Old Fashioned Hummingbird Cake Recipe From Scratch

Are you looking for a delightful and nostalgic dessert to wow your guests? Look no further than this Old-Fashioned Hummingbird Cake Recipe from Scratch! Transport yourself back in time with this classic Southern dessert that is bursting with flavors. Made with a moist and flavorful combination of bananas, pineapples, and pecans, this cake is sure to please even the most discerning palates. The creamy cream cheese frosting adds the perfect finishing touch, making this cake a true showstopper. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to indulge in a slice of pure homemade goodness.

Old-Fashioned Hummingbird Cake Recipe from Scratch | 101 Simple Recipe
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History of Hummingbird Cake

The history of Hummingbird Cake can be traced back to the Southern United States, where it has become a beloved dessert cherished for its rich flavors and cultural significance. This iconic cake is said to have originated in Jamaica, where it was known as the “Doctor Bird Cake” before making its way to the South. The cake gained popularity in the 1970s when it started appearing in various cookbooks and magazines.

The Story Behind the Cake

The story behind the Hummingbird Cake is as charming as its name. The cake is named after the island’s national bird, the Jamaican Swallowtail hummingbird, which is known for its vibrant colors and sweet nectar. Legend has it that the cake got its name because it is as sweet and tempting as the nectar that attracts hummingbirds.

Regional Influences on the Recipe

The Hummingbird Cake recipe has been influenced by various Southern cuisines, making it a unique and flavorful blend of different traditions. One of the most notable influences on the recipe is the use of local ingredients like bananas and pineapple, which add a tropical twist to the cake’s taste. The Southern tradition of using pecans in desserts also played a role in the evolution of the Hummingbird Cake.

Celebration and Tradition

Hummingbird Cake has become synonymous with celebrations and gatherings in the South. It is often served on special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and holidays. The cake’s moist texture and balanced flavors make it a crowd-pleaser that is enjoyed by people of all ages.

In addition to its delicious taste, the Hummingbird Cake holds significant cultural value in the South. It represents the warmth and hospitality that is deeply ingrained in Southern culture. The act of baking and sharing this cake with loved ones is seen as a gesture of love and care.

The tradition of making Hummingbird Cake from scratch has been passed down through generations, with families preserving their own unique recipes and techniques. It is a way to connect with the past and honor the traditions of the South.

Whether you are a seasoned baker or just starting out, trying your hand at making an old-fashioned Hummingbird Cake from scratch is a delightful way to experience the flavors and history of this beloved Southern dessert.

Old fashioned hummingbird cake recipe from scratch

Key Ingredients for a Classic Hummingbird Cake

Explore the essential components that give this cake its unique flavor and texture.

Mashed Banana: The Secret Sweetener

When it comes to the classic Hummingbird Cake, one of the key ingredients that sets it apart is mashed banana. This secret sweetener not only adds natural sweetness to the cake but also keeps it moist and tender. The mashed banana provides a subtle fruity flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.

In order to achieve the best results, it’s important to use ripe bananas that are slightly soft and speckled. These bananas are sweeter and more fragrant, infusing the cake with their delicious aroma. Mash the bananas until they are smooth and creamy, ensuring that there are no lumps in the batter. This will help distribute the sweetness evenly throughout the cake.

The use of mashed banana in the Hummingbird Cake recipe also allows for a reduction in the amount of refined sugar needed, making it a healthier choice for those watching their sugar intake. So not only does the banana add flavor and moisture, but it also adds a touch of natural sweetness to this delightful dessert.

Pineapple: A Tropical Twist

Another ingredient that gives the Hummingbird Cake its distinct taste is pineapple. This tropical fruit adds a refreshing twist to the cake, balancing out the sweetness of the banana and providing a tangy undertone.

The crushed pineapple is typically added with its juice, ensuring that every bite bursts with tropical flavor. The acidity of the pineapple also helps to break down the proteins in the cake batter, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. The pineapple adds moisture to the cake, preventing it from drying out and contributing to its overall deliciousness.

It’s important to use canned crushed pineapple in its own juice rather than syrup or chunks. The crushed consistency ensures that the pineapple is evenly distributed throughout the cake, giving every mouthful a burst of fruity goodness. So don’t forget to include this tropical twist when making your old-fashioned Hummingbird Cake!

Pecans: Adding a Nutty Crunch

No Hummingbird Cake would be complete without the addition of pecans. These delicious nuts provide a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor that perfectly complements the other ingredients.

The pecans are typically chopped and folded into the cake batter, ensuring that each slice is studded with these delightful morsels. Their natural oils are released during baking, infusing the cake with a rich and buttery taste. The combination of the pecans with the mashed banana and pineapple creates a wonderful harmony of flavors and textures.

