Hummingbird Cake


Apparently this is a classic 70s American cake, but I’d never heard of it. It’s a banana & pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting, and Cook’s Country did a feature on it in their latest issue and it looked amazing. It also looked huge, being a proper double-cake layer cake, so I’ll be halving everything to make a single cake and sawing it in half. So converting from American measurements and scaling down I get:

  • For the cake
    • 1 can pineapple chunks in juice
    • 220g plain flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 200g sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 125ml vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 large, ripe bananas (about 1 cup in total)
    • 1 cup pecans
  • For the frosting
    • 140g butter, softened
    • 280g icing sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 280g cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup pecans

Roast all the pecans in the oven, then chop roughly. Strain the pineapple and reduce the juice down on the hob for 5 minutes, until it’s about 50ml. Mash the bananas.

Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk sugar & eggs together, then whisk in oil, then juice, then vanilla. Mix in the bananas, pecans & pineapple. Fold in the flour.

Line a 23cm cake tin, and grease and flour. Pout in the batter. Cook for 50-55 minutes at 160C fan until the top is dark brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 20 minutes in the tin, then remove from the pan and remove the parchment and cool for an hour on a rack.


For the frosting, mix everything except the cheese in the mixer until combined, then add cheese a tbsp at a time, then continue to mix for a couple of minutes.

Cut the cake in half, spread frosting inside, then sandwich it up. Then cover top and sides with frosting,and sprinkle pecans on the top.


Refrigerate for at least an hour before eating.

Even after 2 hours the frosting hadn’t set… but sod that we’re having a piece and it can set later!


Mmm… delicious! It’s a dense banana-bread style of cake, but lighter than that, and the pineapple really lifts it. The frosting is still not set… and I think I’d go for more sugar in the frosting next time.

Talking about next time: what about using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil?





2 thoughts on “Hummingbird Cake

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