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Hummingbird Cake

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  • Yield: two 9" layers 1x


Tropical, sweet, nutty Hummingbird Cake finished with a browned butter cream cheese frosting. This cake is best served after a rest. Make it in the morning, serve it in the evening or the next day. I love smaller cakes, so I halved this recipe, like I usually do, and baked in two 6″ cake pans.


  • Cake
  • 3 ripe bananas, frozen
  • 2 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. flaky kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1 1/4 c. pure cane sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 c. canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. diced fresh pineapple
  • Buttercream
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 34 c. powdered sugar


  1. Make cake. Bring frozen ripe bananas to room temperature. If bananas were frozen in with peel on, place whole bananas in a bowl with warm water to thaw, flipping once. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pans with parchment paper cut to size. Set aside.
  2. Into a medium bowl, whisk together flours, soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  3. Into a large bowl, whisk together sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Into a food processor or blender, pulse together thawed bananas and diced pineapple until broken down in size, but not pureed. Add to sugar mixture and stir together until completely incorporated.
  5. Using a large spoon or spatula, fold the flour into the batter until just combined. Over mixing will yield a dense batter.
  6. Evenly distribute batter between pans using a spring release ice cream scoop. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back upon a light touch. The cake will be a deep golden color.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for about 5 minutes. The cake may fall a bit in the center. Before removing, run a thin knife or offset spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen. Invert on cooling wrack and continue to cool.
  8. Make buttercream. Place one stick (1/2 cup) of butter in a small saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat until butter is browned, about 5 minutes. Pour into small bowl and freeze for 10 minutes to cool. Once cooled, use a hand-held or stand mixer to cream together browned butter, regular butter, and cream cheese until smooth. Add extract and salt. Mix again. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix well between each addition. After 3 cups, taste to see if additional sugar is necessary.
  9. Assemble. Place bottom layer of cake on cake stand, leveling the top if necessary. Add a substantial layer of icing. Place second layer on top, leveling if necessary. Add a final substantial layer of icing. With the remaining buttercream, barely ice the sides of the cake as if you were doing a crumb coat. Continue to work an offset spatula around until completely smooth. Top with pecan bits. Allow cake to rest for at least 3 hours before serving. Store covered.
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