Monday, May 13, 2013

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Layer Cake

I made my mom this cake Sunday afternoon. A Hummingbird Cake and it was so good.


This cake is basically healthy. At least in my mind it is.

I mean bananas, pineapple and nuts.

It’s like dieting.


Okay, maybe not so much. Especially with the generous amount of cream cheese frosting I slathered all over it.

When I was a kid I would have skipped cake like this rather than putting something non-chocolate in my mouth.

Yeah, would not have touched it. Or I would have picked out all the nuts. Pecans and pineapple were not on the list of approved foods.

But my mom loves them. So I thought this would be a great cake to make for her.

Chopped Pecans

Chopped and toasted pecans. Yum. I’m glad I can say that now.

Cake Making

The cake is super easy to throw together, too. You don’t even need to break out your mixer for the batter. A spoon will do the trick.


The recipe makes a giant cake. Three 9-inch layers.

Level the cakes with a serrated knife to remove the mounded tops and make for a more even cake and easier to frost.

Potter Wheel Cake Stand

Here’s something else I use that makes frosting cakes a bit easier for me.

I bought this pottery wheel thing to place my cakes on. It’s awesome. And heavy and spins fast and smooth.

Cake Stand

And the nice part is you can easily lift the plate right off the base.

Amaco No. 5 Pottery Decorating Wheel The metal isn’t polished, so some areas could have a sharp or rough spot.

Cake Layer

The removable base makes it easy to hold up in the air and see things at eye level.

I had a plastic turntable meant for cake decorating, but I didn’t like that one so much. This one just feels better in my hands. But that’s probably because it’s on the smaller side. The plate is just 7 inches in diameter, but still worked out perfectly for this 9-inch cake.


Spin and spread.

Hummingbird Cake

I tried to go for that whole my cake is so messy that it’s beautiful look.

I think I need to practice more.

Hummingbird Cake

But that’s okay. It’s what’s on the inside that counts… And my mom loved it.

Hope you do too.

Hummingbird Cake

Servings: 1 9-inch three layer cake


  • CAKE
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, liquid included
  • 2 cups chopped ripe bananas
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 32 oz. confectioner's sugar


  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Prepare toasted pecans. Chop pecans in small pieces and place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and keeping your eye on them so they don't burn. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Whisk together flour, soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Add lightly beaten eggs, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Add crushed pineapple and cut up bananas and stir until combined. Finally stir in 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans. Reserve the rest to sprinkle on top of the cake if desired.
  6. Spread batter evenly among cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and let cool.
  7. For the frosting: In a mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low, slowly add confectioner's sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl often.
  8. To assemble: Gently level cakes using a large serrated knife to remove any mounded tops. Place first layer cut side down and spread frosting on top with an offset spatula. Continue with the remaining two layers and then frost the sides. Store in fridge.
Source: Adapted from Southern
Liz said...

That looks divine. i could just eat a slice right now with a big cup of coffee!

May 13, 2013 02:57 AM
Jayne said...

Ah! I just saw this on Elise @ Simple Recipes and now this here! It’s a sign. I’ve got to make this. I first had this at a small bakery a few months ago and was mindblown.

May 13, 2013 03:07 AM
selma said...

cok guzel

May 13, 2013 03:09 AM
Laura | The Velvet Doe said...

I made a Hummingbird Cake for my Mom for Mothers Day too! Great minds (and taste buds) think alike…. :)

May 13, 2013 03:41 AM
Cindy C said...

I have literally been looking at cake recipes all night, and this one looks fabulous! My mom’s day cake was Chocolate with Butterfinger crumbes everywhere… I may have to try this one for her birthday!

May 13, 2013 04:27 AM
Beth said...

I’ve heard of hummingbird cake, but I’ve never made it before. I’ll have to try it. Sounds like it would be really tasty! Certainly looks great!

May 13, 2013 05:04 AM
icakepops said...

The Hummingbird cake is supposed to be a symbol of sweetness. Perfect for Mother’s Day! I would also like to try to make an old fashioned graham cracker cake.