If you prefer a smoother texture, you can also opt to finely chop the pecans or even grind them before adding them to the batter. This will still give you the nutty flavor without the distinct crunch. Whichever way you choose to incorporate them, the pecans are a must-have ingredient for an authentic and delicious old-fashioned Hummingbird Cake.

In conclusion, the key ingredients that make a classic Hummingbird Cake so special are the mashed banana, pineapple, and pecans. These components work together harmoniously to create a cake that is moist, flavorful, and truly unforgettable. So why not give this delightful recipe a try and impress your family and friends with your baking skills? Happy baking!

The Art of Baking a Hummingbird Cake

Master the techniques to achieve a moist and delicious hummingbird cake from scratch.

Proper Mixing and Incorporation

When it comes to baking a perfect hummingbird cake, proper mixing and incorporation techniques are key. This ensures that all the ingredients are well-blended, resulting in a moist and flavorful cake.

First, start by gathering all the necessary ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, eggs, vegetable oil, crushed pineapple, ripe bananas, and pecans. Having everything prepared in advance will make the mixing process much smoother.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, including flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Use a whisk or a fork to gently mix them together, ensuring that there are no clumps.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until they are frothy. Add in the vegetable oil and continue to beat until the mixture is well combined. Then, incorporate the crushed pineapple, ripe bananas, and pecans into the wet mixture. Stir until everything is evenly distributed.

Now, it’s time to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, and pour in the wet mixture. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense cake.

Important note: It is important to remember that when mixing the batter, a few lumps are okay. Overmixing can lead to a tougher texture in the final cake.

Baking and Cooling Techniques

Once the batter is mixed properly, it’s time to bake the hummingbird cake. Preheat the oven to the recommended temperature and prepare the baking pans by greasing them or lining them with parchment paper.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. This will ensure that the cakes bake evenly. Place the pans in the preheated oven and bake for the specified time, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

When the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Note: Cooling the cakes completely is crucial before frosting, as frosting a warm cake can cause it to melt or slide off.

Frosting and Decoration Tips

The frosting is the finishing touch that adds a burst of flavor to the hummingbird cake. Cream cheese frosting is a classic choice, as it complements the flavors of the cake perfectly.

To make the cream cheese frosting, beat together softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy and smooth. Adjust the sweetness to your preference by adding more or less powdered sugar.

Once the frosting is ready, you can start decorating the cake. Use a spatula or a piping bag to evenly spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cakes. For an extra touch, you can sprinkle some chopped pecans or shredded coconut on top.

Pro tip: To achieve a smooth and professional-looking finish, it is helpful to apply a thin layer of frosting, known as a crumb coat, to the cake first. This helps to seal in any loose crumbs before applying the final layer of frosting.

In conclusion, mastering the art of baking a hummingbird cake involves proper mixing and incorporation techniques, as well as baking and cooling strategies. By following these tips, you can create a moist and delicious cake that will impress your friends and family.

Variations and Creative Twists

When it comes to baking a delicious old-fashioned hummingbird cake from scratch, there’s more than one way to put your own unique spin on this classic dessert. Whether you’re looking for something portable, catering to dietary restrictions, or wanting to explore new and adventurous flavors, there’s a variation for everyone. Let’s dive into some creative twists on the traditional recipe:

Mini Hummingbird Cupcakes for Portability

If you’re attending a party or gathering where finger foods are a necessity, consider making mini hummingbird cupcakes. These bite-sized treats offer the same delectable flavors as a full-sized cake, but with the added benefit of being conveniently portable. Simply bake the cake batter in a mini cupcake pan and top each one with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. These adorable mini cupcakes are perfect for on-the-go snacking or as a delightful addition to any dessert table.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Options for Dietary Restrictions

For those with dietary restrictions, there’s no need to miss out on the joy of indulging in a slice of hummingbird cake. By making a few simple substitutions, you can easily create gluten-free and vegan versions of this beloved dessert. Swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour blend, and use non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk and vegan butter. Don’t forget to replace the eggs with a vegan egg substitute, such as applesauce or flaxseed gel. With these adjustments, everyone can enjoy a mouthwatering slice of hummingbird cake, regardless of dietary restrictions.

Savory Hummingbird Cake for the Adventurous Palate

If you are the type of food lover who enjoys experimenting with unique flavor combinations, a savory hummingbird cake may be just what you’re looking for. This twist on the classic recipe incorporates savory elements like herbs, spices, and even cheese to create a bold and unexpected taste sensation. Think of adding a hint of rosemary or thyme to the cake batter, or topping it with a creamy garlic and chive frosting. The result is a cake that pushes the boundaries and awakens your taste buds to new and exciting flavors.

