Hummingbird cake is a Southern classic comprised of a banana/pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting. Y’all, I’m now up to TWO cakes for the year, which is about as many as I made in the entirety of last year.
I got this recipe from The Kitchn, which is my favorite professional-quality resource for baking. The recipes from The Kitchn don’t just explain how to do things, they explain WHY they work and they provide very detailed photo step-by-step instructions. Also, they almost never include dumb personal details about people’s kids that you have to scroll through before the actual recipe.
There are three parts to this recipe: the cake itself, the frosting, and the decorative pineapple “flowers.” (Sadly, these are not potato chips, as many have thought.)
- Preheat oven to 350F, coat 2 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds.
- Mix dry ingredients in large bowl: 3 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.
- Mix wet ingredients: 3 eggs, 3/4 cup canola oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 8-oz can crushed pineapple, 2 cups ripe mashed banana. It’s ok if lumpy.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients then fold in 1 cup chopped pecans. Don’t overmix.
- Pour the mix evenly into the 2 pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. (I checked at 40 and felt like it could use another 5 minutes which seemed fine.)
- Cool the cakes in pans for 10 minutes then flip out to finish cooling.
(You may recall that in my previous post, I discussed having problems with my 9-inch cake pan. Well, that’s because I’m a moron and I thought I had a 9-inch cake pan but it was actually clearly a much smaller pan. I realized this when I went to the store and looked at the actual 9-inch pans. Problem now solved.)
- Beat 1 cup room temperature butter for about 1 minute until smooth.
- Add 8 oz room temperature cream cheese and beat for about 3 minutes.
- Add 1 pound sifted powdered sugar, about 4.5 cups, gradually adding 1 cup at a time and scraping down sides.
- Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Beat again for 3-5 minutes.
- Once the cake is cool, frost it. It’s a pretty simple layer cake frosting. Put one layer of the cake on the stand and anchor it down with a smudge of frosting on the very bottom. Then put 1/3 of the frosting on top of the cake. Then put the other layer of the cake on top and put another 1/3 of frosting on the top layer. Finally put the last 1/3 of the frosting on the sides. It’s definitely more than enough frosting so you won’t run out, just mush it on as well as you can.
- Set oven to 200F. If you just baked your cake, leave the door open for a little bit to bring it down from 350. Put a rack on the lowest part of the oven and remove the other racks.
- Take a WHOLE PINEAPPLE, cut off the top and bottom, and peel it. Trim off the “eyes.”
- Thinly slice the pineapple into 1/8 inch thick rounds. The recipe says that it should yield 24-36 thin slices.
- Pat the slices dry with paper towels.
- Set up the slices on wire racks on a baking sheet. The recipe suggested using multiple wire racks stacked using foil balls as spacers so that you can fit all the pineapple on one baking sheet without overlapping them.
- Bake for 2-3 hours.
- Once you remove them, you can shape them around muffin tins, glasses, or your hands if you want. Then put them on top of the cake!
- This cake tasted really good! It was kind of like banana bread, but sweeter and more cakey.
- The cream cheese frosting was also amazing and went REALLY well with the pineapple flowers. If you don’t want to make a cake I recommend just making pineapple flowers and dipping them into the frosting yum yum.
- I need to order some of those pre-cut parchment paper rounds if I’m gonna keep making round cakes. It’s really annoying to cut them out by hand.
- The most difficult part of this was the pineapple flowers. I think my problem was that some of my slices were too thick. But even the ones that weren’t as thick definitely weren’t ready at 3 hours. It took about 4 hours for the thinnest slices to get to a consistency I liked for decorations. I had to get somewhere so sadly I left behind about half the slices in the oven.
- I would want to get fancier with decorations. You could do fun stuff with toasted pecans, or piping the frosting on top in prettier ways!