Hummingbird Cake is a classic and beloved Southern dessert that has made its way into kitchens around the world. This delightful cake is known for its incredible flavor and moist, tender crumb. The Hummingbird Cake is traditionally made with a combination of ripe bananas, crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and a hint of warm spices, all encased in a rich cream cheese frosting. The result is a heavenly cake with a tropical twist, characterized by its sweet and fruity profile. The Hummingbird Cake not only tantalizes the taste buds but also captures the essence of Southern hospitality and charm, making it a favorite for gatherings, celebrations, and special occasions.


What is Hummingbird Cake?

Hummingbird Cake is a traditional and beloved Southern dessert that hails from the United States, particularly the Southern states. It is a moist and flavorful cake known for its unique combination of ingredients. The typical Hummingbird Cake features:

  • Bananas: Ripe mashed bananas provide sweetness and moisture to the cake.
  • Crushed Pineapple: Crushed pineapple adds a sweet and tropical flavor to the cake while also contributing to its moist texture.
  • Chopped Pecans: Chopped pecans bring a delightful crunch and a nutty flavor to the cake.
  • Spices: A hint of warm spices such as cinnamon and sometimes nutmeg is used to enhance the overall flavor profile.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: The cake is traditionally frosted with a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting. This frosting complements the cake’s sweetness and adds a tangy element.

The name “Hummingbird Cake” is said to be inspired by the bird’s sweet nectar, as the cake is known for its sweet and tropical flavor. It’s a popular choice for celebrations, holidays, and gatherings in the Southern United States, and its appeal has extended to many other regions as well. The cake’s combination of fruity, nutty, and spiced elements makes it a unique and delightful dessert loved by many.


Why you will love Hummingbird Cake?

  • Unique Flavor Combination: Hummingbird Cake offers a unique blend of flavors, combining the sweetness of ripe bananas, the tropical essence of crushed pineapple, the nuttiness of pecans, and the warmth of spices. This combination creates a complex and delightful taste.
  • Moist and Tender Texture: The cake is incredibly moist and tender, thanks to the bananas and pineapple. This makes each bite a pleasurable, melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: The cream cheese frosting is the perfect accompaniment, offering a delightful contrast to the sweetness of the cake. It adds a tangy and creamy element that complements the cake’s flavors.
  • Versatility: Hummingbird Cake is suitable for a wide range of occasions, from everyday desserts to special celebrations. Its versatility means it can be enjoyed in various settings.
  • Tropical Twist: The addition of crushed pineapple gives this cake a hint of tropical flair, making it a unique and refreshing option.
  • Heritage and Tradition: For those who appreciate Southern cuisine and traditions, Hummingbird Cake is a celebrated part of Southern culinary heritage, making it a meaningful and nostalgic choice.
  • Visual Appeal: Its vibrant and colorful appearance, often garnished with pecans, can make it a visually appealing dessert that’s perfect for festive occasions.
  • Generous and Comforting: Hummingbird Cake is often made in generous portions, making it an excellent choice for serving a crowd or sharing with family and friends.
  • Ties to Southern Hospitality: This cake embodies the warm and hospitable spirit of the American South, making it a welcoming treat for gatherings and events.

Overall, Hummingbird Cake is a flavorful, moist, and visually appealing dessert that appeals to a wide range of tastes. Whether you’re drawn to its unique flavor combination, its cultural significance, or its versatility, there are many reasons to love this Southern classic.


Hummingbird Cake Recipe


For the Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Then, add the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  4. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until the frosting is smooth and well combined.


  1. Once the cakes have cooled completely, place one layer on a serving plate. Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on top.
  2. Place the second cake layer on top and frost it, then add the final cake layer.
  3. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  4. Garnish with chopped pecans if desired.
  5. Refrigerate the cake for about an hour to set the frosting before serving.

Enjoy your homemade Hummingbird Cake!

Feel free to adjust the quantities and flavors to suit your preferences. This recipe captures the essence of the classic Hummingbird Cake with its unique blend of ingredients.


