“We just need to find three hummingbirds and we will be ready!” I say to Whitaker as we are finishing up at Whole Foods. “WHAT!?!” Oh, his look was priceless and he was fully questioning everything about my baking at this point.
Hummingbird Cake is a staple of the south. There is something about the pineapple, bananas, cream cheese frosting, and pecans that welcome the spring. I fell in love with this cake about a decade ago while living in Virginia. Then I started making it for Easter each year. You just need one slice of the rich cake to understand why it is looked forward to at our home.
For planning purposes, you can make the cake layers ahead of time. You can freeze the layers until you are ready. Then create your cake when ready.
Fun Tip: Find a fun cake stand to display your cake on. There is something special about a great cake stand.
Cake Layers Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
2 cups chopped ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
2 (16-oz.) pkg. powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
Prepare the Cake Layers: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and toasted pecans.
Divide batter evenly among 3 well-greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake in a preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire
Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Assemble Cake: Place 1 Cake Layer on a serving platter; spread top with 1 cup of the frosting. Top with the second layer, and spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with the third layer, and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of the cake. Arrange pecan halves on top of cake.