It's PRIDE Month, and there seem to be (rightfully so!) celebrations happening everywhere. We had our very own PRIDE celebration in my offices in Los Angeles this week, which also coincided with the recent release of my new cookbook, A Perfect 10. I decided that since it was a party, something dazzling and easy to eat without a plate was in order. So, I took one of my favorite recipes from my cookbook, the southern classic and epitome of southern decadence the Hummingbird Cake. I made it into cupcakes that I topped with some cute PRIDE flag cupcake toppers (delivered overnight from Amazon!). The crowd destroyed them all - a huge hit! It's a bit more complicated than the other recipes in the cookbooks, which are all relatively easy. This one has a few more steps, but nothing too crazy. Unless you consider roasting bananas crazy (I already shared that trick on an earlier blog for my Banana Bread).
Make the cake mix: First, you'll want to do one of my fave kitchen hacks, and roast up some bananas! Super easy...just put foil on a baking sheet, place on the sheet 7 bananas, and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. They will be black and softened! Let them cool down... In the meantime, take one large sweet potato (I'd recommend buying the biggest one at the store!), and grate it. If you are not up for that, use about a cup and a half of grated carrots as a substitute.
Now make your batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 cups sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together 5 eggs, 2 cups vegetable oil, and your soft bananas (just open the skins and they will fall right into the bowl!). Fold in a large can of crushed pineapple (with the juice), 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and 2 cups of roasted unsalted peanuts. Finally, stir in your grated sweet potato (or carrots).
Mix the two bowls together into one large bowl. Once combined well, pour batter into well greased muffin tins (or tins with cupcake wrappers). They don't rise much, so I'd suggest filling near to the top. Bake for about 11 to12 minutes, until lightly browned. This will make around 3 dozen cupcakes.
For the frosting, beat 2 8-oz cream packages with electric beaters until smooth. Beat in 4 sticks of softened unsalted butter, then add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar. Frost the cooled cupcakes, either by hand or with a simple pastry bag (see the picture below). Add your PRIDE flag and be PROUD of your accomplishment!