How to serve Hummingbird Cake

Serving Hummingbird Cake is a delightful experience, as it’s a visually appealing and flavorful dessert. Here’s how to serve Hummingbird Cake:

1. Presentation: Place the Hummingbird Cake on a decorative cake platter or dessert plate to showcase its beauty. The cake’s layers and cream cheese frosting make it an attractive centerpiece.

2. Slicing: Use a sharp, serrated knife to slice the cake. Ensure that your knife is clean between slices to maintain the cake’s neat appearance.

3. Plate Individual Slices: Place each slice of Hummingbird Cake on individual dessert plates. Make sure to keep the plates clean and presentable.

4. Garnish: You can garnish each slice with extra chopped pecans for an appealing texture and a nod to the cake’s ingredients.

5. Serve with Utensils: Provide dessert forks or cake servers for your guests to make it easy for them to enjoy each bite.

6. Pair with Beverages: Hummingbird Cake pairs wonderfully with a variety of beverages. Consider serving it with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, tea, or even a glass of milk. Some may prefer it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra treat.

7. Room Temperature: Hummingbird Cake is best enjoyed at room temperature, as this allows the flavors to fully develop.

8. Portion Control: The cake can be rich and filling, so consider smaller portions for those with lighter appetites. It’s also great for sharing, as a little goes a long way.

9. Freshness: Hummingbird Cake is best when enjoyed within a few days of baking. It may lose some of its freshness and moisture if stored for an extended period.

Remember that the goal is not only to indulge in the wonderful flavors but also to create an appealing and visually pleasing presentation that enhances the overall dining experience. Whether you’re serving it for a special occasion or as an everyday treat, a well-presented Hummingbird Cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


How to store Hummingbird Cake

Properly storing Hummingbird Cake is essential to maintain its freshness and prevent it from drying out or becoming stale. Here’s how to store Hummingbird Cake:

1. Room Temperature:

  • If you plan to consume the Hummingbird Cake within a day or two, it can be stored at room temperature. Place the cake in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap. Be sure the cake has fully cooled before storing.

2. Refrigeration:

  • If you intend to store the cake for a longer period or if it has perishable fillings or toppings, it’s best to refrigerate it.
  • Place the Hummingbird Cake in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing unwanted odors from the refrigerator.
  • Hummingbird Cake stored in the refrigerator can stay fresh for about 3-4 days.

3. Freezing (for Longer Storage):

  • For extended storage, you can freeze Hummingbird Cake. Wrap individual slices or the entire cake tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil or use a freezer-safe container.
  • Properly stored, Hummingbird Cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

4. Label and Date:

  • If you’re freezing the cake, be sure to label the packaging with the date to help you keep track of its freshness.

5. Thawing:

  • When you’re ready to enjoy frozen Hummingbird Cake, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight or for several hours.
  • For a quicker thaw, you can use the microwave on low power for short intervals or allow it to come to room temperature.

6. Serve Fresh:

  • Hummingbird Cake is best enjoyed when it’s fresh. Be sure to consume it within a few days of storage for the best taste and texture.

Proper storage helps maintain the cake’s moisture and flavor. Whether at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or the freezer, take care to store it in an airtight container or wrap to prevent it from drying out and to preserve its delicious qualities.

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Tips to make perfect Hummingbird Cake

Creating the perfect Hummingbird Cake requires attention to detail and some helpful tips. Here are some tips to ensure your Hummingbird Cake turns out perfectly:

1. Use Ripe Bananas:

  • Ensure that the bananas you use are fully ripe. Overripe bananas have a sweeter flavor and provide extra moisture to the cake.

2. Properly Drain Pineapple:

  • If you’re using canned crushed pineapple, make sure to drain it well to avoid excess moisture in the cake.

3. Toast Pecans for Flavor:

  • Toast the pecans before adding them to the cake. Toasting enhances their flavor and provides a delightful nuttiness.

4. Measure Ingredients Accurately:

  • Use accurate measuring cups and spoons for both dry and wet ingredients to ensure precise quantities.

5. Sift Dry Ingredients:

  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices) to remove lumps and ensure even distribution of leavening agents and spices.

6. Gently Mix Batter:

  • Mix the batter gently, just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can lead to a denser cake. Fold in the wet ingredients carefully.

7. Preheat Oven:

  • Ensure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature before placing the cake inside to achieve even baking.

