My local book club read the book The Secret of the Hummingbird Cake Few years ago. I had never heard of hummingbird cake before reading the book! A book club friend baked the cake for our potluck after the discussion. We all enjoyed it. I’ve been intrigued by hummingbird cake and its origins ever since.
The main ingredients of the cake are bananas and pineapple. He is named after his country of origin, Jamaica, where the hummingbird is the national bird. According to the cook Jamie Olivier“It was originally called the ‘Doctor’s Birdcake,’ a nickname for a Jamaican variety of hummingbird called the Red-billed Streamertail. The name comes from the way the bird’s long beak probes the flowers, like a doctor inspecting a patient… Some say the cake is named after the bird because it was sweet enough to attract hummingbirds (which only eat nectar), while others say banana yellow streaks [were] recalling the plumage of the bird.
So interesting! To me, hummingbird cake tastes like a mix of banana bread and carrot cake (minus the carrots and raisins!). Whatever its name, it’s a sweet and delicious cake recipe and I hope you enjoy it!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Total duration: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Here’s how to do it:
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Put aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oil, eggs, pineapple, bananas and walnuts. Add the flour mixture and mix by hand.
- Divide the batter in half 9 inch cake pans which have been greased and floured. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each pan comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling racks.
- Prepare the frosting by mixing the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread the frosting evenly on all sides of the cake (I recommend using a rubber spatula). You can decorate it with walnut or pecan halves and/or slivered almonds.
To note: To make a four-layer cake, carefully cut the cooled cake layers in half lengthwise.
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