Hummingbird Cake

Eve 25/10/14

Banana, pineapple and cinnamon gives this tender brown sugar cake a sweet, fruity and warming taste. Topped off with a cream cheese frosting, this cake is perfect for these Autumnal days.

Okay, I was a bit skeptical about this "hummingbird" cake, having pineapple and banana together in a cake. I am so glad I have made this though, it is like a cake you would find in a cute little coffeeshop with artisan coffee and fairtrade tea!

You can probably see that I love coffeeshops or cafes, especially in different countries around the world.

A lot has been happening in the past week, were do I begin? Well, the most exciting thing that happened was when I visited the BBC Good Food Show and saw Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. If you don't know who these people are, they are the judges from the TV programme "The Great British Bake Off" and Mary is dubbed as the Queen of Cakes and Paul is known as the King of Bread.

This was a great day out; lots of food testers, snacks and continuous munching!

This cake, once baked and devoured, was really delicious, I was very pleasantly surprised! The flavour of the banana is not to strong but strong enough to give a lovely banana-y flavour. The pineapple adds one of those "can't pin it down but I love it" flavours as well as an underlying sweetness. 

Hummingbird cake originated from the southern states of American or the Caribbean. The name "hummingbird" tells us that the cake is known for its sweet and fruity qualities, as hummingbirds only drink nectar from plants, a very sweet liquid.  The cake has become very popular in the southern states, such as Texas and Georgia. 

History lesson is over!

Dark brown sugar, oil and eggs make up the base of this wonderful batter. Each ingredient adds a vital factor to the cake ~ the brown sugars adds a caramely note while the oil ensures the cakes is tender and the eggs add richness and body. 

Be sure to use dark brown sugar when making this cake as regular light brown sugar just does not inject the flavour and colour that we need.

Also, instead of using 2 eggs in the batter, I used one egg and one egg yolk. I feel that if I use 2 whole eggs, the cake would of become slightly "tough". Just adding the yolk gives the richness and creaminess without the white, which adds dryness and structure.

As we are using two types of fresh fruit in this cake, the batter is quite fluid but don't worry! Once the cake has had a slow and low bake for 50 minutes, it should be perfect!

What takes this cake to new levels is the cream cheese frosting. Four ingredients, 3 minutes and this frosting is ready to go! I don't know what it is but I think this is the best cream cheese frosting I have made. Creamy, smooth, vanilla-y and tangy n' sweet, it is so darn good! 

Whats the secret to make a good "cc" frosting, you may ask?

Equal amounts of butter to cheese.
Using whipped soft cheese.

~Using equal amounts of butter to cheese is vital if you want to make a stable yet flavoursome frosting. Whatever you do, you must use butter, not a spreadable alternative as the butter is important for two reasons.

1. Butter has flavour! The flavour of the butter enhances the flavour of the cheese, creating an addictive frosting. 

2. Butter is solid at fridge temperature but spreads are not. The butter creates a smooth texture and also allows you to whip and beat the frosting without becoming runny.

~ Whipped soft cream makes this frosting a bit lighter in texture and gives the frosting a slightly "aerated" feel. Also, don't use spreadable cream cheese, like Philadelphia Cream Cheese, as , when beaten and whipped up, it begins to lose it's stability and become runny. 

Dense, sweet and delicious, this cake can please even the fruit-haters in this world!

P.S I love fruit (and veggies!) 

Hummingbird Cake
Posted by Eve
Makes 1 cake

For the cake
  • 100ml oil, I used sunflower 
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • 200g tinned pineapple in juice, drained 
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting
  • 50g butter, at room temperature for 15 minutes
  • 60g soft cheese, at room temperature 
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ground pecans or walnuts, to decorate {optional}

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºc/ 160ºc/ gas mark 3 and grease and line a 20cm deep cake tin with baking paper and butter.
  • Put the oil, sugars, spices and eggs into a large bowl and whisk until paler in colour and lighter in texture. This should take about 4 minutes. Mash and the banana and chop up the pineapple into small chunks. Add the fruit and the mix and whisk in well. 
  • Sieve in the dry ingredients and add the vanilla. Mix briefly until just combined.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tine for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • For the frosting, beat together the butter and soft cheese together until well combined. Sieve in the icing sugar and add the vanilla and beat well until fluffy.
  • To assemble, place the cake onto the serving plate and top with the frosting, spreading it over the top of the cake. Decorate with the ground pecans or walnuts if you want.


Keep the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Eat at room temperature for maximum taste. 


  1. Why does the recipe call for the cake to be cut in half when the photo doesn't show it?

    1. Thank you for this comment, I have corrected the recipe; yes, it does not need sliced in half!


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