Desserts

Southern Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Hummingbird Cake on a green jade platter and silver server

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The South is known for it’s delicious foods and the desserts are no exception. Hummingbird Cake is a Southern classic. A Hummingbird Cake is a moist, dense and delicious dessert comprised of three delectable layers topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.


We can thank a woman from North Carolina for bringing this cake to the world. Mrs. L.H. Wiggins submitted the recipe to Southern Living and it’s become the most popular dessert recipe of all time for the magazine. Consequently, you might say this cake is legendary.

It is unbeknownst to me how this cake got its name although there are several stories. Some say the cake was so sweet it attracts hummingbirds, while others claim it got its name because it is so delicious that you hum with delight after each bite.

A cake with ingredients that include bananas, pineapple and pecans I prefer to think it was the latter of the two tales. 

Southern Hummingbird Cake from Scratch

Slice of Hummingbird Cake and Silver Fork

Five Tips for Baking a Hummingbird Cake

  • Always preheat your oven when baking unless the recipe says otherwise
  • Make sure ingredients, such as eggs, cream cheese and butter are room temperature
  • Prepare pans well by greasing with vegetable shortening and dusting with flour to prevent sticking
  • Scrape the bowl well when preparing a batter or frosting to make sure all ingredients are incorporated
  • When removing cakes from the pan to cool, turn upside down on the cooling rack to flatten the top

Southern Cake Recipe

Adapted and very slightly altered of the original version that appears in Southern Living

Ingredients

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Crushed Pineapple with Juice
  • Chopped Ripe Bananas
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Vegetable Shortening and Flour, for dusting the pans

Frosting

  • 2 8 oz Packages of Softened Cream Cheese
  • 2 Sticks of Softened Butter
  • 32 oz Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pecan Halves and Chopped Pecans for garnish, if desired

Old Fashioned Homemade Cake

Batter for Hummingbird Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl: Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Next add the eggs and vegetable oil to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.

For Step 3: Lastly, stir in the vanilla, pineapple, bananas and chopped pecans.

Next: Divide the batter evenly into 3 nine inch prepared cake pans.

5th Step: Bake 25-30 minutes or until set when a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to wire cooling racks. Cool upside down to flatten the tops of the cakes for one hour.

To Prepare the Frosting:

Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium low until smooth. Gradually add the powder sugar on low blending after each addition until all has been incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and mix until fluffy.

Frost between layers when assembling the cake and cover the top and sides with remaining frosting. Garnish with pecan halves and chopped pecans, if desired.

Best Hummingbird Cake

Layers of Hummingbird Cake
Hummingbird Cake from Scratch with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 1 Cake

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake on a green jade platter and silver server

Classic scratch made Southern Hummingbird Cake is an old fashioned favorite in the South with it's unique mix of pineapple, banana, pecans and rich cream cheese frosting.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Hummingbird Cake Ingredients

  • 3 c All Purpose Flour
  • 2 c Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 1.25 c Vegetable Oil
  • 1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 8 oz Can Crushed Pineapple with Juice
  • 2 c Chopped Ripe Bananas
  • 1 c Chopped Pecans
  • Vegetable Shortening and Flour, for dusting the pans

Cream Cheese Frosting for Hummingbird Cake

  • 2 8 oz Packages of Softened Cream Cheese
  • 2 Sticks of Softened Butter
  • 32 oz Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pecan Halves and Chopped Pecans for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cake
  3. In a large mixing bowl: Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  4. Next add the eggs and vegetable oil to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated. 
  5. Lastly, stir in the vanilla, pineapple, bananas and chopped pecans.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into 3 nine inch prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set when a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to wire cooling racks.
  9. Cool upside down to flatten the tops of the cakes for one hour.
  10. Frosting
  11. Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium low until smooth.
  12. Gradually add the powder sugar on low blending after each addition until all has been incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and mix until fluffy.
  13. Frost between layers when assembling the cake and cover the top and sides with remaining frosting. Garnish with pecan halves and chopped pecans, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8-10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 93gFiber: 2gSugar: 70gProtein: 6g

Shared at Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday

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Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats
    April 2, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I have never had a Hummingbird Cake before! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy! Pinning to try 🙂 XOXO

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 3, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Kelly Lynn,
      Thank you! This cake is so delicious. I know you’ll enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    April 2, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for sharing your special post with us at Full Plate Thursday! Have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Reply
    Amy (Savory Moments)
    April 4, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Your hummingbird cake looks perfect! So pretty and delicious!

  • Leave a Reply

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