This sweet and fruity cake is full of banana and pineapple to create a perfectly moist cake – then is topped with cream cheese frosting. The perfect cake for any Spring gathering!
Please allow me to introduce you to the scrumptiousness known as hummingbird cake. And no it does not have hummingbirds in it nor is it food for hummingbirds – it’s just the charming name given to this wondrous cake.
Hummingbird cake is quite popular in the Southern United States (think potlucks and church gatherings). But I think it really got it’s fame when Southern Living Magazine published a recipe for it in the 1970’s and it got wildly popular.
Last summer for book club we read The Girl Who Chased the Moon, by Sarah Addison Allen. One of the characters in the book, Julia, makes the most wonderful cakes – one of which is hummingbird cake. I knew I had to bring my hummingbird cake along to our book club meeting.
I have made this hummingbird cake a few times, and each time people go nuts for it. It’s really simple to make but tastes like it could have taken you all day. You just mix the dry ingredients with the wet and stir them together – much like you would making banana bread. Bake it, frost it and bam! You have a gorgeous cake. It’s perfect to make for Mothers Day, Easter or any Spring brunch or gathering.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can make some beautiful pineapple flowers to put on top. I used a tutorial by Martha Stewart in her Martha Stewart Cupcakes book . I’ve made pineapple flowers a few times and let me tell you, they will try your patience! But stick with it! It’ll be worth it when you see the pretty flowers in the end.
I like to use walnuts in this cake but pecans are lovely too – the pecans do give it a little more Southern feel. You could also omit the nuts if need be (although as someone who doesn’t like nuts in desserts, I like nuts in this cake!). And If you are feeling adventurous, you can also add in some shredded coconut into this cake. I have made it with the addition before and it pairs nicely with the banana and pineapple.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1 cup crushed pineapple
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, granulated sugar and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Add in oil, eggs and vanilla and stir until mixture is moistened. Gently fold in mashed banana, pineapple and nuts. Stir better until well combined.
- Divide batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter at medium-high speed in a stand mixer until smooth. Beat in extract well combined.
- Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add heavy cream, beat medium speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
- Place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread an even layer of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. Carefully place second cake on top. Using an offset spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake until fully covered. Garnish with additional nuts and dried pineapple flowers, if desired. Slice and serve.
Disclosure: Some of the links included in this post may be affiliate links and I will earn a very small commission if you purchase through those links. I really appreciate your support to help keep free recipes on this site! Please see my policies page if you would like more information