Favorite Summer Cakes - Part Two: Hummingbird Cake

I'm on a mission this summer to discover light and delicious desserts with all the fruity and bright flavors of the season.  Last month I made the traditional St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, and this month I bring you carrot cake's fruity southern cousin, Hummingbird Cake!

Think warm, moist banana bread blended with pineapples, with a pinch of cinnamon, topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans...

Hummingbird Cake was first introduced in Southern Living in 1978, and since that time a variety of recipes have evolved, some containing vanilla pudding and applesauce, some that are eight (!!!!) layers tall, and others in a bundt pan.  I was really satisfied with this yummy variation from my favorite blogger, but next time I'm going to try adding lemon zest to the frosting, and shredded coconut for a more Hawaiian flavor.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Mixing up the banana-y batter

Cooling the cakes

Mixing up the frosting

Frosting the cakes

Assembling the two cakes

Finishing touches


Hummingbird Cake
From the Brown Eyed Baker


For the cake:
2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds cream cheese, chilled and cut in squares
1/2 cup chopped pecans


1.  Make the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the parchment and flour the pans; set aside.

2.  Drain the pineapple in a fine-mesh strainer set over a small saucepan, pressing to remove as much juice as possible.  Place the saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes; set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

4.  In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs, then whisk in the oil.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in the bananas, pecans, vanilla, drained pineapple, and reduced pineapple juice.  Gently stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

5.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops with a spatula.  Bake until dark golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then turn out of the pans, remove parchment paper and allow to cool completely, at least 2 hours.

6.  Make the frosting:  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt on low speed until smooth, then mix for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Increase the speed to medium-low and add the cream cheese one piece at a time and mix until smooth, then mix for an additional 2 minutes.

7.  Place one cake layer on a serving platter.  Spread 2 cups of frosting over the top, then top with the second cake later, pressing lightly to adhere.  Spread 2 cups of frosting evenly over the top, then spread the remaining frosting evenly over the sides of the cake.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with the chopped pecans.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.  The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


  1. Yummmmm! My mouth is watering right now. I wonder why they call it Hummingbird cake? Is it because it is so sugary and delicious that people flock to it and devour it like hummingbirds do with simple syrup? I love carrot cake, plus all the ingredients you've posted here. I'll have to try this recipe out!

    1. It's so yummy! And according to Martha Stewart, the cake gets its name because every bite will make you "hum" with delight. Haha. Who knows? Enjoy!


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