It was my husband’s birthday recently and when I asked him what he would like for the celebration, he chose this one. I knew he would. The Hummingbird Cake is absolutely delicious and an outright winner when I make it.
Light, moist and covered in lashings of Cream Cheese Frosting, what’s not to love. I used walnuts in this recent bake, but you can use pecans too.
It comes from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, which is one of my favourite recipe books. A true gem if you have a sweet tooth like me and you’ll find everything from special occasion cakes to traybakes that you can knock up quickly on a Saturday afternoon.
It’s one of my cherished secret possessions, held captive from my step-daughter, who it really belongs to. When she has her own place I’ll give it back to her and get my own copy. Until then…
For the Cake
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 270g peeled bananas, mashed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
- 300g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g tinned pineapple, chopped into small pieces
- 100g shelled pecan nuts (or walnuts), chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole, to decorate
- 2 quantities of Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g cream cheese, cold
You will need:
Three 20cm cake tins, base-filled with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 170C (Gas mark 3).
Put the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until everything is well mixed.
Stir in the chopped pineapple and pecan nuts by hand until evenly dispersed.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand and spread about one-quarter of the Cream Cheese Frosting over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with pecan nuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.