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Old-Fashioned Hummingbird Cake

Old-Fashioned Hummingbird Cake
Hummingbird cake is a much-loved Southern dessert that earns its reputation. The secret to making this cake so memorable is the combination of spices mixed with some unusual cake ingredients, such as mashed bananas and pineapple. It gives this cake a slightly tropical feel, reminiscent of its Jamaican roots.
  • Yield: Serves 12–16
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25–28 minutes

Ingredients

  • Cake
  • Butter, for the pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • Frosting
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • Halved pecans, for top of cake (optional)

Directions

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Add the vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs and stir just to combine.
  4. Stir in the mashed banana, pecans, and pineapple just until mixed in.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  9. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until fully incorporated and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt.
  10. Place a cake layer on a cake stand or cake plate. Spread ¾ to 1 cup of the frosting between each layer.
  11. Spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting.
  12. Sprinkle the sides of the cake with the chopped pecans. Top the cake with pecan halves, if desired.
  13. Chill the cake for 1 hour before cutting.
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