May 13, 2013 06:57 AM
Milika said...

Yay. I must say, the inside doesn’t look too appetising though. But you did a great job! <3

May 13, 2013 07:12 AM
nessa said...

This looks great! If only I weren’t allergic to nuts…

May 13, 2013 07:31 AM
Allison @ bakingyear said...

Oh my gosh…I have been looking for a good recipe to use bananas with. This looks DELICIOUS! I cannot wait to make it!!!

May 13, 2013 07:41 AM
shelly (cookies and cups) said...

I have never had hummingbird cake! You have officially kicked my butt into gear :)

May 13, 2013 07:46 AM
Aimee said...

Looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it. Thank you.

May 13, 2013 07:51 AM
Doretta Smith said...

This cake brings back a lot of memories, my grandmother used to make this cake regularly. This is going to be my next cake. Thanks for sharing.

May 13, 2013 07:56 AM
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

I’ve never tried a hummingbird cake and this one looks fabulous!

May 13, 2013 07:58 AM
Connie said...

Hey, I would love that one too! Those are my favorite ingredients! :) Ok, besides chocolate. It looks really fantastic.

May 13, 2013 08:01 AM
mindy1 said...

This looks like an amped up version of my dad’s banana cake :D too bad i hate banana :((

May 13, 2013 08:26 AM
Amy said...

The cake looks lovely-and I am sure your mother loved it. I love the “cake stand” and think I am going to have to get me one of those!

May 13, 2013 08:33 AM
Seanna Lea said...

I’ll have to make this sometime. I wonder if it would be as good with a coconut oil buttercream frosting instead for my lactose intolerant friends.

May 13, 2013 08:40 AM
Katie said...

I confess, I’d never had “Hummingbird Cake” until last year –when I was 35 years old! For whatever reason it didn’t seem like something that would appeal to me. Of course it was love at first bite!
I’m going to try this recipe with a coconut element (maybe the icing?). You know, to make it even MORE healthy. Hope you and your Mom had a great Mother’s Day!

May 13, 2013 09:30 AM
Paula Hylbak said...

Would this make great cake balls?

May 13, 2013 09:38 AM
Lantana said...

I have never tried hummingbird cake before. I heard that it’s really good though. Yours looks yummy though! I am having a Muppet Show themed birthday party in August, where I will try to recreate your lovely cake pops of the Muppets. I love your site, so much!
<3 Lantana

May 13, 2013 09:52 AM
Monica said...

It’s the perfect diet cake! ;)

May 13, 2013 10:06 AM
Not Only Sugar said...

Oh i love this cake..

Not Only Sugar

May 13, 2013 10:29 AM
Deborah said...

That looks delish and you did a WONDERFUL job decorating it! YUMMY!

May 13, 2013 10:43 AM
Julie said...

Can you say YUM. This is not a cake kids usually like, but I. Love it. Thanks for reminding me to bake one!

May 13, 2013 10:56 AM
Bonnie said...

Hummingbird cake IS delicious. I make it as a bundt cake or in a shaped pan (like my sunflower shaped pan) and then finish it off with a glaze. You can’t go wrong with thick frosting, though.

May 13, 2013 10:58 AM
Cookbook Queen said...

Such a perfect flavor combo…I bet the pineapple makes the cake so moist!!

May 13, 2013 11:43 AM
Sophie said...

I’ve made one of these before really worth it.
Don’t worry if it looks uncooked in the middle it’s just the fruit adding moisture

May 13, 2013 11:46 AM
Michelle said...

That cake looks mighty tasty! And your photography is lovely. Great work!

May 13, 2013 11:47 AM
Grace @ Sweetlandia said...

This is the answer to all of my problems. I only get to bake once a week! Wait till mom sees THIS! BAHAHAHA!

May 13, 2013 11:54 AM
myrna said...

Mmmm! Looks so yummy =)

May 13, 2013 12:19 PM
Brenda said...

