Cake,  Layer Cake

Hummingbird Cake

You guuuuuuys! It’s my blog’s first birthday! My first blogiversary! Well, technically it was  few days ago, but hey! A year! 😀 ‘Round these parts, everybody gets a birthday cake. Even a blog. For my blog’s birthday: Hummingbird Cake!

hummingbird cake
You know I’m from the Midwest, right? Of course that means I stick out like a sore thumb living here in Texas. I talk fast, and I definitely don’t sound like I’m from Texas (yesterday someone made fun of the way I say “Taco Bell.”) I’ve never eaten at Chik-fil-a or Whataburger and I still root for all Michigan sports teams. “Y’all” isn’t part of my natural vocabulary (I say “you guys” instead). On top of all those things: I had never even heard of Hummingbird Cake.

I don’t know if Hummingbird Cake is just a Southern thing or a Texas thing as well. I’ll go ahead and say it should be an everyone thing. I mean, it’s no bumpy cake (for my non-Michigander friends: link [here]), but it’s mighty tasty!

hummingbird cake

So here she is in a nutshell: FOUR layers of moist, cinnamon-spiced cake filled with bananas, crushed pineapple, coconut, and pecans with the fluffiest cream cheese frosting you’ve ever had! The layers are small (they came out about 1″ tall each for me). You know what that means? A ridiculous(ly good) cake-to-frosting ratio. Oh yeah.

Also, your entire house will smell amazing while this bakes. So there’s that.

hummingbird cake

The cake has four layers, and most people I know don’t have four cake pans (I mean, if I don’t, who does?). Because of that, you’ll likely have to bake the cake layers in stages. I used my kitchen scale to weigh the batter to ensure my layers baked up even and equal in size. If you don’t have a kitchen scale and you’d like to get one, you can find one [here].

hummingbird cake

The pineapple flowers that I garnished my cake with are totally optional, but aren’t they pretty? 🙂 Cutting a whole pineapple works best for this! I took a shortcut with the pre-cut grocery store pineapple. The problem is that it’s cored, so you end up with rings instead of rounds. I made it work, putting the rings on the back of a mini muffin pan to mold them into a flower shape after they dried. A dollop of cream cheese frosting in the center of each helped conceal that my flowers weren’t whole.

hummingbird cake

So happy birthday to my blog, and happy Hummingbird Cake-baking to you!

Other posts you may like:

Banana Coconut Cake

Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Shortbread

Coconut Pineapple Tart

hummingbird cake

Hummingbird Cake

Amee
Moist, cinnamon spiced cake with bananas, crushed pineapple, coconut, and pecans with the fluffiest cream cheese frosting you've ever had.
Cake recipe adapted from Katie Jacobs' So Much to Celebrate (link here).
Servings 1 8" layer cake

Ingredients
  

Hummingbird Cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (from about 4 bananas)
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut (dried and unsweetened)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature (3 sticks)
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted

Pineapple "Flowers:" (optional)

  • fresh pineapple, sliced thin

Instructions
 

For Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease four 8-inch cake pans and set aside (I only have two, so I had to bake the cakes in stages).
  • In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt). Whisk to combine, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil, vanilla, and sugar. Beat with the paddle attachment until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to incorporate into the batter before adding the next. Beat on medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine bananas, pineapple, pecans, and coconut. Add to egg mixture and mix until incorporated.
  • Add dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Divide cake batter evenly between the baking pans. A kitchen scale is useful for this, especially if you're baking the cakes in stages as I did (see note). 
  • Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes (the large range in times is to account for different amounts of moisture depending on your bananas and pineapple. Mine were done at the 25 minute mark). Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

For Frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and vanilla. Using the whisk attachment, beat until light and creamy. (I beat for one minute, scraped down the sides of the bowl and the whisk, then beat for one minute more).
  • With the mixer running on medium speed, gradually add the butter a few pieces at a time. Mix until butter is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the whisk as necessary.
  • With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until fully combined. Frost cooled cakes.

For Pineapple "Flowers:"

  • Preheat oven to 200F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Set aside.
  • Slice pineapple thinly (see note), about 1/8" thick. Place pineapple slices in a single layer on the prepared pan.
  • Bake for one hour. Turn the pineapple slices over, then bake an additional hour.  The two hour bake time is a good guideline, but how long this takes will depend on how thick you slice the pineapple and how juicy your pineapple is. You want the pineapple slices to be dry, but not hard. They should still be pliable.
  • Remove the pineapple slices from the oven and place each slice in a well of a muffin pan to lend each "flower" it's curved shape. Once completely cool, use to garnish the cake. Garnish additionally with coconut and pecans, if desired.
    Enjoy!

Notes

Note on kitchen scale: The cake has four layers, and most people I know don't have four cake pans (I mean, if I don't, who does?). Because of that, you'll likely have to bake the cake layers in stages. I used my kitchen scale to weigh the batter to ensure my layers baked up even and equal in size. If you don't have a kitchen scale and you'd like to get one, you can find one [here]. My layers were almost exactly 16 ounces (1 pound) each.
Note on pineapple flowers: Cutting a whole pineapple works best for this! I took a shortcut with the pre-cut grocery store pineapple. The problem is that it's cored, so you have rings instead of rounds. I made it work, putting the rings on the back of a mini muffin pan to mold them into a flower shape after they dried. A dollop of cream cheese frosting in the center of each helped conceal that my flowers weren't whole. 🙂
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