Please a Crowd With Famous Hummingbird Cake

For a delicious treat, try this delicious concoction of mashed banana, pineapple, pecans, and cream cheese icing. It has been famous for years and is a very popular and satisfying dessert. While this sweet and flavorful three-layer treat may look difficult to prepare, in fact it can be finished in about an hour. It is an excellent choice for family gatherings and other occasions. It is easy to prepare, freezes well, and serves many. Guaranteed to please.

No-one seems to know for sure how this cake came to be known as "Hummingbird Cake". One legend says the name came about because each delicious bite makes you hum with delight. Another suggests the name is the result of the cake being as sweet as the nectar prepared to attract hummingbirds to our homes. Whatever the reason, this cake will be a real crowd pleaser!

When purchasing ingredients, try to buy the best quality possible. The difference in the taste is definitely worth the extra cost.


3 cups/750 mL all-purpose flour
2 cups/500 mL sugar
1 tsp/5 mL baking soda
1 tsp/5 mL salt
1 tsp/5 mL gourmet cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten well
1 cup/250 mL vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp/7.5 mL Premium Vanilla
1 tsp/5 mL gourmet butter extract
1 can (8 oz/227 g) undrained crushed pineapple
1 cup/250 mL chopped pecans
2 cups/500 mL chopped bananas
1/2 cup/125 mL chopped pecans


1 package (8 oz/227 g) softened cream cheese
1/2 cup/125 mL butter or margarine, softened
3-1/2 cups/875 mL powdered sugar
1 tsp/5 mL gourmet vanilla nut extract

How to Make Hummingbird Cake:

1) Combine flour with the sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients together well.

2) Stir in eggs, oil and extracts; stir just until dry ingredients are moist - do not beat.

3) Add crushed pineapple, pecans, and bananas and fold into mixture. Spoon the batter into three well-greased and floured 9-inch/23-cm round cake pans.

4) Bake at 350 F or 180 C for 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a wooden toothpick inserted in the center. When it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

5) Cool in pans (use wire rack if available) for 20 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers.

6) Spread cream cheese frosting between layers, and over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the top of the cake. If desired, you can crush additional pecans and press them into the sides of the frosting. Try putting sliced maraschino cherries on top of the cake for a different touch.

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving; the flavors will blend and intensify upon standing. This cake is one of those special recipes that tastes even better the next day, thus it is ideal for preparing a bit ahead of time.


Combine the cream cheese and butter, and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar and extract, then beat mixture until light and fluffy.

Preparation Tips:

Enhance the banana flavor by processing the bananas in a blender.

Make sure the three cake pans do not touch each other or the sides of the oven. If the pans touch each other, or the sides of the oven, the cake will not bake evenly as it should.

Makes 12 servings.

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About The Author, Eldon Beard
Eldon Beard is a Manager with Watkins Products. Enjoy the finest gourmet cooking extracts, spices, seasoning blends, and soup bases, and dessert mixes. Visit our Watkins Products Online Store.