Classic Hummingbird Cake

Catherine Baker
Hummingbird Cake

Serves: 12 to 16

Hands On Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 0 minutes



3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

3 large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice

1 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans


1 pound cream cheese, softened

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt


To make the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla to the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly. Mix in the bananas and pineapple. Fold in 1 cup of the pecans.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans, and lightly tap on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of each cake, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer cakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting: Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Continue to beat until incorporated, and beat in the vanilla and salt until smooth.

Once the cakes have cooled, place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate of choice. Add 1/4 cup frosting and spread evenly over the cake. Add another cake layer, and repeat the frosting step. Top with the final cake layer and use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with the remaining 1/4 cup pecans and serve.

About the recipe

Hummingbird Cake may be a classic Southern recipe, but the moist spice cake originates from the tropical island of Jamaica and is filled with the native fruits found there — bananas and pineapple. Named after the Jamaican national bird, Hummingbird Cake is traditionally served with a cream cheese frosting and toasted pecan topping. It is perfect for any celebration, no matter the season, and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.