Hummingbird cake

by Barry Lewis



400g plain flour

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tspo ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

Pinch of salt

100g pecans, chopped

3 bananas

400g caster sugar

1 tin pineapple (500g), drained & pineapple chopped

250ml vegetable oil

3 eggs


250g cream cheese

60g butter

1 vanilla pod, seeds removed

400g icing sugar

Sugared pecan topping (optional)

60g pecans, chopped, for decorating

100g caster sugar

2tbsp water

Every now and then you discover a recipe that includes some of your dream ingredients. When we discovered this hummingbird cake recipe, that happened. The cake is super moist and best served chilled and very similar to a carrot cake … but without the carrots. A spicy banana bread type of cake with banana, pineapple, spices, pecans and a cream cheese frosting! We think you’ll love this recipe. Any leftovers can be used to make cupcakes!

First up get your oven pre-heated to 180c/160fan/350f/Gas 4 and get your tins ready. We used two 8 inch spring form pans, so had some leftover but use 10 inch / 25cm if you have them. Just grease and line them for now.

Get your dry ingredients for the cake – the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, bicarb of soda, salt, nuts and flour and stir together with a wooden spoon to achieve a consistent colour powder all nice and mixed through.

In another bowl put all the wet ingredients for the cake – plus the sugar. So mash up the bananas in the bowl first, then add the drained pineapple, oil, eggs and the sugar. Whisk this using an electric whisk for a couple of minutes until smooth.

Tip the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients and again whisk to combine and a nice thick batter that is powder free and well blended is achieved. Add to your two cake tins and bake for 45 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean) the sponge should be lovely and golden brown. Leave to cool fully on a wire rack.

Whilst the cake is baking make the icing by adding the cream cheese to a bowl with the softened butter & vanilla pod seeds & whisk until just combined. Gradually sift in the powdered sugar and lightly whisk until all merged. Do not over whisk it, keep it chilled.

If you want to make the sugared pecan topping, get a frying pan and add the sugar and water to it. Give it a brief stir then warm it over medium heat, avoid stirring it. Wait for it to bubble and give the pan a couple of shakes if you like carefully to mix it, just don’t stir to disturb it. Wait for the sugar to go an amber colour, then add in the chopped pecans, take off the heat and stir through allowing the pecans to cool fully. Add 2/3 of the pecans to a food processor to make the crumbs, leave the other 1/3 of chunks for garnish.

When the cakes are cooled, level if needed and place one cake down on a stand, using a blob of cream cheese frosting if you wish to stabilise it. Frost the top of it with cream cheese icing, then add the other cake on top, frosting the top of the cake. Place the larger pecan chunks on top of the cake around the edge and sprinkle more of the crumbs all over the middle on top.

Of course eat immediately! But…. It really does taste better after kept in the fridge and chilled. Super moist, spicy, chunky and a cake you’ll want to adapt and make again and again. The nuts are optional in our opinion too and you could easily replace the pineapple with carrot. Good luck!

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