Despite its name, Hummingbird Cake is not made from or for hummingbirds. It is a moist, flavorful cake made from a relatively simple recipe.
Many speculate that the cake’s name is due to its sweetness. The origin of this cake is said to hail from Jamaica, and another name for it is The Kingbird Cake.
The Hummingbird Cake was first submitted to Southern Living in 1978 by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. Without a doubt, the cake is a beauty with its three moist layers topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans. First, vegetable oil is used instead of butter to get the moist, quick-bread-like texture of the layers. Second, you need a can of crushed pineapple in its juices (such as Dole crushed pineapple in juice), which you will NOT drain. The juice adds so much flavor to the cake batter and keeps it incredibly moist. Last, always take the time the toast your pecans, but watch them carefully as they can burn quickly.
• 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
• 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 diced ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
• 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
• Vegetable shortening
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
• 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
- Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and toasted pecans.
- Divide batter evenly among 3 well-greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
- Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Prepare the cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Assemble cake: Place 1 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 pecan halves on top of cake. You can also arrange the extra pineapple on the top.