Hummingbird Cake

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Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake is a dense and moist southern cake flavored with bananas, pineapple, and cinnamon and covered in a rich cream cheese frosting topped with toasted pecans.

The first Hummingbird Cake recipe was published in Southern Living magazine in 1978 after being submitted by a reader from Greensboro, North Carolina. It became the most requested recipe in the magazine’s history

Hummingbird Cake

Typically dense and moist and very rich and sweet, Hummingbird Cake is a greatย dessert for parties and get togethers. It will fill you up in a hurry and should be cut in small slices. It is known to induce tummy aches if eaten in too large a quantity.

Hummingbird Cake almost tastes like banana bread and carrot cake had a baby together. The banana flavor overshadows the pineapple, but the pineapple no doubt helps create a moist cake and the little pieces of pineapple help give Hummingbird Cake its unique texture.

Hummingbird Cake

Occasionally, Hummingbird Cakes will have coconut in them, probably because coconut is such a natural fit with banana and pineapple. The mashed banana, crushed pineapple, and Vegetable oil keep the cake very moist and the pecans provide some crunch and texture contrast.

Hummingbird Cake

The technique for making the cream cheese frosting is from America’s Test Kitchen and I love it. Instead of starting the frosting by beating together softened butter and softened cream cheese, you beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together and then add 1-ounce pieces of CHILLED cream cheese. The end result is a thicker, firmer cream cheese frosting that holds its form better when you spread it between the cake layers, making the cake much easier to frost.

Plus it just seems to taste better right from the get go because the cold cream cheese chills the frosting some. I’ve never found room temperature cream cheese frosting to taste very good.

You would think that the cream cheese would have trouble blending in evenly with the rest of the ingredients, but it magically and instantly gets completely absorbed into the frosting. You will have a hard time not sticking your finger in for a taste or two.

Hummingbird Cake

Next special occasion, bake up a Hummingbird Cake. Each bite will surely make you and your guests hum with delight ๐Ÿ™‚

Hummingbird Cake

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Hummingbird Cake
 
A classic southern cake filled with banana, pineapple, and pecans, and topped with a thick cream cheese icing.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1⅓ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1¾ cups very ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 cups toasted chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1-ounce pieces and chilled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice.
  3. Add vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Stir in banana, 1 cup pecans, and pineapple just until evenly mixed.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Place in oven and bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. To make frosting, use and electric mixer to beat together butter and powdered sugar, adding powdered sugar gradually. Add vanilla extract and salt and mix until smooth.
  7. With mixer on medium, add 1 piece of cream cheese at a time. Turn mixer off once all cream cheese has been incorporated.
  8. Spread frosting between layers of cake and cover top and sides. Sprinkle remaining chopped pecans on top.

More Southern Cakes

Banana Foster Cake

Almond Cake with Amaretto Filling

Coca Cola Cake

Red Velvet Cake

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60 thoughts on “Hummingbird Cake

  1. 6 cups powdered sugar for the frosting ? wow this is 6x200gr=1.2 kilo :O right ?
    because my 1 cup powdered sugar is 200gr. hmm

  2. If i want to put coconut in the cake how much should i put, and should i reduce/increase any of the other ingredients? Hoping to attempt this tomorrow! Eek!

  3. This cake looks delicious I can’t wait to try your recipe! when you say 1 can undrained crushed pineapple that means you will use also the sirup in it? How much liquid (on cups) would that be? And how much pineapple? I am not sure I can find these pineapple cans where I live. Many thanks!!

    1. This cake is delicous make it christmas it was a hit .the I made cake balls with what was left from supper roll freeze dip in white chocolate ,,the was also a hit at my ramoli fame .

  4. I actually found this recipe called the same name and ingriedients in one of my mother in laws cookbooks when she lived in Philadelphia in the 1940’s/1950’s. . I was surprised to see it published in a book that long ago. I plan to visit her in Florida and take photos of it and of the publication date of the book.

