Hummingbird cake is a flavorful cake made with bananas, pineapple, pecans and cinnamon. It’s topped with cream cheese frosting.

slices of hummingbird cake on white plates. fork in first slice of cake

Fall is a wonderful time of year. The air is crisp, the colors are beautiful, and there are lots of reasons to bake! Not only are there plenty of holidays, but there are also a lot of birthdays. My sister’s birthday was in September for which I whipped up my vanilla cake with buttercream, but added a lemon curd filling for some excitement. My dad’s birthday follows in October and I was eager to try something even more adventurous.

hummingbird cake ingredients in bowls, labeled

Step by step instructions

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients—flour, sugar baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  2. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Mix until combined, but do not beat.
  3. Add pineapple, bananas and pecans. Mix until incorporated. Transfer batter to two well-greased 9-inch round cake pans.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs.
  5. Make cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar , vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  6. Frost the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting on one of the round cakes. Place other cake on top and spread frosting on top and around the edges of the cake. Garnish with chopped pecans if desired.
collage with step by step photos demonstrating how to make hummingbird cake in mixing bowl
photo of round cake pans with hummingbird cake batter in pans

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called hummingbird cake? Depends who you ask, but I heard it’s called hummingbird cake because the cake originated in Jamaica where the hummingbird is the national bird.

Does hummingbird cake need to be refrigerated? If you are keeping the cake for more than a few hours, put it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh longer. The cake is okay for a few hours at room temperature if serving at a party.

Can you freeze hummingbird cake? Yes, unfrosted cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3 months. Frosted cake (slices or whole cake) should be put in the freezer for 2 hours to set, then wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost cake in the refrigerator.

offset spatula spreading cream cheese frosting on cake

Do you love the flavors in hummingbird cake? You can make them as mini cupcakes too and have them as bite-sized versions of this cake. If you prefer cookies, try these hummingbird oatmeal cookies from Bake or Break blog. This quick banana pineapple bread from Immaculate Bites blog provides the same flavor as well!

hummingbird cake on white cake stand; chopped pecans sprinkled on top

Sure enough the cake was a turned out moist and flavorful and it was a big hit for everyone at the table! Try it yourself next time you’re thinking of trying something new. Warning: It’s hard to resist a second slice!

slice of double layer hummingbird cake on plate with fork

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake is a flavorful cake made with bananas, pineapple, pecans and cinnamon. It's topped with cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

Hummingbird Cake

  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs,, beaten
  • 1 cup (236 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (225 g or 8 oz can) crushed pineapple, , undrained
  • 1 cup (125 g) chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped bananas, (about 2 large bananas)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup (225 g or 8 oz) cream cheese,, room temperature
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 g) confectioners' sugar,, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ½ cup (62 g) chopped pecans, for garnish

Instructions 

Hummingbird Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (or use my magic cake pan release).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are moistened. Do not beat.
  • Add the pineapple, bananas and pecans. Stir until incorporated.
  • Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar on low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

Notes

Storing hummingbird cake: Keep hummingbird cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Loosely tent the cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The cake is okay at room temperature for a few hours if you’re serving at a party.
Suggested tools:
  • Kitchen scale to weigh ingredients. It’s more accurate than measuring ingredients (especially for cakes!)
  • Large mixing bowl to fit all the ingredients in. I love how wide this ultimate mixing bowl is.
  • 9-inch round cake pans are best when they are light in color to prevent uneven baking. Nordic ware is my favorite (available on Amazon).
  • Offset spatula helps spread frosting evenly and smoothly.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 573kcal, Carbohydrates: 74g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 30g, Sodium: 273mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 30g

Southern Living recipe | Photography by Our Salty Kitchen

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