This classic scratch Hummingbird Cake recipe has it all- banana, crushed pineapple, pecans, and a hint of cinnamon for a dessert that is sure to earn a place in your file of favorite recipes.
I LOVE cake recipes that incorporate fruit for an added boost of flavor, texture, and moistness.
Oh, and of course, every good Hummingbird Cake should be dressed in the most delicious Cream Cheese Frosting- Pipeable Recipe.
We find this Cream Cheese Frosting to be every bit as delicious as our other popular Cream Cheese Buttercream frosting, but it holds up to piping even better, and we love the creamier consistency. –Be warned. Cream Cheese Frosting is SO addictive! I would eat the whole batch if I could get away with it! ;0)
Today’s cake has been our go-to Hummingbird Cake recipe for years, and it is based on a Hummingbird Cake recipe that first appeared in the Southern Living Magazine in the 70’s.
There are many, many similar recipes for this southern favorite floating around but they all share the same wonderful flavors of banana, pineapple, and cinnamon.
Where Did The Name “Hummingbird Cake” Come From?
Hummingbird Cakes are thought to have first emerged in Jamaica in the ’60s, (note the pineapple & banana in the recipe)!
Although unconfirmed, a popular theory for how this delicious cake got it’s unusual name is that it’s sweetness attracts the hummingbirds! Sounds like a pretty good explanation to me! I say that we go with it.
How to Make Hummingbird Cake
Unlike most of our cake recipes, there’s no need to drag out the cake mixer for this one! You’ll be doing a little stirring for a change.
- First, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and whisk to blend.
- Next, add the eggs and oil, stirring with a spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the vanilla, pineapple, pecans, and bananas and stir until incorporated. That’s it!
- Spoon the batter into your prepared pans and bake until done. After baking, we like to cool the cake layers on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes while still in their pans. You can then flip them out. Allow the layers to cool completely before frosting, or, you can freeze the layers while still warm as we explain below.
Tip for Extra Moist Cakes
Whenever time allows, we like to double wrap the individual layers in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer while still warm. This adds another level of moisture to the cake!
You can freeze for just a few hours if you are in a hurry, overnight, or up to 3 months. **However, if freezing for longer than one week, you’ll want to also wrap the layers with aluminum foil in addition to the plastic wrap.
Before assembling the cake layers, thaw while still wrapped so that the condensation will form on the plastic wrap rather than the cake layers.
I think that stirring a hefty bowl of cake batter counts as a mini-workout, don’t you? Reward yourself with a big ol’ slice of this deliciousness.
For the Hummingbird Cake
- 3 cups (363g) all purpose flour
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 teaspoon (3g) ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup (215g) vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) vanilla extract
- 1 can (8 ounce) (227g) crushed pineapple, undrained
- 1 cup (100g) chopped pecans
- 1 3/4 cup (392g) mashed ripe bananas (4 large)
For the PIpeable Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) (226g) unsalted butter, softened (do not soften in microwave)
- 3 (8 ounces) (226g) packages full fat cream cheese, (total 678g) cut into 1 inch pieces and softened.....do not use reduced fat cream cheese or cream in tub containers (do not soften in microwave)
- 3 cups (343g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
For the Hummingbird Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Grease and flour three 8 inch pans. (We like to line with parchment paper also.)
- Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to blend. Add eggs and oil, stirring with a spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat the mixture. Add the vanilla, pineapple, pecans, bananas and stir until combined.
- Spoon batter into three 8 inch greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes on cooling rack and remove from pans.
- Makes 6 cups of batter.
For the Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting
- Put the softened butter in the bowl of your mixer and mix until smooth.
- Add the pieces of softened cream cheese to the mixing bowl. The cream cheese should be soft enough that it combines easily into the butter/powdered sugar mixture. Beat on low/medium speed about 1 minute or until the cream cheese is blended in.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat on Medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes (a bit longer if using a hand mixer). Scrape the bowl mid way through. Do not over beat.
- Makes 6 cups
- Use immediately or refrigerate. If beaten too long it my become too soft. If this happens, just refrigerate a short time and let it firm up.
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