  5. I made this cake over the weekend, not because there was a special occasion, but because the baking bugs were tickling and this was the next cake on my list to bake. My GOODNESS was this one of the most flavourful, rich and yummy cakes I’ve ever made. The hubby couldn’t stop cutting a piece with every cup of tea/coffee he had. Can’t wait to bake this cake again for my birthday in 3 weeks…!

  6. Hi! I’m making this for a friend tomorrow. I’m in Australia and I just wanted to check the amount of cream cheese – is it 2x8oz or 2 packets to make 8oz? I think our cupsย measurements areย the same. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Lived 73 years, baked many, many cakes, many shapes, sizes, flavors and colors, never I mean NEVER have I ever made a cake as wonderfully delicious as this one. I added a little coconut to both cake and frosting

  8. This cake is AWESOME!!! Afraid of 1 cup of oil, I used 1/2 c coconut oil (liquid) and 3/4 c buttermilk. Also had to go gluten free, so used 1 c King Arthur GF blend and 2 cups oat flour. I only had two 9 inch round pans so that’s what I used. It turned out moist and delicious. The frosting was a dream to make with a stand mixer. I cut back to 5 c confectioner’s sugar and it was perfect – not too sweet but creeeaaaaaamy. There was enough to generously frost my 2-layer cake with over a cup left over! This was the best frosting I’ve ever tasted. Thanks for your tips!

  9. I am going to make this for Easter my family LOVES both banana bread and carrot cake what a wonderful description. I am drooling with anticipation.

  10. Comment of using chilled cream cheese for icing would have REALLY helped me when I made a lot of cakes for friends wedding in AUGUST one year..icing WOULD NOT STAY on!!! Good tip! Made this at daughters house in flat pan..before I could get the icing made and on..son in law had cut him a piece of cake..so I thought, if he will eat it this way…I’ll just put the icing on the side..IT WORKED!!
    Thanks for Southern recipe..also for making the coconut * as I don’t care for coconut!!
    Ms Bobbye granny Wiley

    1. I’ve never tried making either substitution, so I’m not really sure how it would turn out Marie. If you give one of them a try, please let us know how it turns out. Have a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. How about using Stevia as a natural sweetener, reducing the oil, and adding an instant pudding mix sugar free if necessary or gelatin, and using syrupy bananas that have been frozen instead. Just a thought.

  11. This recipe is wonderful. Easy to make and the taste is amazing. The cream cheese icing is a real keeper.. LOVE IT .

  12. Has anyone ever made this and the froze until ready to serve? I’ve never made a cake and the froze it. Needing it next weekend but don’t have time to make it through the week

  13. I tried Hummingbird cake and frosting yesterday like a sheed cake..I have to say many thanks to you dear Christin..Cake was wonderful,delicious,yummy …Perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I mentioned I was going to try this gluten-free and never posted the results. It was fantastic!! It crumbled a lot but the taste was phenomenal!! I just substituted gluten free all purpose for the regular flour.

    1. I would bake it at 350 but I’m not real sure about the cooking time. If you do it in a 9X13-inch pan the time should be a little longer. Let me know hoe it turns out if you try it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. If you’re asking about the calorie count, you probably should not be making or eating this cake. This recipe screams calories! But it’s all about the taste.

        1. Not true. I track nutrients. Protein, carbs, water, sugars. If I want a treat, I want to know how much, to know how large or small of a piece to take. Just sayin… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Hey,in 3 weeks time it is my boyfriend’s bhrditay, will definitely make it.So, I was wondering, since I can’t find shredded sweetened coconut, can I instead use simply shredded dried coconued (that kind of that is on Rafaello)?

  16. Oh my goodness, I love hummingbird cake and am totally drooling for a slice! I still have yet to try making it and I can’t wait to try yours – pinning – it looks sensational!

  17. I’ve made that one from Southern Living and it’s to.die.for. Yours looks amazing!! I like your description of it being like banana bread and carrot cake having a baby, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I love all the ingredients in hummingbird cake, yet I’ve never tried making it. I definitely need to rectify that asap. This cake looks like it would be an instant hit in my book. And the frosting tip from ATK is a great one. I often find that cream cheese frosting can be difficult to work with if the texture is too soft, but it sounds like this recipe finds a way to solve that!

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