Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake on cake plate

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A great Southern classic, Hummingbird cake is a sweet, thick, and fruity treat. By using just a few simple ingredients, and some really good cream cheese frosting, you make a perfect, moist and delicious cake every time with very little effort!

Make sure to make your own Best Cream Cheese Icing for this recipe. Or, if you want a different cake recipe, try making this Classic Chiffon Cake instead?

Hummingbird cake slice on a white plate

Hummingbird Cake

Originally a Jamaican dessert, Hummingbird cake is all about plenty of rich, juicy fruits put into a decadent and moist cake and topped with some great cream cheese icing.

Make sure to get some good nuts for this recipe, as although it is primarily a fruit cake, the nuts contribute so much extra flavor and crunchy body that you don’t want to skip them.       

Hummingbird cake ingredients

Hummingbird Cake Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

Icing

• Batch and a half of The Best Cream Cheese Icing  

Cake

• All-purpose flour

• Granulated sugar

• Baking powder

• Baking soda

• Ground cinnamon

• Salt

• Eggs

• Vegetable oil

• Mashed bananas

• Pecans

• Crushed Pineapple (with juice)

• Vanilla extract

Hummingbird cake dry and wet ingredients in a bowl

How To Make Hummingbird Cake

• Prepare your batch of The Best Cream Cheese icing and set aside

Cake

• Grease and lightly flour three 8-inch cake pans and set aside

• Stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk, and then set aside

• In a large bowl, combine the oil, eggs, pineapple, and juice, as well as the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and nuts

• Add the flour mixture to the wet mix, and then stir to combine

• Pour the batter into the three prepared pans

• Bake in a preheated oven set to 350 Fahrenheit, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each pan comes out clean

• Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on racks

• Remove the cakes from the pans once the pans are cool to the touch

• Frost with the cream cheese frosting between the layers, and then frost the sides and the top of the cake

Hummingbird cake on cake plate

How To Best Decorate The Cake

This Hummingbird cake is actually pretty simplistic in its recipe – it is really just a standard cake batter with some pineapple juice and vanilla extract and plenty of extra fruit and nuts.

However, the thing that makes this cake unique is its decoration and design. It needs just a little bit of attention to detail to really make it stand out as a Hummingbird cake.

To decorate, take your pecans and slice them into halves. While you could just use the whole pecans without slicing them, it could create a bit too much thickness and bite in every mouthful of cake, so you want to halve them first.

Place the halves along the base of the cake, as well as around the top of the cake to create a ring. You want it to look a bit like a pecan crown forming over the top of the cake as you decorate.

After that, chop up a few extra pecans into a sort of rough chop and sprinkle those pecan shards all around the top.

This will create a combined layering effect, as well as help to give you lots of different textures and bites with every mouthful. 

Do You Need To Use Pecans For This Recipe?

Hummingbird cake pretty much always calls for pecans, both because it is a commonly available nut in Jamaica and the South but also because it works really well with all of the other flavors in the cake.

However, not everyone likes pecans or can even eat them, to begin with.

If your problem is just the taste of pecans, then you can easily substitute some walnuts instead.

 While walnuts lack some of that nutty brown richness that pecans have, they should still contribute that all-important crunch and crackle that this cake needs.

If you happen to have a nut allergy, the only thing you can really do is to remove the nuts from the recipe entirely.

If you want to try and replicate that same crunch that the nuts provide, you could try substituting in some crisp apple slices. If you use thin slices of apples along the top of the cake, it might help to contribute some of that pleasant snap that makes nuts so good.

Make sure you are keeping an eye on your moisture content, though – adding in apple slices is necessarily also going to increase the overall moisture of your cake.

Looking for more delicious Cake recipes? Try these out:

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Apple Dump Cake

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

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Hummingbird cake is all about plenty of rich, juicy fruits put into a decadent and moist cake and topped with some great cream cheese icing.

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Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake is all about plenty of rich, juicy fruits put into a decadent and moist cake and topped with some great cream cheese icing.
5 from 2 votes
Hummingbird cake on cake plate
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Courses
cake, Dessert
Cuisine
American
Servings
10
Calories
426
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

Icing

  • 1 1/2 batch The Best Cream Cheese Icing

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (One cup – level measured but not packed)
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pecans (halves and chopped) for decoration

Instructions
 

Icing

  • Prepare one and a half batch of The Best Cream Cheese Icing and set aside

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 ° Grease and lightly flour three 8-inch cake pans.
  • Stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oil, eggs, pineapple and juice, mashed bananas, vanilla and nuts.
  • Add flour mixture to the wet mix , and stir to combine.
  • Pour batter into three prepared pans.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of each pan comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on racks. Remove the cakes from the pans once the pans are cool to the touch.
  • Frost with the cream cheese frosting between the layers , then frost the sides and the top of the cake.
  • To decorate the cake: Press the pecan halves along the base of the cake and around the top of the cake to create a ring. Sprinkle the inner top surface with chopped pecans. Slice and serve. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 426kcal, Carbohydrates: 78g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 363mg, Potassium: 341mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 44g, Vitamin A: 98IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 3mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. RBBaker says

    Wish you had included “The Best Cream Cheese Icing” recipe that was mentioned more than 5 times.

    • Mary says

      “The Best Cream Chees Icing” recipe is included at the very top of the post; before the “jump to recipe” button.

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