Classic Hummingbird Cake: Perfect Southern Charm

Classic Hummingbird Cake: Perfect Southern Charm

Ah, Hummingbird Cake, a dessert so divine that it bears the name of a graceful bird. Prepare to embark on a delectable adventure into the enchanting realm of Pure Deliciousness! Join us as we delve into the fascinating history, versatile applications, and irresistible recipes that have made this dessert a cherished favorite among sweet enthusiasts worldwide.

In the pages that follow, we’ll uncover the captivating origins of Hummingbird Cake, tracing its roots from the sun-kissed shores of Jamaica to its revered status as a Southern culinary treasure. We’ll explore the cultural significance of this delightful confection and discover the heartwarming stories and traditions that have been woven into its legacy over generations.

A Sweet Slice of History

Let’s start with a slice of history! Hummingbird Cake has deep roots in the Southern United States, where it’s been a cherished treat for generations. Its origins can be traced back to Jamaica, where it was known as the “Doctor Bird Cake” after the island’s national bird, the Red-billed Streamertail hummingbird. In the 1960s, the recipe made its way to the United States, where it quickly gained popularity, especially in the South.

The Secret Ingredients

What makes Hummingbird Cake so special? One word: flavor! This cake is bursting with a tropical medley of bananas, pineapple, and pecans, all wrapped up in a luscious cream cheese frosting. The combination of moist, fruity layers and creamy frosting creates a taste sensation like no other.

How to Make the Best Hummingbird Cake?

Now, you might be wondering, “How can I make the best Hummingbird Cake?” Well, fret not, dear reader! Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

Dry Ingredients:

– 3 cups all-purpose flour

– 2 cups granulated sugar

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. The all-purpose flour forms the base, providing structure to the cake. Granulated sugar adds sweetness, while baking soda acts as a leavening agent for a light and fluffy texture. Ground cinnamon and a touch of salt bring warm and balanced flavors to the mix.

Fruits and Nuts:

– 3 ripe bananas, mashed

– 1 cup crushed pineapple, undrained

– 1 cup chopped pecans

Introduce the fruity and nutty elements. Ripe mashed bananas contribute natural sweetness and moisture. Undrained crushed pineapple adds a tropical twist, infusing the cake with a unique flavor. Chopped pecans provide a delightful crunch and nutty undertones.

Wet Ingredients:

– 3 large eggs

– 1 cup vegetable oil

– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Incorporate the wet ingredients into the mix. Eggs serve as a binding agent, contributing to the cake’s structure. Vegetable oil enhances moisture, ensuring a tender crumb. Vanilla extract adds a fragrant and aromatic note, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

While not listed in the initial ingredients, cream cheese frosting is a crucial component to complete the Hummingbird Cake. Its creamy texture and tangy sweetness complement the fruity and nutty flavors of the cake, providing a delectable finishing touch.

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake

Have you ever found yourself enchanted by the idea of a cake so divine that it bears the name of a bird? Prepare to embark on a delectable adventure into the enchanting realm of Hummingbird Cake! Join us as we delve into the fascinating history, versatile applications, and irresistible recipes that have made this dessert a cherished favorite among sweet enthusiasts worldwide.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 578 kcal


  • 3 cups 360g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups 400g granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup 240ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can 8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup 100g chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 cups 250g mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces 450g full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 115g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 and 1/2 cups 540g confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup 100g chopped pecans or walnuts, for garnish (optional)


Preheat Oven and Prepare Pans:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal.

Mix Dry Ingredients:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • Combine Wet Ingredients:
  • In another large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Incorporate Pineapple, Nuts, and Bananas:

  • Stir in the crushed pineapple (with its juice), chopped nuts, and mashed bananas until evenly distributed.

Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:

  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide Batter and Bake:

  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool Cakes:

  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Prepare Frosting:

  • In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.
  • Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, beating until smooth and creamy.

Assemble the Cake:

  • Once the cakes are completely cooled, spread a generous layer of frosting between each layer and over the top and sides of the assembled cake.
  • Optionally, garnish the top of the cake with chopped pecans or walnuts.

Chill and Serve:

  • Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving to allow the frosting to set.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Keyword Hummingbird Cake

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead of granulated sugar in Hummingbird Cake?

While you can experiment with alternative sweeteners, keep in mind that they may alter the texture and flavor of the cake. Granulated sugar is typically preferred for its ability to provide structure and moisture to the cake.

Can I make Hummingbird Cake into cupcakes instead of a layer cake?

Absolutely! Simply divide the batter among lined cupcake tins and adjust the baking time accordingly. Start checking for doneness around 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

How should I store Hummingbird Cake?

This Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days if frosted, or up to 4 days if unfrosted. For longer storage, refrigerate the cake in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.

Can I freeze Hummingbird Cake?

Yes, you can freeze Hummingbird Cake for longer storage. Wrap the unfrosted cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before frosting and serving.

Can I customize Hummingbird Cake with additional ingredients like coconut or chocolate chips?

Absolutely! Feel free to get creative with your Cake by adding ingredients like shredded coconut, chocolate chips, or even chopped dried fruit. Just keep in mind that additional ingredients may affect the texture and baking time, so adjust accordingly.

In Conclusion

Hummingbird Cake is more than just a dessert—it’s a taste of tradition and a celebration of flavor. Whether you’re indulging in a slice at a family gathering or baking one up in your own kitchen, this cake is sure to sweeten any occasion. So why not whip up a batch of your own and experience the magic of Hummingbird Cake for yourself? Happy baking!

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