When I set out to write my cookbook, Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook From Scratch with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them which is just out this past week, I was determined to create a resource for busy family cooks that could help them just as much when they had time to cook as when they didn’t. I know: A cookbook that can help you even when you don’t have time to cook?

Giveaway is closed. Congrats to our winner!

Now you might be surprised to know that I cruised through writing the chapters on breakfast, mains, and sides—but coming up with quick tips and easy recipes for snacks was trickier. See, snacks make up a huge part of a kid’s diet, and with good reason — on average, healthy children burn an amazing number of calories in a single day, and snacks help them get from breakfast to lunch, and from after-school activities to dinner.

That’s why I’ve got a great one for you right here which is one of my own kids’ favorite: Hummingbird Muffins.


a recipe for Hummingbird Muffins from a new cookbook we love, Make It Easy, that lets you enjoy all the flavor of the classic Southern cake with less sugar. As in, you can eat it more often! | Cool Mom Eats

Each day this week, I’m going to be sharing an exclusive recipe from the book. But today, I’m starting with Hummingbird Muffins, one of my favorite go-to homemade snacks for the kids.

The flavors are based on one of my favorite cakes. If you haven’t had a traditional Southern hummingbird cake before, it’s packed with pineapple, banana coconut, pecans and spices.

These muffins draw on the same ingredients, but have less sugar than the cake version and are also made with whole wheat pastry flour (if you have it). Those two changes—and no super sweet icing—turn my favorite decadent cake into an everyday snack. Though, of course, you could easily slap some vanilla frosting on these to make dessert. Because, yum!

Hummingbird Muffins

From Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch With Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them by Stacie Billis.  Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2016. All photos from Make It Easy by Naomi McColloch
Makes 16 to 18 muffins

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
Neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola, for pan (optional)
1 cup all-purpose flour (see measuring tip, page 217)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or another cup of all-purpose)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, or 1/4 teaspoon ground
2 large eggs, ideally at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained (but not pressed dry)
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan or in the microwave, melt the butter and set aside to cool. Line a 12-well muffin tin with paper or silicone cups or lightly grease with oil.

2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flours, granulated sugar, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

3. In a separate medium-size bowl, whisk together the cooled, melted butter, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, mix until just combined.

4. Cut the bananas into 1/2-inch pieces and slightly mash each piece with a fork. Stir the banana pieces, pineapple, and pecans into the batter until well combined.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin wells and bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack or the counter to finish cooling completely. Store any muffins not served the same day in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Extra-cool: Win it!

-Giveaway is closed. Congrats to our winner!-

We’re so happy to be giving away a $250 Target gift card plus your own copy of Make It Easy in celebration of the book launch!


A giveaway on Cool Mom Eats: Our favorite new family cookbook, Make It Easy, plus a $250 Target gift card. Yay! | Cool Mom Eats


-Giveaway is closed. Congrats to our winner!-


Visit the other sneak peek recipes from Make it Easy by Stacie Billis
* Steak with Sweet and Sour Peppers: A fast and easy, but decadent steak dinner that’s especially perfect for Father’s Day.
Cold Soba Noodle Salad: You won’t believe how quickly and easily this make-ahead dinner recipe comes together—and the kids love it!
* Slow Cooker Carnitas: The recipe that proves your slow cooker is your best friend all year around. Plus, easy taco night!