremendous help that has been to me! These cupcakes look lovely and I am really looking forward to sharing them with my family of 5! I like to try to include different grains in my family’s diet as well. I appreciate you so much.

  2. YAY!! I love millet flour SO much!! It is my new fab favorite!! ;-) I’m got some sweet rice flour I’m going to start using as well! Those cupcakes look really yummy!!

  3. Julie- Thank you! You are so sweet. I appreciate the compliment. :)

    Carrie- You have got to try these. This flour combo is awesome. I think we are taste-bud soul-mates. tee hee.

  4. I do have to get my hands on some millet flour, esp. after hearing you two rave so much about it!

    natalie ~ I just love the name of these cupcakes!!

  5. I too love millet, I like to leave it whole in bread to get those little puffs of crunch. You have been tagged my friend, I couldn’t see that you had been tagged before, so now it is time to confess. Details are on my blog!

  6. What did you do for judes birthday? I love anything with bananas. MMM>>>>

  7. yes i stole five of the cupcakes.

    i must also confess they were gone by lunch time the next day.

  8. Can you make these without the xanthan gum? I hate using that stuff, it just seems to strange, foreign and unnecessary. I know it helps everything stick together, but I don’t like using it.

  9. Ginger- Thanks for tagging me. I have done this one before, but maybe I will get up the courage to do it again!

    Jen- We just had family over for Jude’s b day party. We have been sick since Jumpin Beans last time. I finally took Jude to the doc yesterday for an antibiotic.

    Caroline- LOL. Glad you liked them.

    Pellegrino- This would be a good recipe to try without the xanthan gum. If you want another alternative, you might consider using a couple teaspoons of flax seed meal to hold it together.

  10. Oh No. Sick babies!!!Brandon just got over an ear infection. Tis the season!!!

  11. Natalie – these look great – I’ve been yearning for cupcakes – I’ve had powdered sugar sitting on my counter for a week, trying to decide what recipe to make. I think this is the one! What do you use for icing? I’d like to make it dairy-free – any thoughts?

  12. I just realized I never left a comment after I made these a couple months ago. They’re delicious!

    I was seriously craving a cupcake-y yellow cake, but all the gluten free recipes I found online used mixes with strange ingredients or just used strange ingredients in general. I wanted something completely from scratch, with nothing weird. I was a bit intimidated at first by the long list of ingredients, but decided to give it a try. I used ground flaxseed instead of xanthan gum and they turned out just fine. I made a simple butter cream frosting which worked out well.

    I might go so far as to say that these were better than gluten free cupcakes I’ve had at Babycakes in NYC and Swirlz in Chicago. I must admit, they weren’t the yellow cake-y cupcake I was craving, like the cakes at Swirlz. They’re definitely more muffin-y than cupcake-y, which my gluten eating roommate pointed out. But they satisfied my craving. My vegetarian friend loved them too, as she’s used to eating vegan baked goods.

    I ended up freezing about half of the cupcakes, frosted and all. When I took them out in the next couple days I just zapped them in the microwave for a minute or so and they tasted just fine. Anyhow, thanks for sharing, next time I need cupcakes this’ll be my go-to recipe!

  13. mmmmmmm… em. so moist and delicoiose. not crumby, not too moist. iced it with peanut butter icing! turned out good. i didnt have coconut so i processed dried pineapple and just decreased the sugar. im thinkin were going tohave this for our wedding! The PB icing.recipe is super easy:

    Peanut Butter Icing:

    1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/3 cup heavy cream

    Thanks natalie, i LOVE your site!!

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