The best Hummingbird Cake! It’s a tender, flavorful cake brimming with fresh pineapple, bananas, pecans, and spices and finished with luscious cream cheese frosting and coconut! The perfect cake for Easter or any other special occasion.
Homemade Hummingbird Cake
I think of this cake as banana cake meets the tropics, in that it is loaded with bananas, laced with fresh pineapple and covered in sweet, toasted coconut.
It will remind you a lot of banana bread, but with a bonus of decadent cream cheese frosting of course. There are so many delicious flavors and perfect textures in this cake.
The cake has a nice tender thanks to the sugar and bananas and it has a nice moist crumb thanks to the vegetable oil, it’s dotted with juicy bits of pineapple and crunchy toasted pecans, and it’s finished with a creamy, lightly tangy frosting and finished with crisp bits of toasted coconut (or chewy coconut if you like it un-toasted).
It’s an old fashioned style cake that will likely remind you of home. Made from scratch and sure to please!
What Ingredients go into Hummingbird Cake?
Fresh pineapple – I love this cake with fresh Dole pineapple (and you can just eat the leftover) but canned, drained pineapple will work too if you don’t have access to good fresh.
Overripe bananas – don’t use yellow peel bananas but don’t use black rotten bananas either, generously speckled bananas will taste best.
All-purpose flour – I use the scoop and level method when measuring out the flour, for most consistent results use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients like flour.
Baking soda – added so the cake will rise
Eggs – these binds the ingredients in the cake and helps the cake rise.
Cinnamon and nutmeg – these spices make this cake sing!
Salt – don’t forget the salt! Have you ever accidentally left this out? The cake will taste flat.
Granulated sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar – that’s a lot of sugars, but we’re making cake!
Vegetable oil – canola oil will work just the same. Oil offers a moister cake than butter would.
Vanilla extract – added to both the cake and frosting for that irresistible background flavor.
Butter – use unsalted so the frosting isn’t overly salty.
Pecans – these are toasted to add even more flavor. Walnuts would work great too.
Cream cheese – stick with Philadelphia brand for consistent results.
Shredded coconut – use medium (standard) shredded coconut. Sweetened or unsweetened will work.
How to Make Hummingbird Cake
Preheat oven to 350, grease and line and flour cake pans.
Whisk together pineapple with 1/4 cup flour.
Whisk remaining flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
Whip white and brown sugar with eggs until pale and fluffy, mix in oil and vanilla.
Fold in half of the flour mixture, then mashed banana, then remaining flour mixture. Finish by folding in pineapple and pecans.
Pour into cake pans, bake until set, about 35 minutes.
Let cool in pans about 10 minutes, then invert and cool on wire rack.
Prepare frosting and spread over cooled cake. Spread coconut along outside of cake, decorate top with pecans.
Tips for Hummingbird Cake
Use fresh pineapple for best flavor. It has a lot more flavor than the canned.
Use a scale if possible to measure ingredients for consistent results.
Line the cake pans. I don’t recommend just spraying, we’ve all had at least one experience with a cake or dessert sticking but parchment paper helps prevent that.
Don’t over-mix the batter. This is a somewhat dense cake with all the fruits, so if you were to over-fold the batter it may end up too heavy. Just mix until the streaks are gone.
Careful not to over-bake. If you bake longer than needed the cake will start to get dry. Bake just until set in the center. The toothpick test works great.