Hummingbird cake. Such a fun name isn't it?? Some say that this springtime southern dessert gets its name because it's so good it leaves you humming...others say it originated in Jamaica where the hummingbird is the national bird. Hmmmm. I was surprised to learn that the first printed version only dates back to 1978, when it was published in the February issue of Southern Living Magazine. Since then, this recipe has been the magazine's most requested.
And for good reason!
I don't think that many west coasters (at least Angelenos) are familiar with this cake- you don't see it much out here. I first heard of this dessert only when I moved to the east coast and saw it at the Apple Pie Bakery at The CIA back in 2004.
Basically, it's like a carrot cake only without the carrots...and is loaded with chunks of pineapple and banana- a flavor combination that makes me want to bat my eyelashes. I've also seen variations with coconut and carrot as well.
I mean, I personally think that cream cheese frosting belongs on any and every pastry, so this cake automatically tops my list.
Now...go make this for someone you love!
Adapted from Southern Living Magazine
INGREDIENTS: (makes 1, 2 layer 9” cake)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup melted butter, cooled
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10 oz. fresh pineapple, cut into ¼” cubes
- 2 cups chopped bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
- 3½ cups chopped pecans (raw)
- cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
-Preheat the oven to 350° F.
-Line 2, 9” square cake pans across with a strip of parchment paper, leaving the edges overhanging (as “handles”); grease with cooking spray.
-Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
-Add the eggs and cooled butter, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
-Stir in the vanilla, pineapple, banana and 1 cup of pecans until all combined.
-Pour the batter into the greased and lined cake pans.
-Bake at 350° F for 40-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
-When baked, cook in pans on wire racks 15 minutes, remove by loosening sides with a knife and lifting parchment handles.
-Let cool completely before frosting. -Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
-Sprinkle pecans around top and edges of cake.
-Store in refrigerator.
Cream Cheese Frosting
INGREDIENTS: (makes 3 cups)
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 16 oz. powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-In a mixer set with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
-Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl and mix until fully incorporated.