Monday, January 25, 2010

Hummingbird Cake

132. What do you do with overripe bananas? Make banana bread? Here is a beautiful alternative, a Hummingbird Cake. My daughter gifted me with a Southern Cakes cookbook by Nancie McDermott. It is an enticing book with luscious photos of cakes. I found a fantastic cake that uses overripe bananas and pineapple...and who can resist cream cheese frosting?
Last summer we had a large amount of ripe pineapples so I canned most of it in heavy syrup. The pineapple sure comes in handy for a variety of uses. Rather than using canned pineapple, I used the preserved pineapple.
Hummingbird Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups mashed ripe banana

  • Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 8-inch or two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, and use a fork to mix well. With a large wooden spoon, mix in the beaten eggs, oil, vanilla, pineapple, bananas and pecans. Mix well, stirring gently just enough to blend everything into a good thick, nubby batter. (love this description!)
Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and bake at 350〫 for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cakes are nicely browned and pulling away from the sides of the pans. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks or folded kitchen towels for about 15 minutes. then gently turn out the cakes onto wire racks or plates. Turn the layers top side up, and let them cool completely.

Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting:
To make the frosting, in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter and beat with a mixer at low speed to mix well. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until the frosti
ng is fluffy and smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl and blend everything thoroughly.

Add the pecans, and stir well. (I did not add the pecans to the frosting but left them whole to decorate with. )

To complete the cake, place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand or a serving plate, and spread frosting on the top.

A trick I have learned is to place a dolope of frosting onto the cake platter. This helps to hold the cake in place so it does not shift. Place the second layer, top side up, on the first.

Frost the sides and then the top


Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes or so, to help the icing set.

What a beautiful cake this is. The top layer of cake was baked in a decorative round pan to add whimsy.

Sliced, the cake is tall and you can spot chunks of pineapple and bits of pecans.

Hummingbird cake history

Southern Living magazine generally is credited with the first reference to Hummingbird Cake. It published the recipe in its February 1978 issue, submitted by a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, N.C. But Mrs. Wiggins did not include an explanation of the cake's unusual name, which remains a mystery however folklore has it that the hummingbird is a symbol of sweetness.


Karen said...

Hummingbird Cake was one of my late mother-in-law's favorite desserts to serve to her ladies Friday afternoon sewing club. No one ever sewed a stitch, but they had such a good time visiting and there was always a scrumptious dessert served. I've never seen it in three layers but would like to try doing this someday.
Thank you for the recipe!
Ladybug Creek

Tami said... looks so moist!!

Rochelle said...

This looks so yummy I am going to have to try out the recipe for my family!

Linda said...

I'll confess that I swore that the last cake I made, would be my last. Even though I let it cool properly, it split and thank goodness for icing. I LOVE to cook, but hate to bake. But...... now I see this delicious and easy recipe and I think that I'm going to have to give this one a try. THANKS (I think) :-)

~Linda ♥

Jen said...

Oh my goodness look at all that deliciousness!!! It looks super yummy!! Fantastic blog!!

Stephani said...

This looks delicious! I have some bananas at home right now. I'll have to tell everyone to keep their hands off of them because they need to ripen! I also have a question for you. Please forgive my ignorance on this, but I am wondering about posting recipes on our blogs from other publications. I have lots of great recipes that I have gotten out of a variety of cookbooks, but since they say you can't reproduce them without permission, I've been hesitate to publish them. Do you know the ins and outs of this because I sure would like to share some of them. Your blog is great!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hi Lilly~ ~I have often wondered about the origins of this cake. Yours looks wonderful and I have 4 ripe bananas sitting on the counter. Guess I should get at it.

AngieK said...

BEAUTIFUL! I am going to try this!

Joanne Kennedy said...

I am going through all these wonderful recipes and printing out some that I just must try! Thank you for posting all these for everyone to share in the joy of them with you.

I am now in a canning mode and saw you did pineapple. That sounds like heaven to me. Would you mind sharring your recipe for that? Thanks so much.


Lilly's Home said...

I will have to find my recipe Joanne...I'd love to share it with you!


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