Hummingbird Cake!


The Hummingbird Cake is one of the traditional southern cakes that most everyone loves, but it doesn't get baked quite as much as some of the others.   I am not completely sure why, except that recipes for it are not published as often and it's a little trickier to have success with.  However, don't let that stop you from trying it.  If you follow the directions in this recipe, you should have success.  The tricky part of the this cake, is that it is so moist, with the banana and the pineapple, it can fall apart.  It is traditionally a stacked, layer cake and preferably a three layer cake, although it can be made in two layers.  

The first known published recipe for the Hummingbird Cake was in 1978 in Southern Living Magazine and the cake won the Favorite Cake Award in 1978 at the Kentucky State Fair.   This is not that recipe, but a variation of it.  This is what you will need for your Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. crushed pineapple (drained)
2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups chopped pecans, divided (can use walnuts)

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 oz.) blocks of cream cheese (softened)
1 stick of butter, softened (1/2 cup)
2 lbs. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oil, sugar, and eggs.   Gradually stir in flour.  Add cinnamon and vanilla. 

Fold in the pineapple, mashed bananas and 1 cup of the pecans.  After it's well incorporated pour into three  round 9 inch prepared cake pans.

To prepare the pans, and this is a key to this cake turning out well,  cut three circles of either wax or parchment paper and place them in each cake pan.  It is very important to not skip this step.  This cake is so moist, it tend to break apart when you take it out of the pans.  The paper holds the layers together.    Spray the pans and the paper well with nonstick baking spray that contains flour, like Baker's Joy, or grease and flour the pans. 

Place the pans in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool before turning them out.

Prepare the cream cheese frosting while the cakes cool.  To make the cream cheese frosting, cream the cream cheese and the butter together with an electric mixer,  until fluffy.  Slowly add in the sugar until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla. 

Stack and frost your cake layers.  To finish, sprinkle the top with the other cup of chopped nuts.  Store this cake in the refrigerator if not serving immediately.









16 comments:

  1. we have made this cake for years and it is wonderful. weusually put it in a bundt cake pan and it turns out great

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  2. Okay, I see it calls for 2lbs of sugar. I pray this is a typo, and it calls for 2 cups of sugar.

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    1. not a typo, it is one bag of powdered sugar which breaks down to about 2 cups of frosting. It is a delicious cake and icing. 2 cups of powdered sugar would not be enough with the mixture. Good luck.

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    2. It is 2 lbs. confectioners sugar for the icing. I think it comes in a two pound box so it would be one box.

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  3. I have made this cake before and it is out of this world good.....You must try it !!

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    1. one 2 lb bag of powdered sugar is correct. 2 cups would fall flat. It is one bag and becomes about 2 cups when finished making the icing. good luck, it is a wonderful cake and frosting.

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  4. I've been making this cake for years with some slight adjustments to your recipe. I don't have a problem with the cake breaking which may mean those differences make a denser, moister cake. I don't mash the bananas. I use about 3 large or 4 medium bananas and I chop them to about 1/2 in dice. I use 1 tsp cinnamon, rather than 2. 3/4 cup of oil rather than 1, 3 eggs rather than 4, 1 tsp baking soda rather than 2, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 cup of chopped pecans. The flour and pineapple are the same. It might be the texture difference you need to make the cake more firm?

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    1. It's because the cake is so moist that it sometimes breaks. A firmer cake will hold together easier, but it won't be quite as moist.

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  5. WEll if I get any fatter it is because of you Kathy your darn recipes are all so good i usually have to at least try them :)

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  6. How can I save this to my recipes.

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  7. This cake looks delicious! Your recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but would you mind telling us what brand flour you use? I understand there is quite a difference the protein level of flour produced in different regions, and that makes a significant difference in the results of a recipe. Since this recipe is southern, I am wondering if you are using Lily brand flour which is not generally available in the Western states. Gold Medal Flour and Pillsbury brands have a higher protein content than Lily brand, which would adversely affect the results if this recipe is based on the Lily brand. Those of us in the West would need to use cake flour instead. I look forward to your answer. Thank you for sharing your recipes.
    I would not list this under anonymous if I understood the other listings.
    Mary C.

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    1. I do generally use White Lily flour. It's what my mother has used for years so I do also. However, for this cake, I have also used some of the other brands you mentioned and they will work just as well. I find that when making bread or yeast rolls the difference in flours is most noticeable.

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  8. I worked at a local grocery store as a cake decorator and I made these and put them in the case to sell. They were delishioso!

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  9. I just started making this cake and I use 1 teaspoon of ginger, one teaspoon of nutmeg along with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I also use a 16 oz can of pineapples and 4 mashed bananas(2 cups). This is the moisted cake you can put in your mouth! Great recipe!! Thanks for sharing and blessing everyone else.....

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  10. Makes great cupcakes too

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  11. Can u use self rising flour n this cake instead of all purpose?

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