Thanks to a facebook article titled “What cake was the most popular the year you were born?”
The Hummingbird Cake has been popping up everywhere!
This cake was widely featured back in the late 1970’s and has recently regained popularity.
Since I was just a wee one back in the late 70’s I was not too familiar with this cake, but upon researching it I discovered it is really not that different than a traditional carrot cake.
So naturally when I set out to recreate it, I used my carrot cake recipe as a starting point.
The Hummingbird Cake is of Jamaican decent and was known as the Dr. Bird Cake; an appropriate nickname after the Red-billed Streamertail hummingbird native to the island.
It is said that the cakes sweetness is enough to attract hummingbirds just as they would be attracted to nectar.
Perhaps the original recipe made from pineapple and bananas was sweeter than my version because I have to say my veganized rendition of this classic is not too sweet but rather just perfect!
With a light cream cheese filling and buttercream icing this cake is going to have you back for seconds!
The subtle cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg tie it all together and the fresh flower decor is (in my opinion) the winning touch!
If you are using fresh flowers for decor like I did, be sure to dip the end stems into white chocolate as a buffer from getting anything unwanted from inedible flowers into the cake, or siply use edible flowers to avoid causing any harm to anyone eating the cake.
- Vegetable Oil ½ cup (118ml)
- Applesauce ½ cup (113g)
- All Purpose Flour 1¾ cup (220g)
- Baking Powder 1 teaspoon (4g)
- Baking Soda 1 teaspoon (4g)
- Salt ¼ teaspoon
- Ground Cinnamon 1¼ teaspoon
- Nutmeg ½ teaspoon
- Brown Sugar ½ cup (105g)
- Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
- Ripe Banana 1½ large or equivalent to 1cup
- Crushed Pineapple Drained 1 cup
- Vanilla Extract 1½ teaspoons (7ml)
- Orange Zest from ½ large orange approx 1½ teaspoon
- Toasted Pecans 1¼ cup
- In a large bowl combine the sugars with the oil, vanilla extract, mashed banana and applesauce, whisk smooth
- Add the orange zest
- Then sift together all of the dry ingredients directly into the bowl and whisk smooth
- Add the pineapple and the nuts then mix smooth
- Pour batter into greased and parchment lined cake pans and bake immediately at 350°F in a preheated oven for approximately 28-40 minutes depending on the size of your pans. Or until the cakes are springy to the touch when you gently press the centers
- Cool cakes while you prepare the Cream Cheese Icing recipe below and then assemble cake as shown in the video
For the Cream Cheese Filling Recipe:
I did not add it in the video, but you can (as I often do) add 1 teaspoon with the extracts
- Vegan Cream Cheese 2 Tubs (2cups) (454g)
- Vegan Butter 1 stick (½ cup) (112g)
- Confectioner's Sugar 1½ cups (180g)
- Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
- Almond Extract 1 teaspoon
- Apple Cider Vinegar *optional 1 teaspoon - see note above
- Smooth the vegan butter with the sifted confectioners sugar either by hand with a large wooden spoon or with an electric mixer, and then add the extracts
- Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure you don't have any lumps.
- Add the vegan cream cheese and mix smooth
- Try to not to whip it to fast (if you are using an electric mixer as this will cause your icing to go "soupy")
- Refrigerate until you are going to use it to fill & ice your cake
This recipe will last for up to 10 days in a clean airtight container in the refrigerator or as an icing or filling for your cake
I used my vegan Buttercream recipe for the icing, but you can go all cream cheese for the filling and for the icing if you prefer, simply by doubling the cream cheese recipe above.