8. Even Layers:

  • When layering the cake batter in the pans, ensure each layer is as even as possible to promote even baking.

9. Allow Cakes to Cool:

  • Let the cake layers cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

10. Proper Frosting Consistency:

  • Achieve the right consistency for the cream cheese frosting; it should be smooth and spreadable but not overly runny.

11. Chill Cake Before Frosting:

  • Refrigerate the cake layers for about 30 minutes before frosting. This can make it easier to handle and frost without crumbs.

12. Garnish with Pecans:

  • Garnish the top of the cake with additional chopped pecans for a pleasing texture and presentation.

13. Fresh Ingredients:

  • Use fresh ingredients, especially for the spices and leavening agents, to ensure the best possible flavor.

14. Room Temperature:

  • Serve the Hummingbird Cake at room temperature to allow the flavors to fully develop.

By following these tips and paying attention to the details, you can create a perfect Hummingbird Cake that is rich in flavor, moist in texture, and a delightful treat for any occasion.



Q1: Why did my Hummingbird Cake turn out too dense?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: An overly dense cake can result from overmixing the batter. To prevent this, mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined, and avoid excessive stirring.

Q2: What should I do if my cake layers are uneven in height?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: To ensure even layers, measure the batter quantity accurately when dividing it among the cake pans. Smooth the batter evenly to create uniform layers.

Q3: My cream cheese frosting turned out too runny. How can I thicken it?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: If the cream cheese frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar in small increments until you achieve the desired consistency. Refrigerating it for a short time can also help thicken it.

Q4: Can I substitute the pecans with another type of nut or omit them altogether?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Yes, you can substitute pecans with walnuts, almonds, or another preferred nut, or omit them if you have nut allergies or preferences.

Q5: How can I prevent my cream cheese frosting from being lumpy?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Ensure that both the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before making the frosting. Lumps can form if the ingredients are too cold. Sift the powdered sugar to remove lumps before adding it.

Q6: Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned crushed pineapple?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Yes, you can use fresh pineapple, but be sure to drain any excess liquid to maintain the cake’s texture.

Q7: How long can I store Hummingbird Cake in the refrigerator?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Hummingbird Cake can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. Make sure it’s well-covered or stored in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing other odors.

Q8: Can I freeze Hummingbird Cake?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Yes, you can freeze Hummingbird Cake for longer storage. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil or use a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

Q9: Can I make a smaller version of Hummingbird Cake if I don’t need a full-sized cake?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Yes, you can adjust the recipe to make a smaller cake by halving the ingredients or using smaller cake pans. Adjust the baking time accordingly.

Q10: How can I enhance the pineapple flavor in my cake?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: If you want a more pronounced pineapple flavor, consider adding a little pineapple extract or using fresh pineapple with a stronger flavor.

These FAQs and troubleshooting tips should help you address common issues and ensure your Hummingbird Cake turns out delicious and visually appealing. If you have more specific questions or encounter any other challenges, please feel free to ask for further assistance.

Nutrition information

The specific nutrition information for a Hummingbird Cake can vary depending on the recipe and portion size. Below, I provide a general estimate for the nutritional content of a typical Hummingbird Cake. Keep in mind that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific recipes and ingredient choices:

  • Serving Size: 1 slice (approximately 1/12th of a 9-inch round cake)
  • Calories: Approximately 350-450 calories per slice.
  • Fat: About 20-25 grams, primarily from the cake, cream cheese frosting, and nuts.
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 45-60 grams, primarily from the flour, sugar, bananas, and pineapple in the cake, as well as the powdered sugar in the frosting.
  • Protein: Roughly 4-6 grams, with the protein content coming from the eggs and cream cheese in the frosting.
  • Sugar: Around 30-40 grams, depending on the added sugar in the cake and frosting.
  • Fiber: Minimal dietary fiber.

**Keep in mind that these values are rough estimates, and the actual nutritional content may differ based on the specific recipe and serving size. If you require precise nutritional information, it’s best to calculate it based on the exact ingredients and quantities you use in your Hummingbird Cake recipe. You can also find various online nutritional calculators or apps that can assist you in determining the nutrition information for your specific recipe.

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