Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake

You know how at the end of the week there is always that one thing left that makes you scratch your head and wonder how you can use it? Well, last week we were left with a pineapple. Nobody in my house was all that excited about eating it but I hate to let food go to waste. The best I could come up with was a traditional hummingbird cake recipe.

I am a little obsessed with hummingbirds at the moment. In Native American culture, hummingbirds are symbolic of healing, love, good luck, and joy. In Central America, it is believed that they will bring love to anyone who spots them. All that makes me think of my daughter, Lexi! The symbolism of the hummingbird sums her up.

Created on the island of Jamaica, hummingbird cake was named after the island’s national bird, where it is also known as the Doctor Bird cake. Doctor Bird is another name for the hummingbird. (Did you know that? I had no idea either until Lexi read it in a book recently.) It’s also a very popular cake in the American South.

If you’re interested, you can read the history of the hummingbird cake HERE.

We think it may also be called hummingbird cake because you make an HHHMMMM sound when you take your first bite…. it is that good! It’s the perfect cake to make when you are expecting visitors. It’s easy to make and is sure to impress.

Fresh, organic pineapple

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

For this recipe, you are supposed to use a can of crushed pineapple, but since we had fresh pineapple I chopped it up in the food processor and used that instead. I simply added a little water to thin out the mixture a bit and get the right consistency.

You can make it a little more exotic and replace the pineapple with pureed mango.

This is a very sweet cake, which is why the cream cheese icing compliments it so perfectly!

Course Baking
Cuisine American



  • 1 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 can crushed pineapple not drained
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans chopped
  • 1 cups mashed bananas approximately 6 bananas
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 tub firm cream cheese
  • 250 g butter softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence



  • Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  • Grease and line 3 x 23cm cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt together.
  • Add the eggs and oil and stir until just combined.
  • Stir in the pineapple and juice, the nuts, bananas and vanilla.
  • Spoon the batter into the cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (with the paddle attachment) beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the icing sugar and beat through.
  • Add the vanilla essence and beat until just combined.
  • Let it rest in the fridge while your cake cools.
  • Ice each cake layer and stack.
Keyword baking, cake, cream cheese icing, hummingbird cake

If you’re looking for other great recipes to make with your kids, check out our growing recipe collection HERE.

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