Hummingbird Cake

The first time I encountered this wonderful cake was on a romantic dinner with GI Joe!!!  He took me to Dailey’s for dinner before a show at the Fox.  The night was what can I say other than just plain great!  Sorry to say that Dailey’s closed this year so we can no longer experience their wonderful desserts.  But we can treat ourselves to the delicious cake that they served.   After that night we took the Athlete there before seeing the Christmas Carol and to this day it is his favorite dessert!  So here is a family favorite for many reasons.  I hope that you can enjoy as much as we have.

This is not your normal cake where you cream butter and sugar and then add flour alternately with liquid.  It is made by the muffin method of mixing.  In other words it is just plain easy!!!

Grease and flour then line with wax paper 3 8-in. cake pans

Sift cake flour and measure 3 cups

Add to flour 1 t baking soda

Add 1 t salt to flour

Add 1 t cinnamon to flour

Drain 8 oz. of crushed pineapple

I usually keep frozen bananas in the freezer for banana bread, muffins, and smoothies.  So I just pulled out about 3-4 frozen bananas and put them in a ziplock bag.  Let them defrost a little and mashed them with my hands. Then measure 2 cups.

2 cups of mashed bananas

Beat 3 eggs and 1 1/2 t vanilla

Add to 1 1/2 cups of oil

Beat eggs, oil and vanilla

Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients

Stir but DO NOT use a mixer!

Add 8 oz drained pineapple, 2c. mashed bananas, and 1 cup chopped pecans

Mix. Notice that I am now using a wooden spoon.

Pour equally in 3 8-in. cake pans

I know!  One of them is a dark pan.  I do not know how I have ended up with this pan in my kitchen, but I have to use it.  I have nothing else!

Bake the layers at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  Let them cool in the pans for about 15 minutes.

Put the cooling rack on top of the pan then invert it.

Remove the wax paper

Look at my fingers!!  What happened they look blue and wrinkled like some dead mummy’s fingers?

You can let them cool enough to frost or I make them ahead of time and freeze.  Then when you are ready to frost just pull them out and you are good to go!!

Here are the steps for making the Cream Cheese Frosting.

16 oz. of powdered sugar, 8 oz cream cheese, stick butter, 1 t. vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans

Mix melted butter with softened cream cheese

Mix with an electric mixer

Add 16 oz. powdered sugar and 1 t vanilla

Mix with wooden spoon and then stir in 1 cup chopped pecans

Place 1 layer on cake plate and frost then place 2nd layer on top

Just a note here.  I like to place the rounded tops of the cake down.  And I should have placed wax paper strips around the bottom of the cake to keep the plate clean when I frosted it.  Forgot!  But put them around in a later photo.  It worked!  Thank goodness!

Looking nice!

Frost the sides

Frost the top

Supposed to wait to Christmas Eve, but….

Couldn’t resist!

I have been known to tell my students that this cake was made of little hummingbirds.  At least for about 2 seconds before the tears flowed!  I looked for the origin and could not find much.  It was first published in Southern Living in 1978 by a woman in North Carolina.  Some say that it gets its name because it is as sweet as hummingbird nectar.  Whatever the origin it is a keeper on my list of desserts.  Here is the recipe for you to enjoy!

Hummingbird Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 8 oz. crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups mashed bananas

Combine dry ingredients.   Add eggs, oil and vanilla.  Stir by hand just until moist.  Add pineapple, bananas and pecans.  Spoon batter into 3 well greased 8- inch cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake begins to fall away from the pan.  Let in cool in pans for about 15 minutes before removing.  Remove from pans and cool on cooling racks.  Cool thoroughly before frosting.  May be frozen for up to 3 months before frosting.  This will save time when things get a little crazy around the holidays.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 1 8 0z package of softened cream cheese
  • 16 oz. powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Melt butter and mix with softened cream cheese.  Stir in vanilla, sugar and nuts.   I like to put the round top down and frost the flat side of the cake.  Place strips of waxed paper under the cake to save on clean up.  Frost the top of the first layer and place the second layer round side down.  Frost the second layer.  Now add the third layer round side down.  Frost the sides then the top.  I have been known to grind up more pecans and push them into the sides.  Or you can take some pretty candied red cherries and make a holiday design on the top, but the recipe without any additions is the most moist and best tasting cake you have ever put in your mouth .

Merry Christmas to all,

The Teacher Cooks

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89 Comments

Filed under Cake, cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, easy, frosting, Hummingbird cake

89 responses to “Hummingbird Cake

  1. I love hummingbird cake! I never make it though. My husband doesn’t like pineapple or nuts. So do not make it because I would eat entire cake! lol I might make it for our next family gathering! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. this is absolutely a favorite of mine–bananas, pineapple, and pecans seem to combine effortlessly into an unbeatable flavor. and come on–topped with cream cheese frosting? there’s no stopping this.

