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
Yield: One 9-inch three layer cake

Hummingbird 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.
    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.
  2. Whisk together flour, soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Add lightly beaten eggs, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. 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.
  5. Spread batter evenly among cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and let cool.
  6. 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.
  7. To assemble: Gently level cakes using a large serrated knife to remove any mounded tops.
  8. 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

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97 comments on “Hummingbird Cake”

  1. Made the cake and it didn’t fluff up! What did I do wrong?

  2. Absolutely the best cake I ever ate bar none..

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. Hello!
    I’m curious for the frosting did you use reg butter or unsalted?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

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

  11. Can self raising be used

  12. Can i use self raising flour instead?

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


    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

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

  16. 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 :-)

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!


  21. 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 ! :)

  22. Now that is some beautiful diet food! Yum!

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

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

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

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

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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

  30. 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:

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

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

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

  34. 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.

  35. Gorgeous cake!! And healthy of course ;)

  36. 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!

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

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

  39. 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! :)

  40. 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 :)

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

  42. 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!

  43. se ve delicioso

  44. 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 :)

  45. 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?

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

  47. 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 :)

  48. 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.

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

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

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

  52. 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.

  53. 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

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

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

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

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

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

  59. 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!”

  60. 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!

  61. 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

  62. Looks fantastic! I love the step by step pictures.

  63. wheeling thing is the best!

  64. 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 :)

  65. 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.

  66. 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 ;)

  67. Mmmm! Looks so yummy =)

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

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

  70. 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

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

  72. 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.

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

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

  75. It’s the perfect diet cake! ;)

  76. 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

  77. Would this make great cake balls?

  78. 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!

  79. 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.

  80. 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!

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

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

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

  84. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

  90. 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.

  91. 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!

  92. 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!

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

  94. 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.

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

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