I’m a huge fan of Italian Cream Cake, but this Hummingbird Cake beats it hands down! Not only do you have the spice and nuts of Italian Cream Cake, but it’s filled with the additional flavors of banana and pineapple, making for a moist and delicious flavor combination. Top it off with cream cheese frosting, and you have the best of all worlds when it comes to cake!
2 cups (250g) chopped pecans (toasted)*
3 cups (370g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mashed banana (4 ripe bananas)
one 8 ounce can crushed pineapple*
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (160ml) vegetable or canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* Pecans : Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). You can toast your pecans in the oven by spreading them onto a lined baking pan and toasting for 8-12 minutes in oven. Personally, I prefer to toast them on the stove top in a large skillet. You will get a much more toasted taste and aroma this way, compared to toasting them in the oven. When toasting in the skillet, use a low temperature, stir, frequently, and watch to make sure the smaller pieces don’t scorch. Remove pecans and cool.
Turn oven up to 350°F (177°C), then grease and lightly flour three 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of each cake pan.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt together in a large bowl.
*Pineapple: Slightly drain the crushed pineapple. You want a little juice, but not all of it!
Whisk the rest of the cake ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. Fold in 1 and 1/2 cups toasted pecans. (Save the rest for garnish.)
Spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate pans halfway through baking.
Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, remove cakes from pan and wrap snuggly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When ready to assemble and frost, level the tops of each layer so they are flat. You can use a serrated knife or a cake leveler. Discard the tops or eat. (Or share them with the family to score some extra points!)
Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Taste. Add more salt if needed. If the frosting becomes too soft or runny to hold it’s shape while decorating the cake, place bowl in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to chill and firm it up a bit.
Assemble and frost: Spread a small amount of frosting on your cake stand or serving plate to help anchor the cake layers in place and so they won’t slide while you are decorating. Place 1 cake layer on the cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with frosting. Finish with the third cake layer. Spread a crumb coat to the top and sides of the layered cake and place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Take cake out of refrigerator and use the remaining frosting to finish frosting and decorating the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with leftover toasted pecans. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing or else the cake may gently fall apart as you cut.
Leftover cake is delicious covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cupcakes: This recipe will make at least 32-35 cupcakes. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake 20-22 minutes or until cooked through. You can halve the recipe for less cupcakes, but things get tricky with the eggs. I recommend using 1 egg plus this: crack a 2nd egg in a separate bowl, whisk it, and use about half.
Non-Layer Cake: This recipe also fits into a bundt pan, though the bake time will be long- 55-65 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Too much batter for a 9×13 pan, but a 12×17 sheet pan would be perfect. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, keep a close eye to not overbake.
Adapted from Southern Living and Sallysbakingaddiction.
Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Wrap each cake layer snuggly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container, then bring to room temperature when ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving.
- Category: Cakes