What's Hummingbird Cake?
Hummingbird Cake is a dense and moist cake of Jamaican origin that's popular in the southern United States. It's also known as a Doctor Bird cake in Jamaica, which is another name for Hummingbird (Jamaica's national bird).
A Hummingbird Cake recipe is similarly dense like a Carrot Cake. It is not a light and fluffy cake, but packed full of flavor! It's a tropical cake with mashed bananas, pineapple and coconut, smothered in a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.
How to make Hummingbird Cake
This cake really reminds me of a carrot cake, in texture and flavour, just without the carrots. When baking, some people use a Bundt pan, other people us round cake pans to multi tier the cake. I just use regular round cake pans, which makes 2 layers. You could double the recipe and make 4 tiers if you like. If you don't have self raising flour, make your own by mixing 1 cup of flour with 1½ teaspoons of baking powder. Some people add a pinch of baking soda and salt to their homemade self raising flour as well.
The cream cheese frosting is my favorite part of the cake. I love cream cheese as it goes perfectly with the spiced tropical flavors.
How to decorate Hummingbird Cake
The style of covering the cake with frosting is known as a Semi Naked Cake. It's a style of cake that feels a bit more organic, and often topped with fresh flowers. The sides of the cake are typically spreads the frosting thinly on the sides, exposing the layers of cake. As it's winter in Australia, the only flowers I had in the garden was a Red Hot Poker Flower, which is perfect for hummingbirds! You could also just top with the chopped pecans, but adding flowers makes it a bit more dramatic.
The cream cheese frosting needs to be prepared at room temperature. This ensures that is spreads easily, achieving the right look for your Hummingbird Naked Cake. The Hummingbird Cake must be completely cooled before applying the frosting, I get impatient and place the wire racks in the fridge to fully cool.
A classic southern cake made from bananas, pineapples, coconuts and pecans. A Naked Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese frosting, you're gonna love this tropical cake. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 3 cups self raising flour
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups brown sugar firmly packed
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt if self raising flour doesn't contain salt
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1 can crushed pineapple drained from juice
- 1½ cups toasted chopped pecans (save ½ cup for topping)
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz /500g room temp cream cheese
- 2 cups icing sugar
- ½ cup butter room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Toast the pecans by placing them in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon continuously so they don't burn. As they start to turn a bit darker and smell like toasting nuts, they are done. Cool on a paper towel.
- Place all the ingredients (except the toasted pecans and coconut) into a bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix together until well blended (at least 2 minutes). Add 1 cup of toasted pecans and the desiccated coconut and mix using a spoon.
- Preheat oven to 320°F/160°F. Using butter, lightly grease 2 x 8" round baking pans. Line the base of the pans with baking paper. Pour the cake batter evenly in both pans.
- Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, rotate the pans halfway through. Using a toothpick check to see if it comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from pans onto wire racks.
- Take the softened cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste and mix together using a hand mixer.
- Place first layer of cake on a your cake stand or cake turntable. Some use a piping bag (or a Ziplock bag with the corner cut) to pipe the frosting on the cake. I use a palette knife to level about half of the frosting, with emphasis on the edges. Place the 2nd cake over the frosting. Using the palette knife, fill any gaps on the sides of the cake with extra frosting. Smooth the frosting on the sides of the cake whilst turning.
- Cover the remaining frosting on the top of the cake and smooth it out. Garnish with the remaining chopped pecans.