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My Mums Most Favourtite Cake – The Hummingbird Cake

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One of the best things about Spring is the return of all of the birds and tree frogs to our yard. It’s like listening to a symphony every morning and evening. Sometimes they can be deafening. I love it.

One of my most favorite birds are the Hummingbirds; so tiny and fast, yet so mesmerizing. Every time I see them come to the feeder I just sit and watch, hoping they will hang around a bit.

I also think of one of my mom’s most favorite cakes to bake, the Hummingbird Cake. It’s one of the old south cakes that’s been around at least since the Mayflower sailed. This is a recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation…to generation.

A similar version was originally created in Jamaica and renamed “Cake that Don’t Last.” The first evidence of this recipe named Hummingbird cake was in 1978 in Southern Living Magazine by Mrs. LH Wiggin.

No matter the name, this is a cake that will always take top billing.

Hummingbird Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1  8-oz. can crushed pineapple,  juice reserved
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut – Optional*

For the frosting

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes, chilled
  • 3  8-oz. packages cream cheese, cut into 1″ cubes, chilled
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

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Directions

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a bundt pan or three nine inch layer pans with butter and dust with a little flour. Tap out excess flour. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; stir in the pecans and set aside. Beat the sugar, brown sugar, and eggs in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add crushed pineapple and juice, bananas, oil, and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the pecan mixture and mix on low speed until evenly combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan or divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

For the frosting, beat butter on medium speed until smooth. Add cream cheese and vanilla and beat until creamy.  Add confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and continue mixing until the frosting is light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold the pecans into the frosting.

Frost cake once it is cooled. Serve immediately or wrap loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

*You will notice our cake is not frosted. We like cakes with no frosting sometimes

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2 Responses to 'My Mums Most Favourtite Cake – The Hummingbird Cake'

  1. Alison says:

    I have never heard of hummingbird cake, fabulous name. Must give this a go

    • I hope you do give it a try! It was a favorite growing up and always makes me think of my mom. Plus it makes the kitchen smell fantastic while it’s baking. We would love to hear what you think!