Hummingbird cake

This delectable and moist Southern cake is filled with pineapple and bananas. It’s topped with a rich cream cheese frosting and decorated with chopped pecans.

hummingbird cake

I don’t remember what magazine or cookbook we were looking at recently, but when my husband saw a recipe for a Southern hummingbird cake, he knew that this was what he wanted for his birthday. The cake had loads of pineapple and bananas and was covered in cream cheese frosting. What’s not to love?

hummingbird cake

I’m not sure why I didn’t keep that particular recipe on file, but I made an executive decision to find a new recipe. The one I ended up making here seemed more straightforward. Plus, the author is a bona fide Southern girl, so I knew that her cake would be top notch.

hummingbird cake

My cakes ended up doming in the middle, so I got to shave those down and sneak a taste before I assembled the cake. It was soft, moist and full of banana flavor. The pineapple flavor got lost a bit, but the textures were there, albeit a little more subtle than I was expecting. The frosting, while good, could have also used more pineapple flavor.

hummingbird cake

Both Addie and my husband commented that the cake tasted more like a banana bread. They wanted more pineapple flavor, which they thought got lost among the banana. I agreed, since it tasted like a beautifully baked round banana bread with frosting. My husband thought that this cake would have some coconut flavor, but this particular recipe did not. I will likely try to bake another cake with coconut and pineapple in the near future.

Husband’s rating: 3.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4 out of 5

Hummingbird cake

This hummingbird cake is a banana-pineapple spice cake that originated in Jamaica and became a popular Southern dessert. 
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Chilling time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Eva Bakes



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 and ¼ cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 and ¾ cups (about 4-5) ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans optional


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 and ½ cups powdered sugar more as needed
  • pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans for decoration, optional


Bake the cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease and line three 8" round baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer or if mixing by hand, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add in the eggs, oil, vanilla, pineapple with juice, mashed bananas, and pecans (if using), and mix on medium low speed until well combined. Your batter will be thick.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into your prepared baking pans, making sure to smooth out the top. Bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting

  • In the bowl of a clean stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until combined.
  • Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar.
  • Add the pineapple juice, salt, and vanilla extract and mix well. If the frosting appears too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add a little bit of pineapple juice.

Assemble the cake

  • If your cakes have domed in the middle, you'll want to level them off using a bread knife. Save the scraps and eat them as a snack!
  • Place one of the cake layers, flat-side down, on a cake plate or a cake stand.
  • Add some frosting on top and smooth the top.
  • Place another cake layer on top and repeat with the frosting.
  • Place the final cake layer, flat side UP. Add a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
  • Put the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator and frost the top and sides again with a thicker layer of frosting.
  • If desired, decorate the top and/or sides of the cake with the chopped pecan pieces.
  • Slice and enjoy!


Leftover cake should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator and will last several days. You may want to let the cake come to room temperature before serving.
Source: Grandbaby Cakes

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