A deliciously moist Hummingbird Cake made with bananas, pineapple and pecans. This stunning one–layer cake is topped with tangy cream cheese frosting and homemade pecan cookie crumbs. It’s a classic American dessert that is sure to wow your friends and family.
Hello hummingbird ❤️
Have you ever had Hummingbird Cake before? It’s incredible. This popular American spiced cake is filled with bananas, pecans and pineapple, and topped with cream cheese frosting.
All that goodness makes it super soft and moist, and it stays that way for days. I make mine even better by adding homemade pecan cookie crumbs for crunch. AH-mazing!
why you will love this recipe
- The cake is a simple mix and stir recipe
- It makes one BIG cake (feeds a crowd)
- It’s super moist and stays that way for days
- The frosting and cookie crumbs make it extra special
I can’t remember where I had my first slice of Hummingbird Cake. But it’s one of my favourite cake flavours because it’s just so different.
If you love banana cake, you’ll be ALL OVER this American classic. Filled with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, ripe (aka smelly) bananas, juicy pineapple and crunchy pecans, it’s one of the most flavourful cakes out there.
Because it’s made with oil instead of butter, it’s super moist with a soft, tender crumb. And it’s made complete with lashings of homemade cream cheese frosting.
what you will need for the cake
This is a simple mix and stir recipe. Here’s what you will need:
- Plain flour: Or all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Cinnamon & nutmeg: These spices add a lovely flavour to the cake.
- Caster sugar: Or granulated sugar.
- Brown sugar
- Pecans: Pecans add crunch to the cake. You can use another nut if you prefer, like walnuts, or for a nut-free version, just leave them out.
- Banana: Make sure you use VERY ripe, spotty bananas for maximum flavour and sweetness.
- Pineapple: This recipe calls for canned crushed pineapple in juice, rather than rings or pineapple pieces.
- Vegetable oil: Or another flavourless oil.
- Vanilla extract
how to make hummingbird cake
This cake is very quick and easy to make. Here’s how in three simple steps:
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, caster sugar, brown sugar and pecans.
- Add mashed banana, pineapple, oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir until combined.
- Transfer to prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
let’s talk cream cheese frosting
Traditionally, Hummingbird Cake is paired with cream cheese frosting and it’s not hard to see why. It really is a match made in heaven. The creamy, yet slightly tangy, frosting pairs perfectly with the fragrant, tender cake.
My cream cheese frosting uses just four ingredients: butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. Be sure to use a full-fat block of cream cheese, rather than a light or spreadable kind.
And for a smooth frosting, let your cream cheese come to room temperature before attempting to beat it – and be sure to sift your icing sugar.
frequently asked questions
YES. I’ve chosen to make this as one BIG 8-inch cake, pictured here, but you can slice the cake into two layers after it’s baked. Or you can split the batter into two 8-inch cake pans, or three 6-inch cake pans. Just remember if you do this, the cakes will cook faster. I recommend checking them around the 30-35 minute mark.
Yes, you can omit the pecans in the cake and not worry about the pecan cookie crumbs. The cake will still be delicious, promise!
No but you’re missing out. These shortbread cookies are HEAVEN.
A beautiful moist Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese frosting and crunchy pecan cookie crumbs.
- 245 grams (1 and 3/4 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 45 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
- 105 grams (1 cup) pecans, roughly chopped
- 250 grams (1 cup) mashed banana (approximately 2–3 overripe bananas)
- 275 grams (1 cup) canned crushed pineapple in juice
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pecan cookie crumbs
- 105 grams (1 cup) pecans, finely chopped
- 70 grams (1/2 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornflour or cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
Cream cheese frosting
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) butter, softened
- 250 grams (1 and 1/4 cup) full fat cream cheese, softened, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 435 grams (3 and 1/2 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar
- Hummingbird cake
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, caster sugar, brown sugar and pecans. Stir briefly.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then add mashed banana, pineapple, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- Use a spatula to gently stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for approximately 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Transfer cake to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before frosting.
- Pecan cookie crumbs
To make the pecan cookie crumbs, add pecans, flour, sugar, cornflour and salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour over melted butter and stir until crumbs resemble wet sand.
- Line a baking tray with baking or parchment paper. Add cookie crumbs and spread into one even layer. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until just golden. Leave to cool completely.
- Cream cheese frosting
To make the frosting, add butter, cream cheese and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
- Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and continue to beat until smooth.
- Spread frosting over the top of the cake. Sprinkle over pecan cookie crumbs. Cut into slices and serve.
Cake size: This recipe makes one large (deep) 8-inch cake. I prefer to use an 8-inch cake pan that’s 3 inches deep (rather than the standard 2 inches). You can easily make this into a two-layer cake by slicing the cake into two once it’s completely cooled. Or you can split the batter between two 8-inch cake pans. Note the cooking time will need to be adjusted. I recommend checking them around the 30-35 minute mark. You’ll know they’re ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Bananas: Make sure your bananas are super ripe and spotty for maximum flavour and sweetness. Also, mash them really well with a fork, otherwise you’ll get gummy banana bits in your cake.
Pecan cookie crumbs: Store any leftover cookie crumbs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Cream cheese frosting: I recommend using a block of full-fat cream cheese, rather than a light or spreadable cream cheese. To ensure a super smooth frosting, make sure your cream cheese has time to soften to room temperature. Also be sure to sift your icing sugar.
Make ahead: You can make the cake a day or two in advance. Once the cake is completely cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. Alternatively, you can freeze it. You can also make the cream cheese frosting in advance. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To serve, let it sit out for 15 minutes, then give it a good mix by hand before frosting your cake.