The original Hummingbird cake recipe was published in Southern Living Magazine in 1978. The origin of the name of this recipe is not known but theories confirm this cake is named because people hum while eating because it is so delicious. Ridiculous! Others say this cake is named after a tiny hummingbird that loves sweets as this cake is so very sweet. That's true enough! My recipe version is not very traditional to the Southern original because I like the combination of coconut, bananas and pineapple with a coconut & rum cream cheese frosting. The addition of a bit of spiced rum helps me to name this recipe "Happy Hummingbird Cake". The original Hummingbird Cake is rather like a kicked up banana quick bread as it is mixed by hand. I like to use my electric hand mixer on low speed to keep the batter lighter in texture without the density of a quickbread. You can top the frosting with extra nuts, toasted coconut and grated dried pineapple for a beautiful presentation and more crunch in every bite. Store this cake in the refrigerator and serve cool. Lorraine —Lorraine Fina Stevenski
ripe bananas, peeled, coarsely mashed
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice
chopped pecans, toasted & cooled
sweetened coconut flakes, toasted & cooled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat three 9" cake pans with cooking spray. Line each with parchment cut to fit.
MAKE THE CAKE: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
With an electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs, oil, rum and vanilla extract until smooth.
On low speed, add the bananas, pineapple (with the juice), pecans and coconut. Beat just until blended.
Continuing on low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat just until moistened.
Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pans, remove and then cool completely on a rack before frosting the cake. Refrigerate for ease in frosting; best made the night before frosting.
MAKE THE FROSTING: With an electric stand mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, rum, coconut extract and vanilla extract until smooth. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar. Beat on high speed until smooth and light; about 2 minutes. Use the wire whip attachment for extra light frosting consistency.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: Evenly frost the bottom layer, then the middle then the top; frost evenly to the edge of each layer. Use the remaining frosting to complete the sides. Blend it all together with creative swirls. Top with chopped pecans, toasted coconut and grated dried pineapple. Store in the refrigerator; serve cool.