For the second installment of #BakingWithBeth, I decided to bake a Hummingbird Cake. Originally the plan was a sour cream pound cake, but the UPSP has my pound cake pan held hostage somewhere between Atlanta and Los Angeles, so that will have to be saved for another week.
A Hummingbird Cake seemed like a natural substitute – classic and Southern.
Most historians agree that the Hummingbird Cake made its first appearance in the February 1979 issue of Southern Living magazine. The original Hummingbird Cake recipe was submitted to Southern Living by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. It is a relatively young cake amongst older southern classics, but a cake that is apparently one of the most requested recipes in the history of the magazine.
The cake was said to originate in Jamaica and named for the islands national bird. In Jamaica, the cake is also known as the Doctor Bird cake. It is claimed that the Jamaican tourism sent recipes to the US trying to promote visiting the island, and that is how the Hummingbird Cake made its way to the US.
For this cake, I compared Mrs. L.H. Wiggins’ Southern Living original with three church cookbook versions (two Methodist, one Baptist). All versions were nearly identical, but one of the church cookbooks reduced the amount of oil.
In the recipe I chose to bake, I went all in with Mrs. L.H. Wiggins. Before you can tweak a recipe, you owe it to yourself to try the classic first. 🙂
A Hummingbird Cake is essentially a banana, pineapple, nutty spice cake. It’s no wonder that it’s one Southern Living’s most requested recipes. It’s really tasty! Plus, cream cheese frosting. Pretty hard to go wrong there.
Thanks y’all for joining in on the second #BakingWithBeth recipe. You’ll find the recipe below. Can’t wait to hear your feedback!
Have you ever made a Hummingbird Cake? Did you use the classic Wiggins recipe, or have you made a variation of this cake?
(If you missed the first recipe, I made a caramel cake! Check it out & let me know what you think!)
- 485 grams all-purpose flour (3 cups)
- 460 grams sugar (2 cups)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 each large eggs, lightly beaten
- 295 grams vegetable oil (1.5 cups)
- 7.5 grams vanilla extract (1 1/2 tsp)
- 8 ounce crushed pineapple, undrained
- 470 grams chopped bananas (2 cups)
- 118 grams chopped pecans (1 cup)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 450 grams cream cheese, softened (2x 8oz packages)
- 226 grams butter, softened (1 cup; 2 sticks)
- 906 grams powdered sugar, sifted (2 lbs)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add lightly beaten eggs and oil. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and chopped toasted pecans. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cook on wire rack for 10-20 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high,and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy.
Place one layer on a serving platter. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting over cake layer. Top with second layer, and spread frosting over second layer. Top with third cake layer, and spread frosting over the top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Arrange toasted pecan halves in a circular pattern over top of cake.
- I baked mine in two 9-in pans, and cut each in half to get four layers. I need to purchase a third 9-in pan... 😉