A fabulous dessert made from a hummingbird cake recipe can be the highlight of a southern meal and a good example of southern comfort food.
What's in a Name?
The origin of this cakes name is shrouded in mystery. While the hummingbird cake recipe stays nearly the same, the name changes with just about every recipe, the second most popular name being "cake that won't last".
Some claim that the name comes from the fact that your guests will hum with pleasure while eating hummingbird cake while others say it comes from the sweetness of the cake. While the sweetness can't be denied, it is entirely possible that someone simply called it a hummingbird cake, someone else liked the name, and it stuck. The only thing we know for a fact is that the first hummingbird cake recipe was published in 1978 in Southern Living magazine.
Hummingbird Cake Recipe
This is the hummingbird cake recipe that I was taught in culinary school. It creates a very sweet, very heavy cake that looks incredible and tastes even better.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces of crushed pineapple
- 2 cups of chopped pecans, toasted
- 2 cups of mashed bananas
- 1 cup of shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Mix with a whisk until completely combined.
- Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, vanilla, and sugar until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time until all are completely incorporated.
- Add the banana and coconut to the mixture and beat until combined.
- Add the flour mixture one cup at a time until it is all added and well combined.
- Spray three 9-inch pans with non-stick spray and then dust each pan with flour.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the pans.
- Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool.
- Once cool, remove the cakes from the pans and let them completely cool.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Basic Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 sticks of butter softened
- 2 boxes of powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of toasted pecans chopped
- Using your stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese.
- Once they are well combined, add the vanilla extract.
- Then slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
Hints and Tips
- You may find that it is easier to frost the cake if you let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
- For a flatter top on your cake, place the last layer on with the flat side, the side that was in the pan, up. Then finish frosting the cake.
For a more portable version try this cupcake variation.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 ripe medium bananas, mashed
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple
- 1 ¼ cup of sweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup of toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
- In your stand mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until they are thick and bright yellow.
- Add oil.
- Add the bananas, coconut, pineapple, and pecans.
- Add the flour one cup at a time until fully incorporated.
- Line 24 cupcake tins with paper cups.
- Fill each 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.
- Frost with cream cheese frosting.