Yield: 12 SERVINGS
Prep time: 15 MIN
Cook time: 30 MIN
Total time: 1 HR 30 MIN
Hummingbird cake is an incredibly dense and moist layer cake with banana, pineapple, and warm spices, covered with swirls of rich cream cheese frosting and crunchy toasted pecans on top. And if you’ve never had it – but you’re a fan of banana cake, pineapple upside-down cake, or carrot cake – you’re going to be thoroughly charmed by our easier-than-you’d-expect hummingbird cake recipe.
FOR THE HUMMINGBIRD CAKE:
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs, beaten
1½ cups sugar
1⅓ cups vegetable oil
¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups very ripe banana, mashed (about 4 medium bananas or 16 ounces)
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (or fresh chopped pineapple)
2 cups toasted chopped pecans, divided
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoons kosher salt
6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
TO MAKE THE HUMMINGBIRD CAKE:
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda.
Add the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Stir in the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, and one cup of chopped pecans, and stir just until evenly mixed.
Divide the batter evenly between your three coated cake pans (about 22 ounces per pan). Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, and then remove them from the pans and transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
Make the cream cheese frosting: beat together the butter, cream cheese, and salt with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar at low speed, until it is all incorporated. Whip in the vanilla extract.
Use a serrated knife to trim off the rounded tops of each cake to make them level. (If you don’t want to do this, you can also just fill in the gaps with more frosting).
Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or cake decorating turntable, and spread the top of the first layer with about ¼ of the frosting.
Turn the second layer of cake upside-down (so that you have a nice flat surface for frosting), and place it on top of the first frosted cake layer. Frost it with about another ¼ of the frosting.
Place the last cake layer, upside-down, on top of the second frosted cake layer.
Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.