Hummingbird Cake might be new to you. The recipe for this unique cake was born in Jamaica, it’s sort of a hybrid banana-pineapple-spice cake. What sets Hummingbird Cake apart besides it’s rather tropical vibe is the use of oil instead of butter. There are literally hundreds of Hummingbird Cake recipes on the internet. So what makes mine different?
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No Unhealthy Oils!
Most Hummingbird Cake recipes 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 origins of this cake! Those healthy fats, fresh ripe bananas and pineapple make Hummingbird cake super moist.
How to Make Hummingbird Cake (with a gluten free option):
You can make this lovely cake with traditional all purpose flour, or make it gluten free. Not all gluten free flours are created equal. I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour for GF baking. The grains aren’t just gluten free, they are soaked for easier digestion!
The Cream Cheese Frosting:
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 to save money (affiliate links) Of course you can opt for vanilla extract, I just love to see those little vanilla flecks in the frosting!
See the flecks of vanilla bean?
The Recipe: Hummingbird Cake
You will need: Three nine inch cake pans, vanilla paste, a mixer.
A delicious moist cake with cream cheese frosting.
- 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 teaspoon 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
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 1/2 cup butter. room temp
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
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.
Use a potato masher to mash bananas.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add eggs and coconut oil, mix till combined.
Add pineapple, banana, vanilla, and 1 cup nuts. Mix well.
Pour as evenly as you can into the three prepared cake pans.
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.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and use mixer to combine.
When cakes are completely cool, use a spatula to frost. Sprinkle with remaining nuts.
MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?
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Wonderful! I’ve never heard of hummingbird cake but I am pinning this to make as soon as I have a chance. It looks so lovely. Your photography is amazing too.
This looks so yummy and I love the name. I have read about these cakes before but never tried to make one.
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.
I wouldn’t actually classify it as light. It’s pretty moist and dense…and delicious!
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!!!
You are so sweet! I think most recipes call for canola or vegetable oil. I saw that Jamie Oliver’s recipe called for olive oil which could also be really interesting!
I’ve actually never heard of this kind of cake. It looks a little too sweet for me, but I bet it tastes really good!
Wow does this look good!!! I will pass the recipe on to my baker daughter! I do have a birthday coming up…..
Well happy birthday to you!
Making this tomorrow it looks so good!! Your buts look toasted or candied did you do anything to them? Thanks for the yummy recipes!
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.
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!
Awesome recipe and cake!! Thank you! Very easy to follow instructions!
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 🙁
please could you tell me what size tins you used for this recipe. Thank you
Three 9″ pans.
sorry just seen the answer…it isn’t in the print version
Glad you found it!
Looks yummy. Could u substitute coconut sugar??
I am sure you could but I have never done it myself. If you try it let me know how it works out:)
How did it work out substituting coconut sugar?
My kids LOVE this cake and I always share your link 🙂
This time, I’ve been requested to bake it without pineapple. Can I just omit it or do I need to replace with some other ingredient? I will be putting fondant on this cake so making it a little less moist/soft is ok 🙂
I am so glad your kids love it! Now to answer your question, I have never left the pineapple out so I can’t be positive, but I feel like you could just leave it out and it would be ok. If you try it please let me know if it works:)