  3. ang in TX

    I had to pop over and tell you how hard I laughed at your comment on PW’s site today in photography. Thank you for providing me with gut hurting laughter!

  4. That is a beautiful cake, and certainly a beautiful post as well. Loved reading it!

  5. alexis aylworth

    I normally don’t like nuts in cakes and such, but this absolutely looks delicious! I am planning on trying this at home sometime.

  6. Aaron Vantrees

    I love cake, and looking at this Hummingbird cake I just want to try it. It looks really good I like the way you used two kinds of fruit with the pineapple and the bananas too. Though I wonder if instead of using wax paper could you also use parchment paper too, but either way it looks great and delicious I think I’ll make it as a family special dessert.

  7. Haylee Wise

    This cake looks BEAUTIFUL! It look like it’d be a fun cake to make. :)

  8. Ken

    Kevin’s favorite cake. Aunt Wanda’s Hummingbird cake. He loved his.

  9. Tatiana G 1st period

    I learned how to make a layered cake. I always wanted to know how to make one and thought it would be difficult but i was wrong. Can’t wait to make one soon !

  10. Rachel S.

    I learned that before you frost a cake you should put some wax paper at the bottom of the cake.

  11. Bethany B. 1st

    I learned that in making a 3 layered cake all you have to do is put icing between each layer and on top and around the sides.

  12. Aaron V.

    love cake, and looking at this Hummingbird cake I just want to try it. It looks really good I like the way you used two kinds of fruit with the pineapple and the bananas too. Though I wonder if instead of using wax paper could you also use parchment paper too, but either way it looks great and delicious I think I’ll make it as a family special dessert.

  13. Haylee W

    I learned that you can cook food, with wax paper on the bottom. Also, This cake looks delicious. :)

  14. Brittany - 1st period.

    I didn’t know there was such thing as cake flour, but now I do.

  15. danielle

    i learned the you should place wax paper strips around the bottom of the cake to keep the plate clean when frosting it

  16. Chelsea M

    I learned that you can put wax paper in a pan to keep it from sticking.

  17. Alexis A

    I learned that you can only do so much to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan. I never knew you had to do so much, but it is so helpful. I just hate it when the cake gets stuck to the inside of the cake pan!

  18. anna 1st

    I learned that you should put wax paper on the plate before frosting the cake to keep it clean.

  19. chasitywilson

    that you can freeze bananas and use them later on for other things.

  20. tommie 1st

    I learned that before you put frosting on a cake to put wax paper under it so you keep the cake dish cleaned.

  21. Abby T.

    I learned how to keep the cake dish clean, put wax paper under it.

  22. Tyrone

    i learned that you can use wax paper to keep the cake from sticking and it keep the plate clean

  23. Marianna

    I learned that before you put frosting on a cake you should let it cool down first

  24. amy w

    learned that wax paper can keep the cake from sticking to the cake pan

  25. Naomi

    I learned that using parchment paper makes it easier to clean dishes.

  26. Vaida R

    I have never heard nor seen anyone use wax paper to help prevent the bottoms of the cake layers sticking to the pans!

  27. Levi Atkinson

    Bananas, pineapple, and pecans seem to combine effortlessly into an unbeatable flavor. i would love making this for my sisters and father.

  28. yvonne mcgregor

    i learned that you stir and dont use a mixer.

  29. Sarah J

    I learned that you can freeze bananas and use them again later.

  30. tania

    i learned that you bake the layers at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

  31. Lexxi J

    I don’t know about this but I learned that you can crushed certain fruits and put them in a cake.

  32. erika

    i really dont like cakes or what not but i would like to try this one it looks very good.

  33. Tori B. 2nd

    I learned you can use pecans in a cake.

  34. courtney e

    i have never heard of this kind of cake before but it looks very good… and i never knew to put wax paper down before messing with a cake :)

  35. "Emerald" Tyler

    pecans in a cake? weird if you ask me, but it looks delicous, and good think i read the instructions i would’ve used a beader.

  36. kim s.

    i learned that you add mashed bananas to the recipe. it looks gross but i’m sure it was good

  37. Sasha W.

    I learned that if you use parchment paper, it would be easier for you to clean up!

  38. cynthia I

    I learned that some say that it gets this cake name because it is as sweet as hummingbird nectar.

  39. RadianceM

    It looks pretty but I wouldn’t eat it though unless I wanted to

  40. Kamryn 1st

    i learned that you should put wax paper between the layers before icing it.

  41. Linda Stagner

    Oh my, I made this cake a couple of months ago when a friend of mine visited from D’ville. She has always loved Hummingbird cake and this was a real treat. Thanks for jogging my memory when I was looking for something to bake for her!!! Hope your school year started great last week! Looking forward to some more great recipes.

  42. Rachel Carvalho

    I’d never thought of using wax paper to put the cake on before!

  43. Jessica Turner

    I never knew the wax paper would help the much but it does.

