The Hummingbird 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 familiar with this cake but upon researching it I discovered that it’s really not that different from a traditional carrot cake!
So naturally when I set out to recreate this recipe for Hummingbird Cake
I used my carrot cake recipe as a starting point with a few tweaks to make it authentically Hummingbird, with pineapple, pecans and an array of spices!
The Hummingbird Cake is of Jamaican decent and was known as the Dr. Bird Cake
An appropriate nickname owed to 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.
Notes for Success and Substitutions
I’ve lightened up this recipe by replacing some of the oil with applesauce, if you cannot get it or don’t want to buy it you can simply add the oil back in at the same amount as listed for the applesauce
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 unedible flowers into the cake, or simply use edible flowers to avoid causing any harm to anyone eating the cake.
This recipe makes 3- 7″ Cake Layers but you can also divide the batter between 2-8″ cake pans for a 2 layer cake instead
- 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
- 1 Recipe 2-2-2 Cream Cheese Icing
- Prepare your cake pans with grease & parchment paper lining
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- 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 drained pineapple and the nuts then mix smooth
- Pour batter into your prepared cake pans and bake immediately at 350°F in a preheated oven for approximately 35-40 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 in the pans until you can safely touch them with your fingers & then flip out onto a cooling rack to cool completely
- Prepare the Cream Cheese Icing and then assemble cake as shown in the video
Hummingbird cake can be left at room temperature for up to 1 day but because it is so soft it would do better refrigerated for up to 1 week