I love Hummingbird cake! Yours looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I believe that you forgot to mention that after you level the cake, you must eat what you cut off … It’s the best part ;)

May 13, 2013 12:22 PM
KIMBERLY said...

I wonder where they got the name Hummingbird Cake? Must be the humming sound while you’re eating it. That looks scrumptious. I’ve never had it. Must try soon.

May 13, 2013 12:33 PM
Alex said...

Hi! This look ridiculously delicious *__* i’m from Sardinia (italy) and here it’s impossible to find the pecans, what else can i use?
btw i’m totally in love with your blog :)

May 13, 2013 01:35 PM
Vivian said...

wheeling thing is the best!

May 13, 2013 01:35 PM
Starr said...

Looks fantastic! I love the step by step pictures.

May 13, 2013 02:23 PM
Obsessive Compulsive Baking Disorder said...

Hummingbird cake and carrot cake are two of my absolute favorites and you can definitely *pretend* that they’re healthy! So therefore you can adulterate them with delicious fattening cream cheese frosting! Yum! Need to make hummingbird cake again soon… I definitely think your “Messy but beautiful” look worked too!

Leah x

May 13, 2013 02:35 PM
Lauren said...

This cake looks delicious! I’ve never tried a hummingbird cake before, but I think it’s time to remedy that. And you pulled off the messy but beautiful thing!

May 13, 2013 03:08 PM
Mary said...

I love this cake, but not because of the flavor! My grandma was an old southern gal, and got MORE southern when her sisters came up from Alabama to visit her in Washington state. Oh, but they bickered though! We were there for an afternoon, and the particularly busy sister called out from kitchen “I’m fixing to make us a hummingbird cake- where can I find the orl?” (Yes, orl- that’s phonetic!) Grandma, without missing a beat, called back “I reckon Safeway has some!”

May 13, 2013 03:19 PM
Carla @ Carlas Confections said...

I love hummingbird cake! So beautiful and delicious!!! Im so glad your mom loved it :)

May 13, 2013 05:49 PM
Alyssa said...

This may be the perfect cake to celebrate being done with finals.

May 13, 2013 07:08 PM
Marian (Sweetopia) said...

Looks SO good, Angie! I’ll bet your sweet Mom was super thrilled!

May 13, 2013 07:11 PM
Dedee said...

Love bananas, love pecans, I’m sure I will love this!

May 13, 2013 07:34 PM
Paula said...

Looks amazing!!! Could you replace the banana with anything else…I am unable to eat bananas :(

May 13, 2013 09:17 PM
Stella said...

YUM…Humming Bird Cake is Amazing. First time I had it was 25 yrs ago. A coworker brought to work and it was gone in a blink of an eye. He gave us the recipe and I made once. After having hunt these Watkins extracts. Which was not an easy task. Thank You for sharing, I think I’ll make for my son’s graduation party in a few weeks. HUGS

May 13, 2013 10:21 PM
Laura said...

This is crazy! I always check Bakerella when I get home from a trip and I went to visit my mom for Mother’s Day, what did we make? Hummingbird Cake! NUTS.

May 13, 2013 11:29 PM
Kiran @ said...

Beautiful celebratory cake! Happy Mother’s Day to your mom, Angie :) xo

May 13, 2013 11:50 PM
Lydia said...

Wow, nailed that “my cake’s so messy that it’s GOBSMACKING (literally)”! Can’t wait to make this for my friend’s birthday.

May 14, 2013 05:23 AM
Lisa said...

I love Hummingbird cake! This version looks so moist and delicious! Thank you for sharing!

May 14, 2013 07:02 AM
Mary Beth said...

So funny this is what you made for your mom,,,,,my 86 year old grandmother requested I make her one for mother’s day, so she would have “refreshments” to offer all her visitors. So I did make one, my first one ever. It was great! Not as pretty as yours, but delish nontheless.

May 14, 2013 11:07 AM
Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen said...

How beautiful! I would have loved to have something like this on Mother’s Day! I’ve never had a hummingbird cake, but I adore zucchini and banana cakes, so I know this would be a hit :)

May 14, 2013 01:26 PM
Mary said...

