Hummingbird Cake (with a gluten free option)

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

Hummingbird Cake. It just sounds delightful doesn’t it?

The recipe for Hummingbird Cake was born in Jamaica. What sets Hummingbird Cake apart from other cakes is the use of oil instead of butter. There are literally hundreds of Hummingbird Cake recipes on the internet. So what makes mine different?

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

Most are made with processed vegetable oils. I say boo-hiss to that. Why would anyone use processed oils when coconut oil is a far healthier option? And since this is a traditional Jamaican recipe I think coconut oil stays truer to the Caribbean vibe of this cake! Those healthy fats, fresh ripe bananas and pineapple make Hummingbird cake super moist.

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

Cream cheese frosting is a perfect match for this cake, and again, I use only the best ingredients including Nielsen Massey Vanilla Paste. I buy the quart! (affiliate links)

See the flecks of vanilla bean?

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

The Recipe: Hummingbird Cake

You will need: Three nine inch cake pans, vanilla paste, a mixer. If you wish to make this cake gluten free: I have used this organic baking mix and it turned out really well, just add five minutes baking time.

5 from 4 votes
Hummingbird Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins

A delicious moist cake with cream cheese frosting. If making a Gluten Free option use your favorite gluten free flour (mine is listed above) and bake about 5-10 minutes longer.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic recipe, easy dessert recipe, gluten-free recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
For the cake:
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 cups all purpose flour plus a little more for dusting pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut oil (if weather is cold and oil is solid, heat slightly to make liquid)
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple from a can
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract...I always prefer paste:
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts or pecans divided
For Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 1 stick butter room temp (1/2 cup)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar confectioner' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place one rack in the upper third of oven and one in the lower third of oven. Use a paper towel to wipe the pans with butter and then sprinkle lightly with a little flour. Make sure to lightly cover bottoms and sides of pans.
  2. Use a potato masher to mash bananas.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add eggs and coconut oil, mix till combined.
  5. Add pineapple, banana, vanilla, and 1 cup nuts. Mix well.
  6. Pour as evenly as you can into the three prepared cake pans.
  7. Set two pans on upper rack and one on the center of the lower rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes total, switching the pans at the halfway mark (switch pans on bottom rack to top, and the top to bottom). When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before removing cake from pans.
For Icing:
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and use mixer to combine.
  2. When cakes are completely cool, use a spatula to frost. Sprinkle with remaining nuts.

Madison Reed

This cake is such a treat! I hope you love it as much as my family! Merry Christmas.

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen


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23 thoughts on “Hummingbird Cake (with a gluten free option)

  1. I’ve never heard of hummingbird cake actually! It sounds and looks tasty though. It looks like a very light cake, not really dense and rich which is a good thing to have to stir things up from my normal chocolate cake.

  2. I can’t quite get away from the adjective ‘gorgeous’ when it comes to the foods you prepare. Gorgeous! I love the traditional ingredients but with coconut oil; I think I used canola oil (blah!!!) years ago when I made this. It’s the classic dessert from my early 20’s when I first started liking cake, a crowd-pleaser. Thanks for your much-improved version!!!

  3. Making this tomorrow it looks so good!! Your buts look toasted or candied did you do anything to them? Thanks for the yummy recipes!

  4. Wonderful cake! I make things from various blogs all the time, and this is the first time I am leaving feedback because the result was exceptional. I followed the recipe except for using gluten free flour (a combo of Pillsbury and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour) and vanilla extract instead of paste. Rave reviews from everyone.

    • Fantastic Kathy! I don’t use gluten free flour unless I am baking for my daughter. It’s just an alternative I offer for those with sensativities. So glad you liked it! I love it too.

  5. I’ve tried out your recipe and it was amazing! I’m just starting to cook and your instructions were easy to follow and the cake turned out fantastic! Big hit with the family! In actually making it this week again! Thank you!

  6. I tried making mine with coconut flour and coconut sugar and batter came out like cookie batter. Not sure how it is going to bake. I molded it into pans as light as I could. Any ideas what I did wrong?

    • Yes I do an idea…you used coconut flour 🙂 I use all purpose flour or a gluten free baking mix (I link to the one I use in the post). I would imagine using coconut flour your cake will bake like a rock. So sorry 🙁

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