Bananas, nuts and pineapple are packed into this amazingly moist Hummingbird Cake. This three layer homemade cake recipe with cream cheese frosting is perfect for holidays, birthdays or any day!
Hummingbird Cake Recipe
Have you ever heard of a hummingbird cake? I *may* have heard about it years ago, but when I was flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks the other day I was reminded of this unique, overloaded cake. Isn’t it so pretty? 3 layers, with pretty white cream cheese frosting between each layer and covering the outside. It’s a simple enough cake recipe that is guaranteed to be moist and flavorful.
What is a Hummingbird Cake
No, hummingbird cake is not made from hummingbirds. That felt weird evening typing that. The recipe was originally published in Southern Living magazine in 1978, but although there are several theories, no one really knows where the cake name comes from. Maybe because it tastes so delicious it makes you hum a little tune? Or maybe because it is sweet enough for hummingbirds? If you have a theory, I’d love to hear it!
But what we do know is what is in hummingbird cake. It’s an easy cake recipe made sweet with bananas and pineapple. The bananas, oil and eggs keep it extra soft while cinnamon and vanilla add a touch of flavor. Chopped nuts give it extra texture.
How to Make Hummingbird Cake
- Start by sifting together the dry ingredients.
- Then mix together the wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Don’t use an electric mixer here as you don’t want to overmix the batter.
- Divide the batter between three 9″ cake pans. Be sure the cake pans are greased and floured so they come out easily. We find that greasing the pans with shortening helps the cakes to come out very cleanly.
- The cakes will take about 25-30 minutes to bake. This cake is very moist, so I like to test its doneness by touching the center. If the center of the cake bounces back when you touch it, the cake should be done.
Hummingbird Bundt Cake
This cake recipe can also be baked in a bundt cake or tube pan. Be sure the pan is greased and floured. It will take about 70 minutes for the cake to bake in a bundt or tube pan.
Frosting for Hummingbird Cake
If you’ve never made homemade frosting, this is the recipe to start with. There’s really no way to mess this up. This classic cream cheese frosting is perfect on this hummingbird cake, but also on red velvet cake and carrot cake.
Other Banana Cakes
Other Pineapple Cakes
Tools to Make This Cake
- Saigon Cinnamon: This is our favorite cinnamon. You can’t beat its flavor!
- Flour Sifter: Because you should always take the extra step to sift flour for excellent results.
- Hand mixer: I don’t pull out my stand mixer for this recipe. It makes a small amount so a hand mixer works perfectly.
- Ninja Express Chop: Mini food processor…this is one of my most-used kitchen tools!
- 9” Round Cake Pan: These are my favorite pans!
- Straight Icing Spatula: The long straight spatula makes it easy to smooth frosting.
- Wilton 1M Tip: For piping pretty swirls on cupcakes.
For the Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups overripe mashed bananas
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple (undrained)
For the Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 3/4 cup butter (softened)
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup pecans (for decorating, optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the bananas, pecans, oil, eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple (with juice).
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Don't use an electric mixer for this because you don't want to overbeat it. Just mix with a spoon.
- Grease the bottom and sides of the 3 round 9" cake pans with shortening. Then dust the cake pans with flour.
- Divide the cake batter between the three pans evenly.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the cake tests done.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the cream cheese frosting.
- Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes
- With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Add the vanilla and beat the frosting on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
- Once the cakes are cooled, place one cake layer on a plate and frost the top. Then place another cake layer down and frost it. Finally, place the third cake layer on top.
- Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake, making the frosting as smooth as possible.
- Decorate the outside with whole pecans if desired.