A Hummingbird Cake That’ll Hover in Your Mind Forever
I am proud (read: terrified) to inform you that I have joined the folks over at the Sunday Afternoon Baking Club! This is a group of bakers who bake along with a theme each week and share the results on Instagram. I was intimidated to commit to this, because I’m already doing a cooking challenge on Reddit which led to such recipes as Apple Confit and Chocolate Bananas Foster Pie. Nevertheless, I took the plunge and started with the Easter theme. As most of the people in the club hail from around the world, I decided to swing in with a punch of Southern sass and present a Hummingbird Cake!
According to Wikipedia, hummingbird cake hails from Jamaica. It makes a lot more sense that it would be chock-full of tropical flavors than if it had originated in Tennessee or something. It got its curious name, not because it resembles a hummingbird, but because that is the national bird of Jamaica. In 1968, the Jamaican government sent recipes for Jamaican food – including hummingbird cake – to the US to draw tourists to the island. The hummingbird cake recipe was reprinted in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living (where my recipe comes from), and it won the Favorite Cake Award in the 1978 Kentucky State Fair. Its status as a Southern American classic was cemented.
This cake is not for the faint of heart. Seriously, if sugar causes problems for your heart, stay away. It’s chock full of oil, sugar, and topped with more sugar mixed with butter and cream cheese. A calorie bomb. Having said that, it’s a DELICIOUS calorie bomb. Honestly one of the richest and most decadent desserts I’ve ever eaten, and there’s not even any chocolate! If you’re brave enough, this cake should be simple enough to make and even easier to devour.
I’m proud to have been able to show off something from my culture for my first themed bake! Next week is Drag Race, and seeing as I’m not an accomplished decorator by any means….say a prayer for me. Until then, here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living!
- 2 9-in cake tins
For the cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 eggs (beaten)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 8 oz crushed pineapple in juice
- 3 bananas (chopped)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 2 8-oz packages cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks; softened)
- 32 oz powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pecan halves (for decorating)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-in round cake pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon until well combined. Stir in the beaten eggs and oil until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
- In a smaller bowl, stir together the pineapple, banana, and vanilla extract. Add to the large bowl and mix everything together until evenly distributed. Divide between the 2 cake pans and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and cream together for 3 minutes on medium speed. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, trying not to get it all over your kitchen like I did. Add the vanilla extract at the end and let it all beat together on medium for 3-5 more minutes. Frost your cake however you like, decorate with pecan halves, and enjoy!
- This recipe comes from Southern Living, and is gently modified from the original award-winning recipe from 1978!
- The original recipe calls for pecans in the mix but I left them out due to an allergy. If you’re adding them, make sure you toast them to bring out extra flavor!