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Sweet Hummingbird Cake

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Typically, when people hear about fruit in cake, it can bring to mind some fruitcake nightmares from holidays past. Hummingbird cake may have fruit, but this moist and delicious confection will have you dreaming sweet dreams! Bite size morsels of pineapple, banana and pecan add both sweetness and texture. We like to keep the decorative toppings simple, such as whole or chopped pecans, but you might also try walnuts or shredded coconut. And the frosting – simply irresistible. We reserve any leftover frosting as a dip for fresh fruit or cookies.

In our house, this sweet confection appears for special occasions, making the baking – and eating – process so much sweeter. Our kids love all the layers that make the cake look elegant yet homemade. They also love the little kitchen trick I use to cut the layers, hint: they have a new appreciation for dental floss! But the best part is that the sound of my family eating this cake (“mmmmmm”) makes us think there’s a hummingbird in the room! Expect to serve about 10-12, depending on how large you slice!

Sweet Hummingbird Cake

90 minutes to prepare Serves 10-12


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Frosting:
  • 4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4-6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • whole pecans for decoration
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  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, banana, oil and pineapple) until creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, then slowly add mixture into the wet ingredients. Fold in pecans until just combined.
  4. Pour batter evenly into greased cake pans and place in oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing cake from pan onto a wire rack.
  6. As the cake cools, begin mixing the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl or mixer. Gradually add in the confectioners sugar. Mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  7. Take one of the two cooled cakes and set it on a cutting board, along with a long piece of unwaxed, unflavored dental floss. Wrap the dental floss around the middle of the cake, then cross the two ends and pull. Insert a spatula between the two layers to separate.
  8. Transfer the first tier onto a cake platter and apply a layer of frosting. Repeat this process until all four layers are stacked. Use remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of your cake.
  9. Decorate cake using whole or chopped pecans.

Recipe adapted from: Add a Pinch

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