Classic Hummingbird Cake

Classic Hummingbird Cake is a soft and tender cake that is loaded with tropical flavors including banana and pineapple. Plus it’s perfectly spiced with a hint of cinnamon. All covered with a luscious, smooth cream cheese frosting. Be prepared for this to become your new favorite cake!

Enjoy all of the flavors of the tropics with this Classic Jamaican cake recipe. Loaded up with tropical flavors of bananas and pineapple this cake is perfectly tender. For more flavorful cakes you can also check out this Pineapple Cake, Best Carrot Cake Recipe Ever, and this Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Hummingbird cake with a slice of cake taken out of it.

Classic Hummingbird Cake

Move over carrot cake! This tropical flavored, spice cake is worthy of the same amount of praise..if not more! The recipe for Hummingbird Cake is originally from Jamaica and has been a favorite cake recipe in America since the 1970s. This cake is tender and moist thanks to the banana, crushed pineapple, and juices.

The hint of cinnamon and pecans adds a perfect balance of spice and texture to the finished cake. Top it all off with this perfectly smooth cream cheese frosting and this cake is a crowd pleaser!

How to Make Hummingbird Cake:

  1. Toast the pecans: This step only takes a few minutes, but it adds a nice depth of flavor to the pecans in the cake.
  2. Dry Ingredients: Mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix together the wet ingredients: Start with the sugars and eggs. Then add in the oil (which we use instead of butter to help balance the flavors of the cake. Butter can overpower the flavors.) Then add in the bananas and pineapple. Make sure you get all of the juices from the pineapple. Using canned pineapple is best, but you can crush your own pineapple, just be sure to get as much juice as possible.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet: Combine and fold in the pecans.
  5. Pour into prepared baking pans: Either spray the baking pans with a baking spray that has flour, or grease and flour the baking pans. Traditionally the cake is made as a three layer cake. However, just to keep things a little less complicated I went for a two layer cake.
  6. Bake the cakes: Bake completely and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Under-baking the cake can cause the center to cave in.
  7. Make the cream cheese frosting: Frost and layer the cake when the cakes have cooled completely to room temperature. Top with crushed pecans and serve!

Variations of this Hummingbird Cake Recipe:

  • Make this recipe as cupcakes: spoon the batter into cupcake liners and bake for about 16 minutes. The frosting recipe will be able to be reduced to adjust for the amount needed.
  • Make this a sheet cake: pour the batter into a standard 13×9 cake pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cake is fully cooked, with a toothpick inserted in the center coming out clean. Again, the amount of frosting can be adjusted.
  • Add coconut: some recipes do add some sweetened shredded coconut to the cake to add an extra bit of flavor and texture.
  • Use walnuts or leave out the nuts: if needed leave out the nuts, they are not required for the recipe. They are an extra bit of flavor and texture. If you are unable to get or use pecans you could also use walnuts.

How to Store This Cake:

This hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting should be stored in a sealed container to prevent it from drying out. Store the cake at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or you can seal and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Simply let the cake slices come to room temperature before serving if desired.

A slice of hummingbird cake laying on its side on a blue plate.

More Delicious Cake Recipes to Try: 

Classic Hummingbird Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Serene Herrera
Servings 14 Slices

Classic Hummingbird Cake is a soft and tender cake that is loaded with tropical flavors including banana and pineapple. Plus it's perfectly spiced with a hint of cinnamon. All covered with a luscious, smooth cream cheese frosting. Be prepared for this to become your new favorite cake!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Caribbean
Keyword hummingbird, hummingbird cake, hummingbird cake recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • cup banana mashed (approx 4 bananas)
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 8 ounce pkgs cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4½-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • Chopped Pecans for garnish as desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans, set aside.

  2. Toast the pecans in a medium size skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Stir the pecans while toasting for 3-5 minutes until the pecans have darkened in color and are fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  3. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl combine the sugars and add in the egg. Whisk together. Pour in the oil and stir until mostly combined. Add in the banana and crushed pineapple. Stir until well combined.

  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until the batter is just coming together.

  6. Chop up the toasted pecans and fold into the batter.

  7. Divide the batter and pour into the prepared baking pans. Bake the cakes on the same rack for 30-35 minutes or until baked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  8. Remove the baked cakes and set to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then gently remove the cakes from the pan and continue to cool on a wire rack until cooled completely to room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Add the room temperature softened cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat either in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla and salt.

  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar while mixing. Continue until the frosting has a smooth, spreadable consistency.

  3. Assemble the cake by placing one of the cakes on the plate, top with a thick layer of frosting. Smooth to make an even layer. Gently place the other cake layer upside down on the top (this helps give a nice flat top to the cake. Cover the cake with the rest of the frosting. Garnish with chopped pecans as desired.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Classic Hummingbird Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 646 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 18g90%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 277mg12%
Potassium 205mg6%
Carbohydrates 96g32%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 72g80%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 276IU6%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Serene Herrera

Home cook, photographer, mother and lover of food. I love taking simple ingredients and creating delicious meals or sweet treats that the entire family will love, all with a hint of Texas charm.

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