Hummingbird Cake {A Cake Mix Recipe}

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This Hummingbird Cake Mix Recipe is ultra moist, soft, and has wonderful banana flavor along with crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and a hint of cinnamon. 

Homemade Hummingbird Cake has long been one of our most popular classic cakes on our site. The flavor is just SO good, and when paired with cream cheese frosting and the crunch of pecans, there is just nothing better.

Hummingbird Cake Mix Recipe

Why we Love It

We love to offer cake mix alternatives to our favorite scratch cakes. Some examples are our Carrot Cake from Cake mix, easy Boston Cream Pie, Italian Cream Bundt Cake, and German Chocolate Cake Mix Recipe.

  • The add-ins (crushed pineapple, pecans, etc.) give it a wonderful from-scratch flavor.
  • A year-round, old fashioned favorite
  • Cream cheese frosting and filling bring this cake to a new level!
  • Slightly fluffier texture than the scratch version.
  • Makes a great birthday cake recipe, holiday cake, potluck dessert, and more!

How to Make a Hummingbird Cake Mix Recipe

**Look for the full, printable Hummingbird Doctored Cake Mix Recipe below--but here is a quick rundown of our steps!

This cake mix hummingbird cake takes a few additional minutes than the usual cake mix recipe because of the delicious add-ins, and it is definitely worth it! 

  • In addition to the Duncan Hines Classic Yellow cake mix, we added flour, sugar, canola oil, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, crushed pineapple and mashed bananas. Don't drain off the juices from the crushed pineapple as you'll want the extra moisture and flavor that it adds to the cake!
  • For the mashed bananas, I sliced three ripe bananas into a bowl and mashed them up with a fork. Three bananas gave us about about 1 ¼ cup worth of mashed bananas for our cake recipe.
  • After mixing the ingredients in a stand mixer on medium speed for two minutes, I folded in the chopped pecans and divided the batter between three greased and floured 8 inch cake pans. (I like to line my pans with parchment or wax paper).

Hummingbird Cake- A Doctored Cake Mix Recipe

Cream Cheese Frosting

Hummingbird cake pairs perfectly with cream cheese frosting! We filled and frosted our hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting, piped borders with a star piping tip 21, and finished things off with a smattering of chopped pecans on top.

When frosting the cake, if you notice that your cream cheese frosting is a little too soft, or if your cake layers are shifting a bit as you work, chill the cake and/or frosting for a bit to firm things up.

After crumb coating my cakes, I often chill them in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm them up before adding the final coat of frosting.

For an extra smooth finish to your frosted cakes, you can also chill them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and go back over them with a hot metal bench scraper. (Run scraper under very hot water, dry, and smooth over the frosting). 

This method of smoothing is called the Hot Knife Method. Here's a video if you'd like to see: Hot Knife Method for Smooth Frosting

I topped off this moist layer cake with more chopped pecans.

Does Hummingbird Cake Require Refrigeration?

Yes, because of the cream cheese frosting, you will need to refrigerate the cake. However, just as with buttercream, the cream cheese frosting does become firm in the refrigerator.

Allow the chilled cake to sit out for 2-3 hours  before serving for the very best flavor and texture of cake and frosting. This is a good rule of thumb for any cake ;0)

Moist and delicious Hummingbird Cake- Doctored Cake Mix Reccipe
Hummingbird Cake Mix Recipe

More Cake Mix Recipes

If you love cake mix recipes, we have so many more favorites for you to try! In addition to today's Hummingbird Cake Mix recipe, some of our most popular are our Strawberry Box Cake recipe, Marble Cake Mix recipe, Carrot Cake Cupcakes, and Oreo Cupcakes!

Keep these recipes in mind for your special occasions and get togethers with family and friends!

Hummingbird Cake Mix Recipe

More Banana Cakes

We have more super moist, delicious banana cakes for you to try! Some of our most popular are our Banana Pudding Cupcakes from cake mix, Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and homemade Banana Cupcakes! We have so many more to share with you. Don't forget to add these to your list!

We also have several more cakes with pineapple, from our scratch Pineapple Cake and easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake to scratch Pina Colada Cake and more.

Yield: 15 servings

Hummingbird Cake {A Cake Mix Recipe}

Moist Hummingbird Cake Mix Recipe

This ultra moist Hummingbird Cake starts with a cake mix! The add-ins of crushed pineapple, mashed banana, chopped pecans, and cinnamon give it a wonderful "from-scratch" flavor!


For the Hummingbird Cake

  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix, sifted (We like Duncan Hines Classic Yellow -15.25 oz)
  • ½ cup flour (61g)
  • ¾ cup sugar (150g)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup oil (160g or 5.5 oz)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 bananas, mashed (approximately 1 ¼ cup or 305g)
  • 8 oz (227g) canned crushed pineapple (undrained)
  • ¾ cup (92g) chopped pecans. -- You can use additional on top of the cake if you'd like

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (or one cup, or 226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Soften very slightly.
  • ½ teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar


For the Hummingbird Cake

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients *except for the chopped pecans* in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed to moisten the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Then increase to medium speed and mix for two minutes.
  3. Fold in chopped pecans.
  4. Divide batter between three prepared 8 inch cake pans (I grease, flour, and line my pans with parchment). Bake at 350 f for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.

This recipe makes about 6 ¼ cups batter. Works for cupcakes also!

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  2. Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
  3. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
  4. Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
  5. This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.

Assembling the cake

Place the first cooled cake layer on cake plate or pedestal, spread with cream cheese frosting, repeat for the next layer, and top with the third cake layer. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting however you like (my borders were added with a star tip 21)

*I sprinkled additional chopped pecans on top of the cake.


Cream cheese frosting is fairly soft. If it becomes too soft while decorating the cake, you can chill your bowl of frosting and cake to firm things up.

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  1. I had a request for this my family can't get enough! They think that I am a wonderful cook! Thank you for sharing your recipes and making me look great. I only wish that I could decorate them as beautifully as you do.

  2. I heard some people put coconut in it.....which way taste better?
    Do u have to toast the pecans? Or does it taste better not toasted in this cake? I have never tried hummingbird cake before, but I will make this recipe

    1. Hi Dijah, I'm glad that you are going to try the recipe! I would make it just as it is written. We did not toast the pecans but you can if you'd like!