In the late 1970′s Southern Living magazine published a recipe from L.H. Wiggins called Hummingbird Cake. While that may have been the first known publication, it’s said that this cake has been a traditional favorite in southern cuisine since the mid 19th century.
Recipe for Hummingbird Cake
Hummingbird Cake is usually three round layers containing bananas, cinnamon, pineapple and pecans, and is usually topped with a cream cheese frosting. I have heard of versions that contain coconut too.
While there are some different variations of this recipe, most contain the same ingredients and measurements passed down from generation to generation.
I’m not from the south, so I can only go by what I’ve read and what others tell me. I’ve heard that some think the name of the cake derives from its sweet flavor… sweet as the sugar water that attracts hummingbirds. What have you heard about the origin of this cake?
Regardless of where the name came from, it’s a grand dessert, one that makes a beautiful presentation. Perfect for a party or holiday, and quite delicious too!
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As always, a full printable recipe is available at the end of this post.
For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple packed in juice
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in the bowl of your mixer.
Whisk the oil, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add to the flour mixture, and beat on low until combined.
Batter will be very thick, almost the consistency of taffy.
With mixer on low, add in the pineapple (with the juice), pecans, and bananas.
Increase speed to medium until well combined. Bake according to printable directions below.
Prepare the frosting (instructions in printable version below). Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the frosting on one cake layer.
Top with a second cake layer and another 1 1/2 cups frosting.
Top with the final cake layer and spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
Serve and enjoy!
More banana and pineapple desserts to enjoy