Hummingbird Cake

PHummingbird (5)

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder today” (Did everyone get the Princess Bride reference? If not, watch the movie then re-read this post).

The marriage that we are speaking of today is between Banana Bread and Carrot Cake and the result of their union: Hummingbird Cake. This cake possesses the best qualities of both dishes. Lighter and moister than just plain carrot cake (and this recipe has ½ the amount of oil usually called for) and the distinct yet subtle flavor if bananas.

“Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…”

Our recipe varies in a few ways from your regular Hummingbird Cake. We reduced the oil and tweaked the leavening agent so the cake rose and was still just as moist. We also roasted the bananas to increase the banana-y flavor. But because we roasted the bananas, we had to amp up the pineapple flavor. The way to accomplish that is by boiling down the juices of the pineapple so a thick and intense pineapple syrup is created. This balance of roasted bananas and reduced pineapple syrup created the perfect flavor.

“And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva…”

And the icing on the cake (pun HUGELY intended) is actually the icing!!!! This is a very rustic icing, which means it doesn’t pipe well. The flavor impact more than makes up for the lack of piping work. We have to make extra frosting in order to make up for the sampling that goes on while decorating.
We hope you enjoy this cake. Any way you slice it (pun intended, again) this cake is absolutely delicious. Perfect for a springtime get together or just a Sunday dinner once the flowers start blooming. We decorated ours with Marshmallow Peeps in honor of the spring season!

One final Princess Bride quote:

“You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”—True of miracles and cake!

Ciao for now,

V & K

PHummingbird (12)

Hummingbird Cake

• 3 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• 1 tsp teaspoon baking soda
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups canned pineapple in syrup
• 2 cups roasted bananas, mashed
• 1 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Toast the pecans for 5-10 minutes until fragrant.
3. Place bananas on a cookie sheet with peels left on. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the skins are black. Remove and let cool until they can be handled. Peel bananas, place in a small mixing bowl and mash. Set aside to cool.
4. Butter and flour 3-9 inch round baking pans. Trace the bottom of the pan (for all three pans) onto waxed paper, cut out circle and place in the bottom of each pan. Don’t grease the top of the waxed paper
5. In a sifter over a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Sift into the bowl. Set aside.
6. Empty the cans of pineapple into a saucepan turned on medium high. Boil until the juices become syrup. Cool for one hour.
7. In a second large mixing bowl combine the granulated and brown sugar; whisk to combine. Add the eggs, the oil and vanilla whisk for 3 minutes until light and airy. Add the flour mixture all at once and hand stir (do not beat) to combine the mixture fully. Gently fold in the mashed bananas and pineapple syrup and chunks and ½ cup toasted pecans.
8. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Tap the pans on the countertop to release any air bubbles and place in the 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
9. Allow to cool in pans on racks for 5 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks to fully cool before frosting. Be sure to peel off and discard the waxed paper. (We’ve forgotten to do that before…it’s a mistake you make once!)

Cream Cheese Frosting

• 16 oz unsalted butter, softened
• 12 oz cream cheese, softened but still cool
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• ½ tsp table salt
• 1/3 cup buttermilk powder


1. Combine the butter, buttermilk powder, salt, and powdered sugar together in a stand mixture. Beat on low, slowly increasing until medium high. Cut the cream cheese into 12 pieces. Add each piece one at a time until all are incorporated and the frosting is smooth and thick.
2. Once you finish frosting the cake, refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting. (This will make it much easier and smoother to cut). To decorate the cake, either sprinkle with the rest of the toasted pecans; or, toast some sweetened coconut until golden and apply to the tops and sides of the cake. Either or, your choice.

PHummingbird (2)



1 Comment

  1. I don’t often eat cake – but this one I tried and it was dee-LISH! Tasted like a cross between carrot cake and spice cake…carrot cake without the oily texture and spice cake with just a hint of spice. The bananas and pineapple really added moisture without specific identifiable flavor. Really, really YUMMY.

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