Hummingbird Cake

What is it about dessert that leads to such poor name choices?  Slumps, grunts, dump cake, I am talking to you.  Today’s dish is no exception.  The title alone may be a turn off, but I promise, Hummingbird Cake contains ZERO hummingbirds.  I have no idea how it got its name, save for the fact that it contains quite a bit of fruit. Which could possibly attract a hummingbird??  Who knows.  This cake is not light as air, neither is it colorful, but it is absolutely delicious.  A dense, rich cake perfect for coffee breaks, casual company, or – if you are me, Breakfast.  So put your skepticism aside and try it.  Adapted from the single most requested recipe in the history of Southern Living magazine. Thanks so much for the link, Connie!!

NOTE: 1 ) The frosting calls for chopped pecans.  You may notice my cake has none — this omission was intentionally and purely at the request of my children.  (Not big nut fans.)  2 ) My apologies for the recent bevy of desserts.  I have an above-average interest in sweets and will try harder next week to focus on all the healthy stuff.

Serves 16.

SODIUM CONTENT: 30 mg per serving


3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. Ener-G sodium free baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1- 8-oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 c. chopped pecans
2 c. chopped bananas (about 2 medium, ripe)

4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 c. powdered sugar
4 T. low fat milk
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2- 8-inch round baking pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the beaten eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. DO NOT BEAT. Stir in the vanilla, pineapple, chopped pecans and bananas. Pour batter into the two prepared pans, dividing evenly. Place pans on middle rack in oven and bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes clean, about 45 minutes. Remove pans from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cool fully before running a knife around edge of pans, inverting and gently removing cakes.

To make the frosting, place butter and cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Sift the powdered sugar into another bowl, and gradually add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat in the vanilla and chopped pecans.

Place a dollop of frosting on top of the bottom layer of cake.

Gently spread to edges, then carefully place second layer on top, and repeat process with remainder of frosting. You can be more elaborate if you wish, but personally I like a simple cake for a simple occasion. Like breakfast.

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