I’m having our bakery make this for our wedding cake on June 1st! I can’t wait!!

May 14, 2013 02:05 PM
Kirsten said...

It sounds delicious! I have never heard of it before. I was just wondering what sort of texture the pineapple gives it. Is it similar to using apple puree?

May 14, 2013 06:17 PM
JennyLeigh said...

Your cake is gorgeous! You totally nailed the “my cake is so messy it’s beautiful” thing. Now I need a big slice of that cake, a glass of milk, and one of those pottery spin-y things :)

May 14, 2013 09:33 PM
martha torres said...

se ve delicioso

May 14, 2013 10:30 PM
Susyn said...

Looks so yummmmmmmeeeeee! A nice slice, a good cup of coffee and some smooth jazz and you could just leave me alone in my little piece of heaven. :) I can not wait to try this one!

May 15, 2013 01:14 PM
Hundewanderer said...

I’ve never heard of Hummingbird Cake but it looks like everything I’d like. I’ll have to bake this soon.

May 16, 2013 12:41 AM
Morgan said...

MMM!! I have never made this one on my own either. I can’t believe how much batter it makes! I will have to try and make this sometime. It seems like the perfect summer cake :)

May 16, 2013 02:08 AM
valerie said...

I love the imperfect frosting detail!! That is what my 3-tier wedding cake will look like this fall….hopefully my baker will do as imperfect of a job as you! :)

May 16, 2013 09:14 AM
Home Cupcake Business said...

mmm, that looks delicious! Might try this recipe :D

May 16, 2013 10:38 AM
Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen said...

Oh yum, this looks absolutely divine! (And definitely healthy!)

May 16, 2013 05:02 PM
tracy {pale yellow} said...

Your mom is a lucky lady!! I agree, anything with fruit is practically a health food! I’ve been wanting to make a hummingbird cake for awhile now, they are so pretty!

May 16, 2013 07:42 PM
the baking cup - carolina said...

Gorgeous cake!! And healthy of course ;)

May 17, 2013 01:21 PM
Rishma said...

I made the cake as soon as I got home. The cake was delicious but the icing was a little too sweet for me. I would put a lot less sugar.

May 17, 2013 01:49 PM
C. Guedez Artist said...

Thank you so much for the recipe, it is perfect for my husband birthday!

May 17, 2013 04:03 PM
Paola said...

I always appreciate your instructions step by step with photos!
This makes my life easier.

May 17, 2013 11:28 PM
Eve said...

Hi Angie! I am new to the blog scene and would really appreciate if you visited my blog thanks

link to

May 18, 2013 08:31 AM
Anonymous said...

hey guys!
im a new food blogger, im quite young and i was wondering, if any of u amazing cooks could help me a bit? thanks!
the blog is: link to

May 18, 2013 11:34 PM
Jess said...

Hi Bakerella!
I love your blog! This looks so yummy!
I’m doing research for a school project and I was wondering if you could answer a question for me.
If you could convert a retro game into a food product what would it be and why?
Thanks xxxx

May 19, 2013 07:48 AM
eileen said...

I think your cake looks beautiful! I would love to read about your efforts and result of making a Lady Baltimore cake. Its on my bucket list to make one, but I never seem to get around to it. It has more than one type of frosting/icings on it. My neighbor made one once years ago and I have never gotten it out of my mind!

May 19, 2013 11:08 AM
Elizabeth @ The Collegiate Baker said...

I’m like you in that I would skip this cake and go for something chocolate. :) But I just wanted to say that you’re cakes are always so pretty! Even when they’re decorated simply. I just love them!

May 19, 2013 11:56 AM
Divya said...

Love the swirl on top and yeah it-looks-so-messy-that-it’s-beautiful,really!

May 19, 2013 11:33 PM
Nancy said...

This looks wonderful but I don’t do pineapples. Any ideas?

May 21, 2013 05:57 PM
Lena Goodwin said...

Made this on Friday. OUTSTANDING! Thanks for the recipe.

