Hummingbird Cake

Cream Cheese Frosted Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake is a Southern specialty with banana, pineapple and pecans enrobed in a cinnamon-spiced cake topped with cream cheese frosting.

The cake is super moist with the pieces of pineapple and nuts adding texture. The warm spices are subtle and the generous amount of fluffy, tangy cream cheese frosting and coconut flakes on top are the perfect finishing touches.

The starring role goes to the banana with pineapple as a supporter. In essence it’s a banana cake. Hummingbird cake is much prettier and sounds fancier.

Like a cake you want to eat in the middle of a flower garden sipping tea from a china cup in a frilly dress with a pink hat on your head.

The recipe as written makes 3 layers. Instead, I made 2 layers and 6 cupcakes.

The cupcakes served as little snacks to sustain the cook (me). Maybe I planned it that way, maybe I didn’t. Either way it worked out good because I could taste them before my guests did, to see if they were foul. They weren’t.

This was a sweet and lovely way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hummingbird Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 (3 layer) cake

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake is a Southern specialty with banana, pineapple and pecans enrobed in a cinnamon-spiced cake topped with cream cheese.


3 tablespoon butter
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (like McCormick roasted cinnamon)
1 teaspoon ground ginger (like McCormick roasted ginger)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 + 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple with juices (unsweetened)
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 5 bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup sour cream (not fat-free)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
16 ounce bag confectioners' sugar, sifted
coconut flakes or chopped nuts, for garnishing the top


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line the bottoms of three 9" round cake pans with parchment paper (or 2 pans and line a 6 cup muffin pan with paper liners for cupcakes). Grease each pan with butter and dust with flour, tap out excess.
  2. In a large bowl sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt together. Stir in the pecans and set aside.
  3. In a a separate large mixing bowl beat the sugar, brown sugar, and eggs together on high speed until smooth. Add the pineapple and juice, bananas, oil, sour cream and vanilla; mix until combined. Add the flour/pecan mixture and mix on low speed until evenly combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  5. Bake about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center.
  6. Transfer cakes to wire racks and let sit for 15 minutes then turn out each cake and allow to cool.
  7. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and cream cheese together on low speed 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add the confectioners' sugar a cup or two at a time mixing on low speed until all of it is incorporated. Beat on medium speed 5-6 minutes until light and fluffy.
  8. Frost cake and sprinkle with coconut flakes or chopped nuts.


Adapted from Saveur

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    • Reeni says

      Yes you can Janice! Although you will probably have too much batter – you can bake the extra in a cupcake tin! The cooking time should be about the same but I would check it often with a toothpick in the center. Here is another Hummingbird cake – for a bundt pan you may like to try instead. Hope this helps!

  2. Kim says

    Baking the three layers for 50 minutes must be an error. Twenty minutes or so should be plenty. Joy of Baking says 25-30 minutes for 2 layers.

    • Reeni says

      Hi Kim! It’s not a mistake – it took that long for mine to be done. It does seem like it would be too long but it’s only baked at 350 and it’s super moist which I’m sure has something to do with it. You can check out the original recipe from Saveur.

  3. Robin says

    Just popped my batter filled pans in the oven….then saw the sour cream on the counter.You have sour cream listed in the ingredients but not in the directions,so I forgot to add it…hope the cake doesn’t come out dry….

    • Reeni says

      Hi Robin! It should be ok with all the banana and pineapple in there. Mine was super moist. I’ll cross my fingers! Have a great weekend! Thanks for making the cake!

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