Hummingbird Cake

Author: Kris Lodhi

Hummingbird Cake is a luxurious, cinnamon-scented layer cake filled with tropical fruit and topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans. This aromatic cake is ideal for any spring lawn party. Many variations include coconut, dried fruit, and even shredded carrots.

The most popular version of this cake was submitted to Southern Living by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins in 1978. The recipe featured a three-layered cake filled with crushed pineapple and bananas and topped with a cream cheese frosting. 

For the Cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice, optional
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 3/4 cup ripe mashed bananas about 4-5 bananas
  • 1 cup chopped pecans if desired
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar up to 4 cups if you want it stiffer
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pineapple juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans for garnish if desired
For the Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Prepare 2 9″ inch round cake pans by spraying them with non-stick baking spray, then line each pan with parchment paper. Then, spray the top of the parchment paper with more cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, then whisk together until combined.
  • Next, whisk in eggs, oil, vanilla, pineapple with juice, mashed bananas, and pecans if using until completely combined. The final batter will be thick.
  • Evenly divide the batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • After cooling for 10-15 minutes, remove cakes and allow them to cool to room temperature before frosting.
For the Frosting
  • Add butter and cream cheese to the bowl of your mixer and beat on high speed until it begins to thicken and fluff.
  • Next, slow down the mixer and carefully add the confectioner’s sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer back to high to continue whipping.
  • Add in pineapple juice and vanilla and continue whipping until smooth, light, and fluffy frosting.
To Assemble
  • Level the cakes
  • Add frosting between layers, then frost the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish with additional pecans if desired. Serve at room temperature.

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