My mom was known for two cakes, her Texas Sheet Cake and this Hummingbird cake. People would ask her to make these tasty treats all the time, she wasn’t big on a layer cake, she preferred to bake in a sheet pan. Regardless of shape, these flavors take back to my childhood.
Why is called a Hummingbird Cake?
No one knows the exact reason or origin but it’s assumed the original cake was first invented in Jamaica. And the name is assumed to come from the fact that the cake is sweet like nectar and could attract hummingbirds.
The cake became very popular in the states, mostly the southern states, in the 1960s. Housewives’ across the deep south were entering their best rendition of the cake in state fairs for years.
I had so much fun recreating this family favorite, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
For the Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour – leveled
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 +1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmag
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1+1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 very ripe bananas
- 1 (12 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice (do not drain)
- 2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans) – optional
For the Frosting
- 1/4 cup butter – at room temp
- 8oz cream cheese – at room temp
- 1 pound powder sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cups chopped walnuts – optional
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare baking pans. Grease and flour either (3) 6″ rounds or (1) 9″x 11″ rimmed baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl whisk together the wet ingredients – canola oil, eggs, vanilla and banana and crushed pineapple.
- Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well until everything is combined, do not over mix. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
- Pour batter into your preferred baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For the Frosting
- Combine all the ingredients (except walnuts) into a bowl, using a hand or stand mixer mix until everything is well combined. Note – make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature, or it will be difficult to remove all the lumps.
- If using the round pans allow cakes to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Once cool remove from pans and cool completely to room temp. Stack cakes with icing in between and all around the sides. Scrape some of the icing off the sides to look like the image above or leave a thick coating on the sides. Decorate with crushed walnuts or dried pineapple
To make the Pineapple Flowers
- Using a whole fresh pineapple remove the outer skin and carve out the dark spots.
- Being very careful slice pineapple as thin as possible, about 1/8th of an inch. Do not worry if the edges are very that will actually make for really pretty flowers. If you have a mandolin set to the thinnest setting.
- Place on a cooling rack that sits on a cookie sheet, this allows airflow on both sides of the pineapple. Bake at 200F for 2 hours, check after one hour to make sure they are not burning. As soon as the pineapple comes out of the oven press slices into the divots of a muffin tin. Allow to cool. If the slices are still to soft after a few house of cooling, place back in the oven for another few minutes.
Keywords: pineapple, hummingbird, banana, cake, dessert, pecans