The Easy Hummingbird Cake

This easy hummingbird cake is a combination of the sweet flavor of over-ripe banana, the tropical essence of pineapple, and the nutty crunch of toasted pecans. It’s also super moist, and not too dense. There’s just something special about this cake!

The Easy Hummingbird Cake stands out as a testament to Southern hospitality. Hummingbird cake is a banana-pineapple spice cake originating in Jamaica and a popular dessert in the southern United States since the 1970s. It quickly became a beloved Southern classic after the recipe was published in Southern Living magazine in 1978.

The cake’s unique blend of ingredients – ripe bananas, crushed pineapple, and toasted pecans – creates a moist, flavorful dessert with a tangy cream cheese frosting. This combination of tropical fruits and savory nuts, all under a smooth blanket of cream cheese frosting, makes Hummingbird Cake an irresistible treat.

Easy Hummingbird Cake sort of tastes like carrot cake and banana bread blended together. It’s also packed full of pineapple, banana, pecans and topped with a smooth cream cheese icing.

I make this Hummingbird Cake in a sheet pan. It’s incredibly moist, flavorful, and perfect for any occasion.

Gathering Your Ingredients

Ingredients for the easy hummingbird cake

To craft this delicious Easy Hummingbird Cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of allspice (optional)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cups of oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2 cups of very ripe bananas, roughly four medium-sized ones
  • 1 cup of toasted chopped pecans, (walnuts, or hazelnuts)

For the frosting, gather these ingredients:

  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

When shopping for these ingredients, freshness is key. Choose ripe, aromatic bananas and high-quality canned pineapple. Your choice of nuts should be fresh and crunchy – consider buying them whole and chopping them yourself because they have the best taste.

For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, you can substitute the eggs with flax eggs for a vegan option or use a gluten-free flour mix instead of regular flour. You can also use coconut instead of regular oil for a healthier twist. Always adjust your baking time and temperature according to any substitutions you make. Enjoy your baking!

The Art of Preparation

the easy hummingbird cake in a 9x13 cakepan

Before mixing your ingredients, a few crucial preparation steps can make all the difference in your final Hummingbird Cake. These include preheating your oven, preparing baking pans, toasting the nuts, and choosing the right pan.

Preheating the Oven

To start, preheat your oven to 350℉ (around 175℃). Preheating is essential because it ensures a consistent temperature throughout baking, leading to an evenly baked cake. It’s an easy step to overlook, but take our word for it: your cake will thank you.

  1. Turn on the oven’s heat setting to 350℉.
  2. Let the oven heat up for at least 15 minutes before you put your cake in.
  3. If you have one, use an oven thermometer to confirm the temperature.

Preparing the Baking Pans

The right preparation of your baking pans can differ between a cake that easily slides or one that stubbornly sticks to the pan. To prevent the latter, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Lightly grease your cake pan with butter or a healthy spritz of cooking spray.
  2. Dust the greased pan with a thin layer of flour, then tap out the excess.
  3. Pay special attention to the center tube and crevices if using a bundt pan.

Toasting the Nuts

Toasting the nuts before you add them to the batter can profoundly impact your cake’s flavor. It also amplifies the nutty taste and lends an irresistible aroma. Follow these steps:

  1. Spread your choice of nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Toast them in your oven for 5-10 minutes or until lightly golden.
  3. Allow the nuts to cool before adding them to your batter.

Options for Pan Selection

The type of pan you choose can affect your cake’s baking time and final appearance. Here are some options:

  1. Bundt Pan: This pan gives your cake a decorative, ring-like shape. However, it requires a longer baking time of 55 to 60 minutes.
  2. Cake Pans: Three 9-inch cake pans will give you a classic three-layer cake. Each layer will need around 25 to 30 minutes to bake.
  3. Sheet Pan: A 13×9 sheet pan is a practical choice for a large, single-layer cake. It will take around 45 minutes to bake.

Adjust the oven heat and baking times, regardless of your chosen pan.

Crafting the Perfect Batter for the Easy Hummingbird Cake

The secret to a moist and flavorful Hummingbird Cake lies in its batter. This is where all our chosen ingredients come together to create the foundation of our cake. Here’s how you can make the perfect batter for your Hummingbird Cake:

  1. Combining Dry Ingredients: Start by whisking the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Ensure they are mixed well, and set this bowl aside.
  2. Mixing Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Then, add the oil and vanilla extract, stirring until these ingredients are well incorporated. Add the crushed pineapple with its juice, followed by the ripe bananas. Mix until you have a uniform blend.
  3. Merging the Two: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Stir the batter gently, ensuring all components are well combined but being careful not to overmix. Overmixing can lead to a dense cake rather than the light, moist texture we aim for.
  4. Adding the Nuts: Mix the batter well and fold in the toasted nuts. Next, stir them in with a spoon to ensure even distribution.

Remember, the batter is the heart of your Easy Hummingbird Cake. Take your time and enjoy this step of the process. It’s all part of the baking experience!

Baking the Easy Hummingbird Cake

Determining the optimal baking time is paramount to achieving the perfect texture as well as moistness. It’s time to bake your cake when the oven is preheated to the right temperature.

  1. The Initial Stage: Pour the batter evenly into your prepared baking pan. Place the pan in the center of your preheated oven. This location ensures even heat distribution for a uniformly baked cake.
  2. Monitoring the Progress: Depending on the type of pan you’re using, set a timer for the lower end of the suggested baking time. For example, if you’re using a bundt pan, set the timer for 55 minutes. If you’re using 9-inch cake pans, set the timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Testing for Doneness: The toothpick test is the key to knowing when your cake is made. Insert a clean toothpick into the center of the cake. Your cake is done if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. If the toothpick comes out wet, it needs more time. Continue baking, checking every five minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cooling: Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Remember, every oven is unique, and temperatures can vary, so keeping a close eye on your cake, especially towards the end of baking, is important. Patience, attention to detail, and a little trial and error will lead you to your Easy Hummingbird Cake’s sweet spot!

