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Hummingbird Cake

side shot of hummingbird cake with pecans on top with a slice missing on a cake dish
The Hummingbird Cake is a decadent cake full of fruity flavor that will be requested over and over again.
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Table of Contents
  1. HUMMINGBIRD CAKE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS HUMMINGBIRD CAKE RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

A classic southern recipe, Hummingbird Cake is known for its tropical flavors. This deliciously spiced cake is insanely moist — and topped with a cream cheese frosting, which enhances the fruits. It’s finished off with toasted pecans. 

For other irresistible cakes, try our Banana Cake, Kentucky Butter Cake, Tornado Cake or our Coconut Poke Cake. What about some fun Pineapple Upside Down Mini Cakes for an individual dessert option?

close up shot of a slice of hummingbird cake on a plate

MORE CAKE RECIPES:
Lemon Poke Cake | Carrot Cake Cheesecake


HUMMINGBIRD CAKE INGREDIENTS

You will need:

For the cake

  • 1 ¾ cups chopped pecans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (3 to 4) ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1  (8-ounce) can crushed pineapples, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

PRO TIP: Bananas get sweeter as they ripen and are easier to mash. Choose bananas that don’t have any green showing on the peel. You can ripen bananas faster by placing them in a paper bag with the top loosely folded down. They should be nice and ripe in a day or two.

For the frosting

  • 2  (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113grams) salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

Flour: Gluten-free flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour in a 1:1 substitution. Cake flour, which has a lower gluten content but is not gluten-free, can also be substituted with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour.

Coconut: Add 1 cup of shredded coconut to the batter or press the coconut to the top and sides of the cake after frosting.

Nut-free: You can omit the nuts altogether from the batter or top of the cake without requiring a substitute, or you can add 1 cup of sultana or golden raisins to the batter for another fruity surprise in place of the pecans.

Alcohol: Some Southern cooks like to add a splash of bourbon or spiced rum to the frosting or the cake batter.

Lower-Fat Version: Reduce the oil to ¼ cup and add ¾ cup of applesauce.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS HUMMINGBIRD CAKE RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

STEP TWO: Evenly spread the chopped pecans on the prepared baking sheet.

STEP THREE: Roast the pecans for 6 to 8 minutes, keeping a close eye on the pecans to ensure they do not burn. 

STEP FOUR: Remove the pecans and allow them to cool completely. Once the pecans are cooled, divide them into 1 cup for the cakes and ¾ cup for garnish.

STEP FIVE: Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Line the bottom of three 9-inch round cake pans, and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set them aside.

PRO TIP: You can buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds to make lining the pans easier.

STEP SIX: Using a large mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, sugar, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set it aside.

PRO TIP: For a spicier tasting cake, you can increase the cinnamon to 2 teaspoons and/or add a ½ teaspoon of ground allspice.

hummingbird cake process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP SEVEN: Using a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the mashed bananas, vegetable oil, eggs, undrained crushed pineapple, and pure vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

PRO TIP: Do not drain the pineapple when adding to the batter. The juice will add to the moistness of the cake.

hummingbird cake process shot of ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP EIGHT: Carefully whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated, and fold in 1 cup of the cooled pecans.

hummingbird cake process shot of ingredients mixed together a bowl

STEP NINE: Evenly divide the cake batter between the 3 round prepared cake pans. 

STEP TEN: Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

PRO TIP: For an even moister cake, tightly cover cooled the cakes, before frosting, with plastic wrap and allow it to sit overnight before frosting.

hummingbird cake process shot after cakes are baked

STEP ELEVEN: Using either a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the softened cream cheese and the softened butter for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.

hummingbird cake process shot of ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP TWELVE: Lower the mixer speed to low, add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar. Keep the mixer speed on low until the powdered sugar starts to combine, increasing the speed to medium, and mix for another 1 to 1 ½ minutes until smooth.

hummingbird cake process shot of ingredients mixed together in a bowl

STEP THIRTEEN: Remove the 1st cake from the pan and place it onto a serving plate. Using a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cake.

