Friday, 18 June 2010

Hummingbird Cake

It was Karen's brithday recently and she invited a few friends for dinner to celebrate. She's also having a party this weekend which I can't attend as I have yet another birthday to go to. Anyway I thought it would be nice to make a cake for her birthday (which was also for Dave who's birthday is just before hers). I debated for a while about what cake to make. I finally settled on a hummingbird cake from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. (There was a request for red velvet cake but I wanted to make something different)
I've made this cake a few times previously and it's always a great crowd pleaser. Everyone enjoyed it on the night and even though we consumed far too much food, most of the cake was eaten as well. I served up extra large slices for everyone (note - don't ask me to slice the cake if you want a tiny slice!) and everyone finished their slice :)
This cake is very similar to a carrot cake but with bananas and pineapple instead of carrots.  It's really moist and fruity with the lovely crunch of nuts. Unfortunately my frosting was really lumpy this time but it was too late to re-do it as it was very late when I was putting this cake together. I finally worked out why - this recipe requires a double recipe of cream cheese frosting and I doubled all the ingredients except the butter hence the lumpy icing. It still tasted good though and I don't think it was too obvious once I got all the decorations on.
I bought some special 'happy birthday' candles and mini sparklers to put on the cake. E commented on my 'magic bag' as I even brought my own kitchen lighter gun! It was a really fun evening, thanks everyone.

Happy Birthday Karen!!

My fantastic nut chopper from Lakeland
cake batter adding the pineapple and nutsfresh from the oven
assembling the cake
my lumpy frosting :(
better with decorations on top to disguise the lumps!
a chunky slice of cake
ta da!

Hummingbird cake
(Recipe from the hummingbird bakery cookbook)

300g caster sugar
3 eggs
300ml sunflower oil
270g peeled bananas, mashed (approximately 3 large bananas)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g tinned pineapple, chopped into small pieces
100g shelled pecan nuts (or walnuts), chopped plus extra to decorate

3 x 20cm cake tins, base-lined with greaseproof paper

  • Preheat the oven to 170C
  • Put the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until everything is well mixed.
  • Stir in the chopped pineapple and pecan nuts by hand until evenly dispersed.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
  • Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting (double recipe)

600g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g cold cream cheese

  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together until it's well mixed.
  • Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
  • Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
  • Do not overbeat as it can quickly become runny.
To assemble the cake

  • When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand and spread about 1/4 of the cream cheese frosting over it with a palette knife. 
  • Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it.
  • Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides.
  • Finish with pecan nuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.


  1. what a great friend!:) but isn't it very stressful? the thought that the party lies on the success of your labour. it would stress me out big time!

  2. Daaaaaahling, it just so happens that my birthday is this week. Can you make me one too? I've always wanted to try hummingbird cake, this looks spectacular, I just love the layers.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  3. Too pretty to eat! My birthday's in October ;)

  4. mmmm hummingbird cake i really want to try this it looks so delicious!!

  5. @myovenandme - it was stressful but I do enjoy it! Its fun making stuff for others :)
    @HH - Happy birthday in advance! I'd be happy to make you one :)

  6. Great looking cake. Love the nut chopper - I always struggle with chopping nuts!

  7. I love layered cakes! What a great cake for your friend :)

  8. This is a good, easy-to-follow recipe if you like really sweet cakes in the Southern style.

  9. Very delicious �� will make this regularly. Thanks for sharing

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