Hummingbird cake is a perfect marriage of fruit, tropical flavors and nuts. It’s light and delectable, with a fantastic cream cheese icing!
Don’t worry, guys. No animals were harmed in the making of this Hummingbird Cake.
It’s a classic Southern recipe, and by “Southern” I don’t mean Georgia or Mississippi (though Southern Living magazine was the first to publish this recipe). I mean a warm, tropical paradise with unique and flavorful food and reggae music. The Caribbean is a magical place of sensory overload, home to fragrant flowers and so many wonderful flavors and textures, oh, and let’s not forget Planter’s Punch!
The climate also produces fresh-like-you’ve-never-had-it fruit, and it’s understandably the culinary destination that introduced this amazing, fruit-filled cake to the rest of the world. Unlike most cake recipes, the batter uses oil instead of butter, producing a moist end result that’s only purpose is serving as a light and airy suspension mechanism for all the amazing fruit.
This cake is literally so full of fruit and nuts that you’ll add more of it than you will flour in this recipe – soft, ripe bananas (and I love a good banana cake) which bring extra richness to the party and bump up the “moist” factor; the unique and classically tropical flavor of pineapple, sugary itself but with some acidity to balance the overall sweetness; and chopped pecans for added texture (make sure you toast these ahead of time for maximum pecan flavor).
The only thing that could make this cake any better is cream cheese frosting! The tangy, creamy vanilla coating really works on just about any cake, but it’s particularly well-paired in this recipe to complement the touch of cinnamon in the batter. With temperatures rising and summer so close we can taste it, why not dust off your BBQ grill and share a mini-tropical vacation with your friends and family by serving this beautiful cake?
I recommend a little Bob Marley music for ambiance . . .
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 2 Cups Ripe Bananas Mashed
- 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 8 Ounce Can Crushed Pineapple Undrained
- 3 Large Eggs Beaten
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Pecans Chopped
- 2 8 Ounce Boxes Cream Cheese Softened
- 1 Cup Butter Softened
- 4 Cups 32 Ounces Powdered Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Pecans Chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of 3-9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Add the bananas, oil, pineapple, eggs, vanilla and pecans and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto wire rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.
MAKE THE FROSTING:
- In a medium mixing bowl , using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating on low speed, until combined. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
- Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate. Evenly spread one forth of the frosting over top. Repeat with remaining layers. Spread the remaining frosting over the sides of the cake.
- Press 2 cups chopped Pecans onto the sides of the cake. Refrigerate overnight.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
How about a few more delicious cakes for you to check out.