May 21, 2013 08:04 PM
Ariana said...

Yummy! I may try this never made a layered cake, this would be a nice challenge.

May 22, 2013 03:44 PM
Amanda said...

Now that is some beautiful diet food! Yum!

May 22, 2013 08:41 PM
Melonie .H said...

I have made this cake before and it’s GREAT !
I also have to say I think your ideas are so brilliant, cute, pretty and just plain SUPER , keep it up ! :)

May 23, 2013 05:37 PM
Shauna {The Best Blog Recipes} said...

Wow, this cake looks so delicious! And I love the step-by-step photos :) Pinned it to my dessert board while I was here today!

link to

May 24, 2013 01:27 PM
Lisa said...

I made your cake over the holiday weekend and it was delectable! The cake came out super moist and was tasty without the icing. I had some comments from family that the icing was a little sweet and overpowered the cake’s deliciousness, but overall it was well enjoyed! Thanks!

May 28, 2013 01:44 PM
Lora said...

I made this cake just a month or so ago for the first time – and it was my very first layer cake! It’s a keeper and I’m delighted to see it on your site!

May 29, 2013 01:30 PM
NIkki said...

I love the banning wheel to ice the cake..I love cakes and pottery, a perfect pairing ;)

June 4, 2013 02:52 PM
Sweetsugarbelle said...

I had to grow into this cake too. PS-I don’t understand it. When I shoot for the purposefully messy look, it just looks messy. Guess I need more practice too :-)

June 8, 2013 03:26 AM
Karen said...

I just made this tonight! It was delicious!! Thanks for the recipe! =)

June 16, 2013 12:19 AM
Anonymous said...

link to

Please check out my blog! :) I’m a brand-new blogger that loves baking and cooking. My blog is mainly about recipes and tips, but I also have bits about other things. I hope you share my blog and comment on it. Enjoy! :D

June 18, 2013 11:46 AM
keashua said...

I just tried this cake and it was divine!!!! It was my first time making it, and with your guidance it was great!!

June 30, 2013 05:14 PM
Tash said...

Can i use self raising flour instead?

July 16, 2013 12:50 AM
Tash said...

Can self raising be used

July 16, 2013 12:50 AM
bibiesboeken said...

It just looks soooo great! I must make it! Jammie.

September 6, 2013 11:21 AM
labanca said...

I tried it last night, and it made my day… Love the taste..

January 6, 2014 12:40 AM
yoreney said...

quick question:
is the cake supposed to be fluffy (like sponge cake) or dense like banana bread? mine turns out dense.. and i’m wondering if i made a mistake when stirring the ingredients in or not. thanks.

February 8, 2014 06:59 PM
Emy said...

This looks delicious, I’m actually saving it for my mum too, she loves these kinds of things.
One question though, what if I want a smaller cake? Just two layers instead. I’m not sure how/if I would need to change the cooking times, measurements or anything else.

March 23, 2014 06:41 AM
Jennifer said...

I’m curious for the frosting did you use reg butter or unsalted?

March 27, 2014 06:35 PM
Sandra said...

Absolutely the best cake I ever ate bar none!!!!

April 16, 2014 08:20 PM
Monica Rampo said...

Hi, I am Monica from Indonesia

Glad that I found and I have tried your hummingbird cake but I didn’t use pecans since hard to find pecans here. So I substituted it with cashew nuts. The cake still delicious. I posted the recipe on my blog and link back to bakerella.
Hmm to let you know I tried make cake pops but using steamed brownies…for me who tried it for the first time..i can say it is hard to make cake pops..ha ha ha..
Thanks for sharing recipes and techniques..

Hmm I think bakerella well known too in Indonesia since I have read Indonesian food blogger post recipe of yours.

April 29, 2014 03:42 AM
Mary said...

Could the cake be made in a bundt pan? I never have much luck with layers.

May 15, 2014 12:50 PM
Monica said...

Absolutely the best cake I ever ate bar none..

February 12, 2015 08:49 PM
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