Cream Cheese

Hummingbird Cake

May 19, 2015
3 Ratings
  • Serves 10 to 12
Author Notes

Filled with bananas, pineapples, pecans, and layered with thick cream cheese frosting, Hummingbird Cake is Carrot Cake’s lesser-known (but hunkier) sibling. —modest marce

What You'll Need
  • For the cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 cups raw sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chopped raw pecans
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, or as desired
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease two 8-inch circular cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl using a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.
  5. Stir in the pineapple and bananas. Add the coconut, if desired.
  6. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until just combined. It is important to not over-mix this batter.
  7. Stir in the pecans and evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Let the cakes cool completely before removing them from the pans and frosting (recipe below).
  1. For the frosting:
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Once the sugar is well incorporated, add the cream cheese in chunks and mix until it is evenly combined. Do not over-mix after adding the cream cheese as the frosting will become runny.
  4. Frost cake as desired (I usually slice each cake in half length-wise, then frost each of the layers, then around the exterior) and enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laura Dembowski
    Laura Dembowski
  • Allison Conant
    Allison Conant
  • Heather Phelps-Lipton
    Heather Phelps-Lipton
  • Lee Lackey
    Lee Lackey
  • modest marce
    modest marce

10 Reviews

Laura D. February 18, 2021
I turned this into paleo muffins with quite a few little alterations, but keeping the soul of the recipe and they were outstanding. Clearly, it's an awesome recipe that it can be tinkered with and still be crazy good. I shared them with some friends and they couldn't say enough good things. The best muffins I've maybe made in my entire life. I posted about them on my blog if anyone is interested:
Allison C. April 19, 2019
Did anyone try to make the frosting on this? I did and it never got fluffy. It was just pea-sized bits. I had to start over w/ a different recipe.
Heather P. December 22, 2018
I baked this with coconut oil (instead of canola) for my sis's b-day cake and it was divine. great recipe!
Nancy April 3, 2016
Could you substitute coconut oil for the canola oil?
Heather P. December 22, 2018
yes! i did and it was excellent.
Peggy June 29, 2015
Looks delicious! Any chance you could substitute a white cake mix for the dry ingredients?
pistolwink June 17, 2015
A great cake!
For a (slightly) less calorie-heavy version, I replaced 1/2 cup of the oil with the same amount of applesauce, reduced the sugar to 2 cups, and made a half-portion of frosting (which was enough for a thin coating all around and between two layers). I found that the cakes took closer to an hour to cook through, possibly because of my substitutions.
modest M. June 17, 2015
i do the apple sauce trick to when i'm feeling healthy..ish ;)
Lee L. June 17, 2015
I'm a South Carolina native and grew up on hummingbird cake.
I noticed you call for two pans, but there are four layers. Did you slice the the two layers in half?
modest M. June 17, 2015
yes! i do two cakes and slice them in half. you can also separate the batter into 4 cake pans, i just don't own that many:)