Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake

Community Classics .
Edited on May 10, 2003

This is the Quintessential Southern Cake Recipe. It is moist, flavorful, and rich. It serves 12 to 16 generously. There are many stories about how Hummingbird Cake came to be, personally, I think it came from my maternal grandmother who made it back in 1924 West Virginia for my grandfather when they were courting! It was so good.. he married her and took her to Minnesota! Wherever or however this cake recipe came to be, it is a sure-bet crowd pleaser!


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 whole eggs, large or x-large
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup salad oil, (vegetable, corn, canola, safflower, do not use olive oil)
18 oz. crushed pineapple
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups crushed bananas, mashed, but somewhat chunky-ish
1/2 cup coconut flakes
Icing Ingredients:
2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup of pecans, chopped and toasted
2 16 oz. boxes powdered sugar, (or a whole 2 lb. bag)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 round layer cake pans, or one large bundt or tube pan, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, and just lightly mix to disperse all the dry ingredients together. In another large mixing bowl, place the eggs, vanilla, and salad oil and blend together for about 1-2 minutes, until everything is well mixed together. Add the crushed pineapple, pecans, bananas, and the coconut flakes. Using a strong wooden spoon or big paddle rubber type spatula, blend together all these ingredients, until they are mixed.
The next part is important that you do it correctly; it will make your cake tough or tender. From the well mixed dry ingredients, the flour mixture, take about 1/4 of it and mix it until it is blended, but not overworked. Beating it will not make it better, it will make it tough. Then, add about 1/2 of what is left in the flour bowl and just fold it in. When it is just starting to blend in, add the remaining flour and fold it in to the batter. As soon as all the flour is moistened and mixed into the wet mixture, pour it into your cake pan(s). Bake for 30 minutes if you are using round cake pans, and for 60 minutes if you are using a bundt or tube pan. Place the pans in the center, but not more than the top third of your oven. Use the toothpick test for doneness. This is a very moist and rich cake and a fingertip test will not work. When it is done baking, take from the oven and cool on racks before taking them out of the cake pans to ice them.
Icing Directions:
Make sure the cake(s) are completely cooled. This is important. Then, in a large mixing bowl, place the cream cheese, the butter, vanilla, pecans, and the powdered sugar, using the lowest speed of your mixer, or with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, begin to mix the ingredients together, once the powdered sugar has become somewhat moistened, you can use the electric mixer to beat it until it is smooth and creamy, (if you need to moisten the icing at all, use very tiny drops at a time, and sparingly use milk). Using a rubber spatula or whatever you are most comfortable using, frost the layers of the round cakes first if that is what you made, and put them together. Then, once you have a three layer cake, or the bundt cake sitting on a pretty platter, start icing the sides first, leaving enough to frost the top of the cake, and finish frosting the top of the cake. There should be plenty of frosting. You can garnish this cake with whole or chopped toasted pecans if you like.

Not a NESTLÉ®-tested recipe.

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