I’m one of those people that grew up with at pile-high stack of Southern Living magazines on our living room coffee table. This spice cake laced with moist pineapple and banana is a true Southern gem, first appearing in Southern Living in 1978. The origin of its name isn’t quite clear, but its been said it has to do with its sweet and fruity flavor, something that nectar-loving hummingbirds would be sure to enjoy. Reminiscent of a tropical vacation, it makes the perfect summer dessert. The addition of decadent cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans make it even more irresistible.
There are so many variations you can make to this recipe. Some like to add a little shredded coconut. Others add a pinch more spice. Some recipes even call for self-rising flour. But to me, you can’t go wrong with the classic combo of bananas and pineapple and because we do a pretty heavy rotation of homage to Southern recipes over here I just couldn’t leave this one out.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
- 2 cups chopped ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- Vegetable shortening
- 2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
- 2 (16-oz.) pkg. powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
For the Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and toasted pecans.
- Divide batter evenly among 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
- Bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely, about 1 hour.
For the Frosting:
- Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Increase speed, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Assemble Cake:
- Place the first cake layer on a serving platter; spread top with 1 cup of the frosting. Top with second layer, and spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with third layer, and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange pecans on top of the cake to your liking.
We just love to enjoy Hummingbird cake for dessert in my house. I would love to know if you make Hummingbird cake any special way. Let me know in the comments below.
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