Hummingbird Cake Recipe: A Southern Classic |

Hummingbird Cake Recipe: A Southern Classic

Aug 18, 2020

Time: Active: 20 minutes | Total: 2 hours Yield: 12 servings

Oh, Hummingbird cake. How I love you. It was a birthday tradition in my family. Or at least a cake I frequently requested. And I gotta admit, it made for the best day-after-birthday breakfast.

hummingbird cake
|The third layer was eaten prior by little (and big) fingers|

However, if you’ve never heard of it (which don’t worry– you are in the large majority on this one), it’s Jamaican in origin and made its way to the US in the 1960s. So relatively new as far as cakes go in my opinion.

It is a concoction of just about everything. Everything except hummingbirds. You’ve got bananas, pineapples and spices. But it’s made in such a way that it doesn’t jump out as a banana bread cake. Or maybe that’s because of the delicious cream cheese frosting?

You’ll now find lots of recipe variations, but my family’s tried and true Hummingbird Cake recipe comes from Southern Living Magazine. And it’s what I am using and sharing with you today. It’s now a classic and Southern Living’s most popular recipes. Which is quite a title because they know how to make some good food.

Humming Bird Cake tear-out from Southern Living

So let’s get to it! Here is my all-time favorite Hummingbird Cake recipe:


Cake Layers

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1.5 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large egg, beaten
  • 1.2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice, undreained
  • 2 cups chopped ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Vegetable shortening

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 (16 oz) pkg powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Additional Ingredients

  • ¾ cup pecan halves, toasted


Step 1: Make batter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and toasted pecans.

Step 2: Prep and Divide

Divide batter evenly among 3 well-greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Step 3: Bake

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely, about 1 hour.

Step 4: Make Frosting

Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 5: Assemble

Assemble Cake: Place 1 Cake Layer on a serving platter; spread top with 1 cup of the frosting. Top with second layer, and spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with third layer, and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange pecan halves on top of cake. (Or have your child sprinkle pecans and exhibit lack of will power by poking cake when you turn your back)

hummingbird cake

Recipe Source: Southern Living

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