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Hummingbird Cake

Mar 25 2013

by Grace Mannon

Southern Recipe Posted by Grace Mannon.

Hummingbirds are pretty incredible little creatures, and I think I’d like to be reincarnated as one. First and foremost, they can fly backwards. Secondly, all they eat is nectar. Finally, I just read that their hearts can beat as many as 1260 times per minute. That’s a lot. Clearly, they have some fierce metabolism. They’re living the good life…until they fly into a window or get snatched by a cat.

Who cares about hummingbirds, you ask? Yes, they’re fun to watch flit to and fro and they’re very pretty critters, but my favorite thing about them doesn’t really have anything to do with them–it’s the cake to which they lend their name.


This interesting blend of flavors and textures is uniquely Southern and makes me wonder who first decided to throw them all together. It’s all a little bit tropical, and it all works together beautifully. The proportions are just right, and the resulting cake is so moist and so magical and so darn tasty that it makes my heart flutter to even recall my last bite. If you’ve never tried hummingbird cake, you should make it a point to do so!

Hummingbird Cake
Makes 24 cupcakes or 2 9-inch layer cakes

Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (a little extra wouldn’t hurt…)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Frosting:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
dash vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners or grease two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together banana, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture, mixing until combined. Stir in flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time and beat until creamy. Add the milk to obtain the proper consistency. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake or apply the frosting between and on the outside of the layers of cake. Adorn with toasted coconut or walnut pieces or both!

Enjoy this southern recipe in this collection of our southern cuisine – let’s gather the best southern food ideas for The Southern Coterie cookbook.

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Grace Mannon View More Blog Posts from this Author

You've heard it before--American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. Prepare to laugh at me and with me as I make a mess in my kitchen.

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