Classic Hummingbird Cake Recipe & History

How can you tell if someone isn’t from the South? They read the name of this recipe and ask, “What is a hummingbird cake?” Well, hummingbird cake is an incredibly dense and moist layer cake with banana, pineapple, and warm spices, covered with swirls of rich cream cheese frosting and crunchy toasted pecans on top. And if you’ve never had it — but you’re a fan of banana cake, pineapple upside-down cake, or carrot cake — you’re going to be thoroughly charmed by our easier-than-you’d-expect hummingbird cake recipe.
How can you tell if someone isn’t from the South? They read the name of this recipe and ask, “What is a hummingbird cake?” Well, hummingbird cake is an incredibly dense and moist layer cake with banana, pineapple, and warm spices, covered with swirls of rich cream cheese frosting and crunchy toasted pecans on top. And if you’ve never had it — but you’re a fan of banana cake, pineapple upside-down cake, or carrot cake — you’re going to be thoroughly charmed by our easier-than-you’d-expect hummingbird cake recipe.

Ingredients
CAKE
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1⅓ cups vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups very ripe banana, mashed (about 4 medium bananas or 16 ounces)
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (or fresh chopped pineapple)
  • 2 cups toasted chopped pecans, divided

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
  2. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda.
  4. Add the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Stir in the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, and one cup of chopped pecans, and stir just until evenly mixed.