Maypole Cakes ~ Hummingbird Mini Bundt Cakes with Cream Cheese Filling

Today is May Day, which is also Lei Day in Hawaii! After the chilly and wet winter we’ve had in Seattle this year, I can appreciate a day that celebrates the arrival of springtime and the warm tropical state of Hawaii. (This holiday also gave me an excuse to bake more cake. 😉 ) I celebrated the occasion by making Maypole cakes out of one more batch of tropical hummingbird cakes!

I found the cute May Day printable design that inspired these cakes at They are absolutely adorable and free to use for personal use. 🙂 I hope you go over to their website to check out all of the cute designs they have.

I attached thin pastel ribbons to the printout, and mounted it all on a skewer. Then I attached the skewer near the middle of the cake for a cute edible display. I love how the swirl of the Bundt cake design gives the ribbons a little swirl.

Hummingbird Mini Bundt Cakes with Cream Cheese Filling

Makes 6 mini Bundt cakes (and 6 muffins)

For the filling:

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the cake:

Butter, softened, for preparing the pan

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquefied

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 or 3 bananas, depending on the size)

1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained

3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut (optional)

Powdered sugar, for dusting the cakes (optional)

For the filling:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Blend until everything is well combined. Then add the flour, and beat until just combined. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium round nozzle. Set aside.

For the cake:

Evenly spread a thin layer of butter over all the nooks and crannies of the mini Bundt pan.

(Line a muffin pan with 6 paper liners for the leftover batter and filling if you wish.)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the banana and pineapple, and stir until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until everything is just combined. Add the nuts and coconut (if using), and stir until they are evenly distributed in the batter.

Fill each well of the mini Bundt pan about 1/3 full. With the back of a small spoon, make a channel in the batter all around the pan. Pipe a layer of cream cheese filling into the channel, taking care to keep it away from the sides of the pan. Top the filling with batter until each well is about 3/4 full.

(With the remaining batter and filling, you can make muffins in the same manner, each with a dollop of filling in the middle. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan to cool on a wire rack.)

Bake the Bundt cakes for about 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean.

Let the Bundt cakes cool in the pan. Once cooled, invert the cakes. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Lei Day Celebration ~ Island Salsa

It was about 85 degrees in Seattle today, which felt like a Hawaiian breeze to me! It is only supposed to last one day, and then go back to our usual Northwest weather. Today also happens to be Lei Day in Hawaii, so the unseasonably warm weather was perfect for a little Hawaiian inspired celebration at home. 🙂

I put a few tropical touches on our dinner tonight to get us into the spirit. 🙂 We had sautéed halibut with an island salsa, and a little jasmine rice with macadamia nuts on the side. Simple and delicious!

The island salsa was from a classic recipe from Bon Appétit magazine. It is tried and true, so I didn’t fiddle with it much. 😉 I think it would also pair well with chicken, shrimp, or even pork tenderloin.

Island Salsa

From Bon Appétit magazine

1 cup chopped peeled pineapple

1 cup chopped peeled mango

1 cup chopped yellow or red bell pepper

2/3 cup chopped peeled kiwi fruit

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon minced serrano chili, seeds and ribs removed

Ground white pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Season with white pepper and salt. (Can be made 3 hours ahead.)

Happy Lei Day! I hope you enjoy something Hawaiian to celebrate. 🙂

May Day is Lei Day ~ Coconut Cupcakes

May 1st is Lei Day in Hawaii, so I thought the month of May would be a good time to bake some Hawaiian inspired coconut cupcakes! Coconut is one of my very favorite flavors, so I will take any excuse to make something with it. And Hawaii is one of my very favorite places, so I love to make anything that brings to mind that beautiful state :-).

I started with a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, for her coconut cupcakes. I changed the recipe quite a bit to make them a lot healthier, however. I omitted the butter and instead used coconut oil. I increased the amount of buttermilk to reduce the higher fat ingredients. I used 100% whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour. And I also reduced the amount of sugar.

Coconut Cupcakes

Based on a recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 cups buttermilk
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the coconut oil and sugar on high speed, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

You can top the cupcakes with a glaze of confectioner’s sugar and water, and a sprinkling of toasted sweetened coconut on top. Or they are good for breakfast without any topping :-).