  44. KatyBurger

    I learned frozen bananas are better than fresh for this recipe.

  45. Brittany M. 1st block

    Learned about how to use the wax paper to help the cake from sticking to the pan.

  46. Lucinda Hertlen

    I learned that if you place wax paper on the bottom of your baking dish, then the cake will not stick as much as if you didn’t.

  47. kristin 1st

    I learned that this cake has pineapples in it.

  48. Brett

    i learned that this cake uses the muffin method of mixing

  49. Mandi 1st

    I learned that by putting wax paper strips on the bottom of the plate then it will keep it cleaner and look nicer when you’re through!

  50. Nicole

    I learned that you do not wanna use a mixer to mix this. You just want to use a spoon and do it by hand.

  51. Haley V.

    I learned that if you put wax paper on the bottom, it will help the cake not stick to the pan when you get it out of the oven.

  52. Kayla Daniels

    I learn that you can mix pinneapples and bananas mix together.

  53. Heather

    I learned that you should put was wax paper aroud the bottom of the stacked cakes so that when you icing them it doesnt make a mess.

  54. Kateca F.

    I learned that you can freeze and reuse more things than i thought such as bananas.

  55. bethanie

    I learned you put soda in the cake.

  56. Jessica Headen

    I never knew that hummingbird cake was made with bananas, pineapples, and nuts. Sounds good

  57. ladd morgan

    I learned that even though the mashed bananas looks like stuff that comes from a baby after a nice meal, it will add an interesting flavor to the cake!

  58. Kamron Munch

    I learned that you can’t use a mixer when making the cake layers.

  59. avery 1st

    I thought that humming bird cake was jus a regular pound cake, i didn’t know it had fruit in it.

  60. taryn

    wow! soda? thats different and new.

  61. KhaMaria Jones

    I have never had hummingbird cake before. it looks good.
    the wax paper helps keep the cake from sticking to the pan.

  62. Mariama Jallow

    Now this is new! and i though the mandarine orange cake was good, this looks divine! I never thought soda would be an ingredient in a cake!

  63. Thomas Harris

    I learned that the wax paper will help keep the dish clean

  64. LeKeitha2nd

    I learned that icing a cake is very timing and it can make your cake unappealing if you do not ice it at the proper time

  65. Chase DuCharme

    I learned to put strips of wax paper underneath the cake so the frosting will not get on the plate.

  66. Adam

    I learned that it’s not made of hummingbirds. I like how you put step-by-step pictures for the visual learners like myself.

  67. Mallori 2nd.

    I learned that away to not make the cake stick is you put wax paper on the bottom.

  68. Jenna Hanson

    I learned that you place the rounded tops of the cake down.

  69. alaina blackstock

    i learned when the cake begins to fall away from the pan its ready to be took out of the oven.

  70. Abigail Kremer

    That was a good idea of using wax paper on the bottom of the pan.

  71. Olivia Jarriel

    I learned that you should let your cakes cool down before putting the icing on them.

  72. Daniel Vinson

    i learned to put wax paper on the bottom of the cake

  73. BrittanyJ

    It’s a good idea to cut wax paper and put it on the bottom of the pan so the cake won’t stick.

  74. ronda

    this cake looks great and it has a great mixture of things in it.

  75. anissa g beason

    i learned you can cook bananas in a cake

  76. kelsey reid

    i learned you can put wax paper under the cake to keep the cake dish from getting messy.

  77. Austin Whiteley

    I learned that before you frost a cake you put some wax paper at the bottom of the cake!

  78. miya dixon 1st period

    this cake lloks so big the recipe seem long though and it looks like it would take a long time to make

  79. Savoi G.

    I learned that frozen bananas have a better taste in the cake, this looks similar to the mandarin orange cake.

  80. jamal 1st pd

    I learned that bananas can be frozen

  81. Denisse

    i learned that using wax paper before placing the mix in the pan wont burn in the oven and also helps the cake not stick!.

  82. shiya hargrow

    wow another three layer cake but an interesting question would be why is it named after a bird

  83. Leka Labat

    I learned you can cook bananas in a cake

  84. Andrew E.

    I love eating cakes, and this cake looks delicious!

  85. Myah Edwards(:*

    I learned that you should put wax paper around the cake before you put the icing on it so it wont be messy.

  86. Kaytlyn 2nd

    I learned sifting flour makes it fluffy

  87. Lindsey 2nd

    I learned that you can freeze bananas and use them again later. Also, if you use parchment paper it is easier to clean the pan.

  88. Alex

    I actually used your recipe to make this cake for a cake auction at my church! It was a big hit, everyone loved it. It was pretty difficult to make, just because it called for so many ingredients that we didnt have, and if we had it, we didnt have enough of it. But it was pretty good!

  89. Jasmine Jones

    To give the topping extra PIZAZ , you can throw in some pecans, for extra crunch and flavor.

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