Old Fashioned Hummingbird Cake Recipe

2 mins read

This popular southern Old Fashioned Hummingbird Cake is an moist and flavorful layer cake. Made with ripe banana, perfectly sweet pineapple, chopped pecans and swirls of cream cheese frosting.


All About this Old Fashioned Hummingbird Cake

  • Dense, moist, and flavorful. Similar to a banana bread, but paired with tropical flavors!
  • Topped with creamy, smooth swirls of cream cheese frosting.
  • No oils included! This cake gets its tender, moist crumb from other ingredients.
  • Easy to prepare!
  • Always a crowd pleaser! This cake feeds a crowd, making it perfect for holidays, like Easter or summer parties.

What is Hummingbird Cake?

Hummingbird cake is a banana-pineapple spice cake that originated in Jamaica in the 1960s. It was first published in Southern Living in 1978, making it a popular southern dessert recipe.

Ingredients Needed

  • All Purpose Flour: this recipe hasn’t been tested with other flours.
  • Banana: be sure to grab or use bananas that are nice and ripe, they should have dark brown spots on them. The more ripe the banana the sweeter they are.
  • Crushed Pineapple: adds sweetness, moisture and flavor. Typically found in cans, if you are using fresh pineapple you can simply chop it up and pulse in a food processor until crushed.
  • Applesauce: use unsweetened.
  • Butter: adding extra fat and moisture to the cake.
  • Coconut Oil: this in addition to the applesauce and butter is making up our moisture in the cake instead of using seed oils.
  • Cinnamon & All Spice: warm spices add another element to the flavoring.
  • Sugar & Light Brown Sugar: using both adds moisture and flavor to the cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is topped with luscious, creamy swirls of cream cheese frosting. A classic combination of simple ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla

How to Make

  1. Prepare Batter: Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together separately, then slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until thick batter forms.
  2. Pecans: Add in the chopped pecans and fold into the batter.
  3. Bake: Evenly divide the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake. Once the cakes are cooled, prepare the frosting.
  4. Frost: Place the first layer on a serving plate or cake stand, add the frosting to the top in a smooth layer, then top with the remaining cake layer and frost the rest of the cake.


Why do they call it Hummingbird Cake?

The Hummingbird Cake originated in Jamaica in the 0s, and it’s said to be sweet enough to attract hummingbirds. Other opinions say that the yellow streaks of banana are reminiscent of the colors of the hummingbirds native to Jamaica.

Is Hummingbird Cake a Southern thing?

The first publication of the recipe was in Southern Living in 1978, submitted by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. This launched the cake recipe in America throughout the Southern states.

What does a Hummingbird Cake taste like?

This cake recipe is dense and moist, with a texture and flavor similar to banana bread, with a hint of tropical f


Make Ahead and Storage

  • Make Ahead: this cake can be made ahead of time. Let the layers cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and store at room temperature for one day. When ready, prepare the frosting and frost and assemble the cake.
  • Leftovers: this cake should be stored in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese frosting. Store in a sealed container to prevent drying out.
  • Freezing Instructions: This cake can be frozen with or without frosting. To freeze frosted, assemble and place on a freezer safe tray, frost and set in freezer, once it’s frozen, then wrap to store for up to 3 months. If freezing un-frosted, let the cakes cool to room temperature, then wrap with plastic wrap, then with foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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