I have only just learned what Hummingbird Cake is- from an unearthly experience at Bollweevil's Cafe here in Augusta. Go there. Eat Cake.
Think of a Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing, and then take out the carrots, replacing them with crushed pineapple, pecans, cinnamon and ripe banana. I wasn't enthralled with the idea at first, but let me tell you, one taste will release you from any hesitance you may be feeling right now.
I made a cake for the restaurant, and cupcakes for me. I sadly did not capture the finished cake, but if there's anything left next time I go in, I'll snap a shot.
I used this recipe, but I added more pineapple, less banana and less oil. I left out the nutmeg cause I couldn't find mine in the cabinet! I really need a spice rack.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 oz crushed pineapple, well drained
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 2 cups very ripe bananas
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 pounds confectioners sugar (I know, I know)
- Extra nuts for garnish (if desired)
For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together into mixing bowl several times. Add eggs and salad oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple and the pecans (saving a few to garnish the top of the cake). Stir in the bananas. Spoon the batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little at a time (you might not need all of it--it's always easier to add more than to remove it!), beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
Frost the tops of all 3 layers, stack and then frost sides. Sprinkle top with leftover pecans (or you might want to add more if you like a crunchier cake-top).
UPDATE: I now make the following changes for perfect hummingbird cake:
1 cup of oil instead of 1 1/4.
8 oz pineapple instead of 4 oz.
and for the cream cheese frosting, if you like yours tangier than sweeter, try 3 8-oz packages of cream cheese, 2 sticks butter, and one pound of powdered sugar rather than the amounts listed above.
I used food coloring in the icing, and not as much confectioner's sugar. Just add it slowly and stop when you're satisfied. I experimented with different icing tips and techniques. I'd like a bigger round tip, but I can't find one anywhere around here.
I like to pretend that these cupcakes are really healthy.