Southern Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingThis is another of those few favorite cakes of mine. There’s this honey lemon sage one I love the most, and its fig rendition, then there’s a southern classic, hummingbird cake. I’ve been making it for a few years now and every time, it’s a crowd pleaser. When I introduced this cake back into my regular baking last november for a birthday, it quickly became a popular ordered cake. It’s also been a recipe I’ve wanted to share since starting this blog, because it is one of my ultimate favorite cakes. Baked with plenty of pineapple, coconut, walnuts, banana – how could it not be oh so delicious! It can become too sweet, so I use less sugar and allow the fruit’s natural sugars do all the work.Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingSouthern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingOne bite and you’ll know exactly why this traditional southern cake got its name. Said to have been created in the Caribbean because of the amount of tropical pineapple and bananas. Of all versions, all believe that it was named after the hummingbird, because this cake is sweet enough to attract these birds, who only eat sweet nectar. Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingSouthern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingThis cake has been a favorite staple in the famous Kentucky State Fair. This cake totally makes me want to take the trip, to tour and eat my way through our nation’s greatest food competitions. Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingTraditionally this cake is known for using oil rather than butter, but instead I swap it for the healthier alternative, greek yogurt and it makes this already moist cake even more so.   Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingKeeping it traditional, then you’re going to cover your hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting, which is one of my preferred frostings. I don’t add too much of it either, because the cake is so sweet on its own, just a bit of creamy frosting is needed. But feel free to add as much frosting when you make this cake, as well the sweetness of your cream cheese frosting. Mine is just sweetened, so go ahead and add more if your crowd prefers desserts on the sweeter side. Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingToppings are endless. If you have time, baked pineapple flowers sure are beautiful but for simple and fast decor use the cake’s ingredients to add final touches. I toasted a few walnut pieces and dusted the edges the cake with them, but it would taste just as delicious with toasted coconut too or left naked with flowers. Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese FrostingHaving an end of summer or early fall outdoor gatherings, then this cake is the one to serve! It’s full of sweet refreshing flavors like summer, and hugs you comfortingly on a chilly fall day. 
Southern Hummingbird Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting


Hummingbird Cake

Ingredients {Makes one 9″ cake}

3 cups – All Purpose Flour {plus more for pans – you can also use a mixture of half AP flour + half Whole Wheat flour}

1 teaspoon – Baking soda

1 teaspoon – Ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon – Salt 

2/3 cup – Greek Yogurt {or 1 cup Vegetable Oil}

2 teaspoons – Pure Vanilla Extract 

2 cups – Organic Cane Sugar 

3 large – Eggs 

2 cups – Mashed Ripe Banana {about 3 large} 

1 can {8 ounces} – Crushed Pineapple {drained} 

1 cup – Chopped Walnuts {or nut of choice}

1 cup – Desiccated Coconut {unsweetened} 

Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below

Recipe {Adapted from Martha Stewart}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and butter or spray two 9 inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Butter paper, and dust pans completely with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat yogurt, vanilla, and sugar until well blended {about 2 to 3 minutes}. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until mixture is pale and fluffy {about 3 minutes}. 

In a medium bowl, mix together mashed banana, drained pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture. and stir until well combined. Add flour mixture, and blend slowly until just incorporated. 

Divide batter between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean {about 30 to 40 minutes}. 

Transfer pans to a wire rack, and allow to cool at least 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen. Invert onto racks, and reinvert so the top side is up. Cool completely. Assemble cake, or wrap each layer well and freeze {thaw before using}. 

With a serrated knife, trim and discard rounded top off one layer. Place layer on serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread top of layer with 1/4 inch of frosting. Top with untrimmed layer. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Decorate with dried pineapple, toasted nuts or coconut, if desired. Serve at room temperature. Cake can be refrigerated up to 3 days.


Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients {Makes about 3 cups}

1 pound {16 ounces} – Cream Cheese {room temperature}

2 teaspoons – Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup {2 sticks} – Unsalted Butter {room temperature}

1 pound – Confectioners Sugar {sifted}

Recipe {Adapted by Martha Stewart}

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy and creamy {about 2 to 3 minutes}. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, a tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated.

Reduce mixer speed to low, and slowly add sugar, beating until incorporated. Increase mixer to medium-high for a minute. 

Use immediately, or place in an air tight container and refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature, and stir before using.


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