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Hummingbird Cake

Jennifer Davick
Hands-on time 30 mins
Bake time 1 hr, 20 mins
Yield Makes 12 servings
Exactly how this cake got its name isn’t clear, but it likely has to do with its flavor, sure to suit those nectar-loving hummingbirds and anyone with a love of dessert. The tropical fruit- and nut-studded cake first appeared in Southern Living magazine in 1978. It’s since become a signature cake of the South.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 3 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups chopped bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

  2. Coat 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottom of each pan with parchment paper; coat paper with cooking spray.

  3. Whisk together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla, and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in bananas, pineapple, and pecans. (Batter will be very thick, more like banana bread batter than cake batter.) Spoon batter into prepared pans.

  4. Bake at 350° for 28 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes). Peel off and discard parchment paper.

  5. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with one-fourth of frosting. Repeat procedure once. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

  6.  

Around the Southern Table