STEP FOURTEEN: Place the 2nd cake on top of the 1st layer and repeat the thin layer of frosting. 

PRO TIP: Make sure to keep the frosting between the layers nice and thin.

STEP FIFTEEN: Place the 3rd cake on top of the 2nd layer.

STEP SIXTEEN: Mound a thicker layer of frosting on top of the 3rd layer, using the silicone spatula or the offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and around the sides of the cakes. 

hummingbird cake process shot of cake spread with frosting and topped with pecans

STEP SEVENTEEN: Once the cake is completely frosted, spread the remaining chopped pecans around the top edge of the cake. 

PRO TIP: You could also leave the icing off and serve this as a breakfast cake or cupcake.

HOW TO SERVE

This old-fashioned Hummingbird Cake recipe would be the ultimate choice for dessert on a special occasion such as a birthday, Easter, or any other holiday.  The cake’s richness means that you can slice smaller portions, making it stretch farther for a family gathering.

You could also leave the icing off and serve this as a breakfast cake or cupcake.

STORAGE

On the Counter: You can store any leftover Hummingbird Cake completely covered on the counter at room temperature for 2 days. 

In the Fridge: You can keep the cake covered in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Take the cake out at least an hour before serving to allow it to reach room temperature.

In the Freezer: You can freeze the unfrosted cake layers for up to 3 months. Allow the frozen layers to come to room temperature before frosting.

side shot of hummingbird cake with pecans on top with a slice cut out on a cake dish

This old-fashioned Hummingbird Cake recipe would be the ultimate choice for dessert on a special occasion such as a birthday, Easter, or any other holiday. The cake’s richness means that you can slice smaller portions, making it stretch farther for a family gathering.

This is the best Hummingbird cake recipe and comes out tasting just like it came from a bakery. It is a rich cake topped with velvety icing that never disappoints and will make your taste buds hum with delight. Serve for a special occasion or a treat anytime.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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side shot of hummingbird cake with pecans on top with a slice missing on a cake dish

Hummingbird Cake

5 from 1 vote
The Hummingbird Cake is a decadent cake full of fruity flavor that will be requested over and over again.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Servings 11

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups pecans chopped
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups ripe mashed bananas 3 to 4 bananas
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 oz crushed pineapples undrained
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup salted sweet cream butter softened (1 stick)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Evenly spread the chopped pecans on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast the pecans for 6 to 8 minutes, keeping a close eye on the pecans to ensure they do not burn.
  • Remove the pecans and allow them to cool completely. Once the pecans are cooled, divide them into 1 cup for the cakes and ¾ cup for garnish.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Line the bottom of three 9-inch round cake pans then lightly spray with Baker’s Joy or a generic version. Set them aside.
  • Using a large mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, sugar, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set it aside.
  • Using a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the mashed bananas, vegetable oil, eggs, undrained crushed pineapple, and pure vanilla extract until completely combined.
  • Carefully whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Fold in 1 cup of the cooled chopped pecans.
  • Evenly divide the cake batter between the 3 round prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  • Using either a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the softened cream cheese and the softened butter for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low, add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar. Keep the mixer speed on low until the powdered sugar starts to combine, increasing the speed to medium, and mix for another 1 to 1 ½ minutes until smooth.
  • Remove the 1st cake from the pan and place it onto a serving plate.
  • Using a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cake.
  • Place the 2nd cake on top of the 1st cake layer and repeat the thin layer of frosting.
  • Place the 3rd cake on top of the 2nd layer.
  • Mound a thicker layer of frosting on top of the 3rd layer, using the silicone spatula or the offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly.
  • Evenly spread the rest of the frosting around the sides of the cakes.
  • Once the cake is completely frosted, spread the remaining chopped pecans around the top edge of the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 1024kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 539mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 84g | Vitamin A: 932IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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