The Cooling Process: Patience is a Virtue

Patience truly shines during the cooling process of your Easy Hummingbird Cake. Rushing this stage could lead to a crumbled cake or melted frosting—situations we’d all like to avoid. Here’s how to patiently and effectively cool your cake:

  1. In the Pan: Let your cake rest in its pan for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. This initial cooling period makes removing the cake from the pan easier without breaking it apart.
  2. On a Wire Rack: Gently turn the cake onto a wire cooling rack after the initial cooling. The rack’s open design allows air to circulate the cake, cooling it evenly and quickly.
  3. Patience Pays Off: Let your cake cool completely on the wire rack. This could take an hour or two, but it’s a crucial step. Attempting to frost a warm cake can result in a runny, messy frosting.

Remember, patience is a virtue, especially in baking. Let your cake take its sweet time to cool, and it will reward you with the perfect texture and taste.

Unveiling the Finishing Touch: Cream Cheese Frosting

The crowning glory of any Easy Hummingbird Cake is the creamy, tangy cream cheese frosting. It perfectly contrasts the cake’s fruity, nutty flavors and adds a beautiful finish to our baked masterpiece. Here’s how to prepare this delightful frosting:

  1. Gather Your Ingredients: For this frosting, you’ll need cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. The cream cheese as well as the butter should be at room temperature for a smooth, lump-free frosting.
  2. Mixing the Frosting: Start by beating the cream cheese and butter until they are well combined and creamy. Then, gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Finally, stir in the vanilla extract. The result should be a light, fluffy, and creamy frosting.
  3. Applying the Frosting: Ensure your cake is completely cool before frosting. Use a spatula or a butter knife to spread a generous amount of frosting evenly over the top of your cake. If you’re dealing with layered cakes, apply frosting between each layer and on the outside.
  4. Decorating: You could leave your cake simply frosted or add a touch of elegance by sprinkling some toasted nuts over the top. This adds to the look of your cake. It also enhances the flavor, giving each bite a delightful crunch.

The cream cheese frosting completes the Hummingbird Cake in terms of looks and flavor. It’s the perfect finish to a baking journey filled with joy, patience, and the sweet scent of success!

Serving Suggestions and Storage Tips for the Easy Hummingbird Cake

Serving your Easy Hummingbird Cake is an occasion in itself. Place the frosted cake on a cake stand or a large serving platter for an elegant presentation. Cut the cake into generous slices using a serrated knife. This ensures a clean cut without disturbing the frosting or crumbling the cake.

For a touch of indulgence, you could serve each slice of cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, you could pair an afternoon tea, such as Hibiscus Tea with a hot cup of your favorite coffee.

Proper storage can extend the life of your Easy Hummingbird Cake and maintain its quality. If you have leftovers:

  • Room Temperature: If you plan to consume the cake within 1-2 days, it can be kept at room temperature. Cover it with a cake dome or an overturned large bowl to protect it from dust and drying out.
  • Refrigerator: For storage for up to a week, wrap the cake or cake slices in cling film, place them in an airtight container, then store them in the refrigerator. The cold temperature will keep the frosting firm and the cake fresh.
  • Freezer: If you’d like to enjoy your cake beyond a week, freezing is a good option. Wrap individual slices in cling film, followed by a layer of aluminum foil, then store them in a freezer-safe bag or container. The cake can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. in order to serve, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Remember, allowing refrigerated or frozen cake to reach room temperature before serving is best to ensure the best flavor and texture. Enjoy your Easy Hummingbird Cake on demand by storing it correctly, and you’ll have a delicious treat ready whenever the craving strikes!

Conclusion

In conclusion, creating the perfect Easy Hummingbird Cake is easy to do. Just whisk together dry ingredients, then mix together the wet ingredients. Blend the wet and dry ingredients together and bake. Once your Hummingbird Cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes add the final flourish of cream cheese frosting and you’re done.

So, embrace the process, revel in the sweet aromas wafting from your kitchen, and look forward to the satisfaction of that first delectable bite.

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Happy cooking and bon appétit!

a slice of hummingbird cake on a small plate

Hummingbird Cake

homemadefoodfromscratch
This Easy Hummingbird Cake is a combination of the sweet flavor of over-ripe banana, the tropical essence of pineapple, and the nutty crunch of toasted pecans. It’s also super moist.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 1 9 x 13 pan
  • 2 8- or 9-inch round pans

Ingredients
  

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice optional

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 2 cups very ripe bananas around 4 medium
  • 1 cup chopped pecans walnuts, or hazelnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter softened 4 ounces
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 350℉

  • Grease and flour the pans you will use. You may also use a cooking spray.

Pans that can be used

  • 12 cup bundt and the extra batter in a smaller pan
  • 2 8- inch cake pan evenly distributed
  • 13 x 9 sheet pan

Cake Directions

  • Beat the bananas with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in the pineapple with juice.
  • Add the vanilla, eggs, and oil.

Dry Ingredients

  • Whisk together the flour, spices, sugar, salt, baking soda.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stir together until just blended.
  • Fold in the nuts.
  • Pour into the pan you prefer to use.
    I do this in a 13 x 9 pan.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350℉.
  • 13 x 9 around 45 minutes
  • Bundt pan for 55 to 60 minutes
  • Cake pans 8-9 inches around 25 to 30 minutes
  • Cool the cake completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) of butter
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Beat all ingredients until smooth.

Notes

Nutrition:  419 Calories   27g Fat   35g Carbs   2g Protein
Keyword cake, hummingbird cake

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