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Indulgent Hummingbird Cake Recipe

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Almost as famous as the Jamaican bobsled team, this Hummingbird Cake is a show stopper and must-try for any foodie. The recipe was created in Jamaica and has quickly worked its way into the hearts and bellies of Americans.

Hummingbird cake on a white cake pedestal.

Hummingbird cake is a dense cake made with bananas, pineapple, nuts (usually black walnuts), nutmeg, and cinnamon which give it that authentic taste of the tropics. This banana pineapple cake also contains cream cheese frosting which takes it from good to great!

It’s not surprising that the Hummingbird Cake became popular in Jamaica, where bananas and pineapple are two of the major crops. The cake made its way to America after being featured by the Jamaican tourism board as part of a marketing campaign for Americans to visit their country.

This banana pineapple nut frosted cake is like a love child of banana bread and a moist cake and usually makes 12 servings so you can share it with your friends or family members at home without any worries about leftovers.

This Humming Bird Cake recipe is excerpted from the cookbook, Southern Sugar, by Belinda Smith-Sullivan and is great for a special occasion. Let’s take a look at how to make it.

Slice of Hummingbird cake.

Ingredients

For this delicious cake, you need the following ingredients:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • canola oil
  • vanilla extract
  • ripe bananas
  • pineapple
  • black walnuts
  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • kosher salt

Directions

When you make this recipe, for optimal results use eggs at room temperature.

First things, first, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Spray 3 (8-inch) or 2 (9-inch) cake pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.

Mash bananas – you will need 2 cups worth, and coarsely chop the walnuts.

To make the cake batter, start by whisking together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar) in a medium bowl.

Dry ingredients being whisked together.

Combine eggs, canola oil, vanilla, bananas, pineapple, and 1 cup walnuts in a large mixing bowl.

Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix by hand until all ingredients are well-combined. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert cake layers and remove parchment paper; place on a wire rack to cool completely, right side up.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt on low setting until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to mix for 4-5 minutes until creamy and light. Add vanilla and mix on high speed an additional minute. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Icing on the whisk attachment of an electric mixer.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake board or cake serving plate and cover the top with frosting; repeat with the second and third layers. Spread the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on the top of the cake.

Substitutions

Regular walnuts or chopped pecans make suitable replacements. You can use either fresh pineapple or canned crushed pineapple.

Why do they call it hummingbird cake?

Origins have it that the cake derived its name because it is sweet enough to attract hummingbirds.

Should I refrigerate hummingbird cake?

The cake can safely be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple of days. It can be stored in the refrigerator to help extend its shelf life by a couple more days.

Southern Sugar

Southern Sugar cookbook.

Southern Sugar is author Belinda Smith-Sullivan’s third cookbook. (Her other two are Just Peachy and Let’s Brunch: 100 Recipes for the Best Meal of the Week.)

In Southern Sugar, Belinda shares her recipes for all things sweet: cakes, cheesecakes, pies, cobblers, cookies, brownies, candies, ice cream, and beverages.

There is a little bit of “Southerner” in all of us! You don’t have to be from the South to embrace the food—especially the sweets. These decadent, sweet delights are filled with lots of sugar, butter, nuts, and fruit, or dripping with chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, and bourbon. 100 tempting recipes will transport you back to your “Southern” roots with beloved favorites and fresh takes on Southern classics, including sweet drinks and cocktails.

Southern Sugar was released in September 2021. Order it now at Amazon.com or your preferred bookstore.


Steps of making a hummingbird cake.
Hummingbird cake slice

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake includes bananas, pineapple, nuts (usually black walnuts), nutmeg, and cinnamon to give it that authentic taste of the tropics. This banana pineapples cake also contains cream cheese frosting which takes it from good to great!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Jamaican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 952kcal

Equipment

  • 9-inch cake pan, mixer

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs large, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups bananas mashed
  • ½ cup pineapple finely chopped
  • 2 cups black walnuts coarsely chopped and divided

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Spray 3 (8-inch) or 2 (9-inch) cake pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. In a large bowl, combine eggs, canola oil, vanilla, bananas, pineapple, and 1 cup walnuts. Add flour mixture and mix by hand until all ingredients are well-combined. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert cake layers and remove parchment paper; place on racks to cool completely, right side up.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt on low setting until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to mix for 4-5 minutes until creamy and light. Add vanilla and mix on high speed an additional minute. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Place 1 cake layer on a cake board or cake serving plate and cover top with frosting; repeat with second and third layers. Spread remaining frosting around the sides of the cake. Finish the top with the remaining walnuts.

Notes

Excerpted from Southern Sugar by Belinda Smith-Sullivan. Copyright © 2021 by Gibbs Smith Publishing. Used with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 952kcal | Carbohydrates: 107g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 413mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 578IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! Hummingbird cake is such a good option for those who love chocolate cake but can’t have it.

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