Hummingbird Cake is a classic Southern cake recipe- first published by Southern Living Magazine in 1978.
The History of Hummingbird Cake:
Since the main components of a Hummingbird Cake are banana and pineapple, it is thought that it originated in Jamaica sometime in the 1960’s. Some say it was named after the bird because it was a cake that was sweet enough to attract hummingbirds. The Jamaican tourism board began sending out press kits to the United States that included island recipes. That’s when versions of this cake began popping up in newspapers and community cookbooks all over the South. One home cook submitted a recipe for Hummingbird Cake to Southern Living Magazine in 1978, and its popularity took off from there.
The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook:
This recipe comes from my friend Courtney Dial Whitmore’s book: The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings. Courtney has quite a knack for entertaining and creating adorable themed parties. She shares her expertise on her website, which I’ve followed for many years: Pizzazzerie.com.
I love Southern food, and this book is a great resource for classic Southern favorites. If you love regional cookbooks, this is a must-have for your cookbook shelf.
Here are several recipes from the book that I have bookmarked to make:
- Low-Country Shrimp ‘n’ Grits
- Crispy Pimento Cheese Cups
- Southern Fried Chicken Cobb Salad
- Sumer Melon Ball Salad
- Down South-Style Cheese Grits
- Summer Succotash
- Louisiana Hush Puppies with Comeback Dipping Sauce
- Creamy Pecan Pralines
- Southern Almond Tea Cakes
- Mama Jean’s Banana Pudding
- Brown Sugar Pie
- Brandy Alexander Milkshakes
- Watermelon Mint Juleps
How to make Hummingbird Cake:
Dry cake ingredients are combined with a good mix of crushed pineapple, mashed ripe banana, chopped pecans, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. This makes the cake batter.
The cake batter is divided into three 8-inch round cake pans and baked.
Cream cheese frosting is the frosting of choice for a Hummingbird Cake!
Place one cake layer on a cake stand, frost the top of that layer. Add another layer, and frost that one too. Add the third layer and then frost the entire cake. Sprinkle chopped pecans on the top.
The flavors in this cake are so delicious. It’s a spice cake with a tropical vibe, and the crunch of the pecans and the cream cheese frosting bring it all together in a wonderful way. This is one Southern cake recipe not to miss. Enjoy!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas
- One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (with juice)
- 1½ cups chopped pecans, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
MAKE THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the eggs and oil, and stir just until combined, making sure to not over-beat the batter. Stir in the banana, pineapple, 1 cup pecans and vanilla. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides between each addition. Add the vanilla and beat for 2 to 3 minutes.
FROST THE CAKE:
- Place one cake layer on a platter, and frost the top of it. Place the 2nd layer on top, and frost the top of that cake. Add the 3rd layer and frost the top and down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top.