Hummingbird Cake

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Hummingbird cake is a perfect marriage of fruit, tropical flavors and nuts. It’s light and delectable, with a fantastic cream cheese icing!

Hummingbird cake with pecans on blue cake plate

What Is Hummingbird Cake

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.

slice of hummingbird cake


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 . . .

slice of Hummingbird Cake on blue plate
4.58 from 14 votes
Review Recipe


Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Kathleen
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Hummingbird cake is a perfect marriage of fruit, tropical flavors and nuts. It’s light and delectable, with a fantastic cream cheese icing!


  • 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

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of 3-9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour pans.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Press 2 cups chopped Pecans onto the sides of the cake. Refrigerate overnight.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 796, Fat: 50g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 419mg, Potassium: 263mg, Carbohydrates: 83g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 59g, Protein: 7g, Vitamin A: 16.2%, Vitamin C: 3.2%, Calcium: 5.7%, Iron: 11%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Hummingbird Cake

How about a few more delicious cakes for you to check out.

The Best Strawberry Layer Cake

Triple Decker Strawberry Cake

Chocolate Banana Cake

Chocolate Banana Cake slice on plate

Pina Colada Sheet Cake

Slice of Pina Colada Sheet Cake topped with cream and cherry


>Hummingbird cake is a perfect marriage of fruit, tropical flavors and nuts. It's light and delectable, with a fantastic cream cheese icing!

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About the author


Kathleen is a recipe developer, passionate home cook and the author of the blog Gonna Want Seconds. She has been married to her best friend for 32 years and has two great kids, two Bernese Mountain Dogs, a Quarter Horse and a little green parrot. She is obsessed with cookbooks, cowboy boots, red wine and vintage costume jewelry. Kathleen’s recipes are all tried and true, tested and tweaked and, most importantly, family and friend approved!

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  1. Looks wonderful. I’d love to make it, but layer cakes are difficult for me and I only have 2 round pans. I really would like to make it a sheet cake. Can you tell me what size would work and the time and temp please. How about using macadamia nuts rather than pecan to keep with the tropical theme.

    1. I’ve only made this as written. I would cook it about the same time as I’d cook a carrot cake and just check that it’s cooked through about 10 minutes before. Let us know how it goes!

  2. My hummingbird cake is in the oven. I was cleaning up and discovered the eggs still sitting on my bench . Will it combine ok when cooked please?

  3. Walnuts are the best nuts there are, I really love how you decorate your cakes, the even spread of nuts is something I just dream of getting.

  4. This is a really delicious cake, love to have a piece. But I am the worst at decorating cakes, cant level the icing properly or place the nuts evenly.

  5. My printer is not working but I wanted to try Hummingbird Cake so bad I wrote it out old style (pen & paper) !! It looks so tasty, I can’t wait to try it !!

    1. I haven’t tried subbing them out. If you do try it, I would suggest something like pumpkin that has a similar consistency and adds moisture. Let us know how it goes!

  6. I was recently diagnosed as insulin resistant and struggle when I see such fantastic recipes. Do you have personal experience substituting granulated stevia products for refined sugar? How might using whole white white flour impact this? Or almond flour??? I simply MUST cut carbs ~ but I really, REALLY want this cake for my 75th birthday, coming up soon.

    1. I can’t say for sure as this recipe has only been tested as written. Please let us know if you do try it! Happy 75th Birthday!

  7. Oh my goodness! What a cake! I could totally go for a huge piece of this right now! Love the cream cheese frosting – my fave :)

  8. This hummingbird cake is new to me. It looks so yummy! I love how much fruit and nuts you have in it! It’s definitely a cake to try!!