I have always wondered where the hummingbird cake got it’s name. I always kind of assumed it was because it was sweet with bananas and pineapple and you usually fill a hummingbird feeder with sugar water. I was so wrong.
The recipe has said to have originated in Jamaica and it is named after it’s national bird, which is a type of hummingbird. Then in 1979 Jamaica exported the recipe in a media press kit sent to the US. The first US publication of the recipe was found in Southern Living at the same time. In 1990, it was selected as Southern Living’s favorite recipe and was noted as the most requested recipe in the magazine’s history. However, it is still in question as to where it really came from.
The original cake is said to have had no frosting and included undrained crushed pineapple and diced bananas. However, there is discussion later the it included nuts, mashed bananas, and cream cheese. So it’s all unclear for sure of the origin of the recipe and what is exactly was, but it definitely included bananas and pineapple.
This cake is moist and flavorful but the frosting is what makes it truly amazing. Not only is it a cream cheese frosting but it also has a nice fresh citrus flavor from orange zest and juice!
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 8.25 oz can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 - 4 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- zest of an orange
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Grease and flour a bundt pan. I link to use a spray instead like Baker's Joy.
- In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Beat in bananas and pineapple. Fold in pecans.
- Add in flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt just until combined.
- Carefully pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 and then invert onto a wire rack, Allow cool completely.
- In a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar until combined.
- Then beat in vanilla and orange juice. Start with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and add more as needed. Then fold in orange zest. Pipe frosting on top of cooled cake.
Recipe adapted from Mom On Time Out.