Hummingbird Cake

November 27, 2009

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a wonderful day and ate some incredible foods! Because this week/month has been so busy, I was not able to complete my recipe for the Daring Kitchen. This month's challenge was cannoli. It was hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts, and Line Drives. If you need any incentive to try making your own cannoli all you need to do is look at her pictures. If you would like the recipe, it is posted on her blog! It actually sounds much easier than one would think for a dessert as delicately crisp as cannoli. I would have made it myself had it not been for my lack of ingredients after all the things I baked these last few weeks. Also, the neat freak in me didn't want to deal with cleaning up grease splatters on my black stove. One of the desserts that I made for Thanksgiving was this bright, happy hummingbird cake. Almost everyone loves carrot cake (I think mostly because of the cream cheese frosting), But I wanted to try something a little bit different. I have seen various recipes for hummingbird cake all over the Internet and in my collection of cook books. No one quite seems to know how it got it's name but it may have to do with the fact that it is very sweet. I found my recipe on one of my favourite sites, Joy of Baking. Stephanie's cake was perfect because it was not cloyingly sweet. Don't get me wrong, this cake was on the sweeter side but it didn't make me run for my toothbrush immediately after eating a piece.

The cake is packed with bananas, pineapple, and pecans (which I didn't realize I was out of until it was too late). I used finely chopped apples, allspice, and extra cinnamon to try and make up for the lack of the sorely missed pecans. The pineapples and bananas gave it an exotic flare and helped to keep it moist, So moist in fact that it could have easily been severed without the frosting...but who can resist an excuse for cream cheese frosting? This was just right for Thanksgiving. As much as I love carrot cake, this was a lovely alternative.

I apologize for the sad photos. I had to run outside with a cake slice yesterday on a cloudy, misty early evening. My friends and family think I'm nuts with the food photography. It is very frustrating to not be able to capture something so beautiful on camera. You will just have to bake one of your own to see what I mean. :) Hummingbird Cake
( recipe slightly adapted from Joy of Baking )
* printer friendly Recipe *
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. of allspice
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup of safflower or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) can crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium sized bananas)
  • 2 medium sized apples chopped into tiny pieces (I used pink lady apples)

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of butter (at room temp.)
  • 8 oz of cream cheese (at room temp.)
  • 3 2/3 cup of confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of almond extract
  • Some milk on hand (for consistency)


Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and chopped apples. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Mine took about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.


In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the almond extract. If the frosting is too thick to spread, add small splashes of milk until it becomes spreadable.

Place on cake, top side down, onto a large flat plate. Use about 1/3 of the frosting to cover the surface. Carefully place the next layer, top side up, on top of the frosted layer. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the entire cake.


  1. I'm heading to Germany next week to visit my inlaws and they adore hummingbirds...and baking...and I think they will get a kick out of this recipe! Gonna print it out for them and bake it with my motherinlaw! It sounds so moist and sweet. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hummingbird cake, don't you just love the name! It's a delicious cake, one that we don't hear about too often here, but one that we should! Yours looks delish!

  3. I'm so jealous Hannah, I would love to take a trip to Europe! Have fun, I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did.

    Thank you Katy. I think it originated in the south as I was unfamiliar with it as well. The name alone was enough to make me want to try it. :)


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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