With these variations and creative twists, you can take the old-fashioned hummingbird cake to new heights. Whether you’re opting for mini cupcakes for convenience, accommodating dietary restrictions with gluten-free and vegan options, or venturing into uncharted flavor territories with a savory twist, there’s no limit to the innovative ways you can enjoy this beloved dessert. Let your imagination run wild and have fun experimenting in the kitchen. Happy baking!

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Serving and Pairing Suggestions

When it comes to enjoying a delicious old-fashioned hummingbird cake, there are plenty of serving and pairing ideas that can take your cake to the next level. By adding thoughtful garnishes, indulgent accompaniments, and complementary beverages, you can enhance the flavors and create a truly memorable dessert experience.

Fresh Fruit Garnishes for a Colorful Presentation

One way to make your old-fashioned hummingbird cake even more visually appealing is by adding fresh fruit garnishes. Not only will these colorful additions add a pop of brightness to your cake, but they will also provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and flavorful cake layers. Consider topping your cake with slices of ripe banana, juicy pineapple chunks, or vibrant strawberries. These fresh fruits will not only complement the tropical flavors of the cake but also add a burst of natural sweetness.

Pro-tip: For an extra touch of elegance, you can arrange the fruit slices in a decorative pattern on top of the cake. This will create an eye-catching presentation that is sure to impress your guests.

Ice Cream and Whipped Cream Pairings for Decadent Indulgence

If you’re looking to take your indulgence to the next level, consider serving your old-fashioned hummingbird cake with a side of ice cream or whipped cream. The creamy and cold texture of the ice cream or the light and fluffy texture of the whipped cream will provide a delightful contrast to the dense and moist cake.

Pro-tip: Opt for flavors that will complement the cake’s tropical and nutty flavors. Vanilla bean, coconut, or pineapple ice cream can be the perfect accompaniment. Alternatively, you can whip up a batch of homemade whipped cream flavored with a hint of coconut extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon for an extra touch of indulgence.

Beverage Recommendations to Complement the Flavors

No cake is complete without a delicious beverage to wash it down. When it comes to serving an old-fashioned hummingbird cake, there are a few drink options that can perfectly complement the flavors of the cake.

For a refreshing and light option, consider serving the cake with a glass of iced tea infused with tropical flavors such as mango or passionfruit. The fruity notes in the tea will pair beautifully with the tropical flavors of the cake.

Pro-tip: If you prefer an alcoholic beverage, a glass of rum punch or a piña colada can be an excellent choice. The rum undertones will enhance the tropical flavors of the cake and create a truly indulgent experience.

Alternatively, a hot cup of coffee or a rich and creamy latte can provide a comforting contrast to the sweetness of the cake. The warmth of the coffee will awaken the flavors of the cake and create a delightful balance.

☕ Pro-tip: Consider adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of nutmeg to your coffee for an extra layer of flavor that pairs perfectly with the spices in the cake.

By carefully selecting your serving and pairing options, you can elevate the enjoyment of your old-fashioned hummingbird cake. Whether you choose to garnish it with fresh fruit, indulge in a scoop of ice cream, or sip on a perfectly paired beverage, these thoughtful additions will enhance the flavors and create a memorable dessert experience for you and your guests.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on the old fashioned hummingbird cake recipe from scratch. We hope you found it helpful in your baking endeavors. If you have any further questions or need clarification on any aspect of the recipe, please refer to the FAQs below.

No. Questions Answers
1. What are the main ingredients needed for the hummingbird cake? The main ingredients for the hummingbird cake are ripe bananas, crushed pineapple, pecans, and cream cheese frosting.
2. Can I substitute any of the ingredients? Yes, you can substitute walnuts for pecans if desired. Additionally, if you have any dietary restrictions, you can use gluten-free flour or alternative sweeteners.
3. How long does it take to bake the cake? The cake typically takes about 30-35 minutes to bake at 350°F (175°C). However, the exact time may vary depending on your oven, so it’s always best to check for doneness with a toothpick.
4. Can I make the cake ahead of time? Yes, the hummingbird cake can be made ahead of time. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just make sure to let it come to room temperature before serving.
5. How many servings does the recipe yield? The recipe yields approximately 12 servings, depending on the size of each slice.
6. Can I freeze the leftover cake? Yes, you can freeze the leftover cake. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

Thank You for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning how to make the old fashioned hummingbird cake from scratch. Don’t forget to bookmark our website for future recipe ideas and baking inspiration. Happy baking!

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Old Fashioned Hummingbird Cake Recipe From Scratch | 101 Simple Recipe

Old Fashioned Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Learn how to make an old fashioned hummingbird cake from scratch. This classic Southern dessert is moist, flavorful, and topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 380 kcal


  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 ½ cups crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
  • Gently fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost the top of one cake layer, place the second layer on top, and frost the entire cake.
  • Slice and serve the old fashioned hummingbird cake. Enjoy!
Keyword hummingbird cake, old fashioned, from scratch, recipe