Hmmm Hummingbird cake

Hummingbird cake

This is one of my all-time favourite cake recipes – I’ve been making it since I had my café back in 1989/90.

It is a southern USA speciality and while there are a number of theories behind its name, I like the idea that the cake was named after the Hummingbird who is drawn to sweet things – like this cake!

The addition of undrained crushed pineapple and banana makes this cake incredibly moist and is especially delicious topped with cream cheese icing.

Hummingbird cake

Serves 12
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 1 hour


3 cups (450g) plain flour
2 cups (440g) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons bicarb soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon or garam masala
3 eggs
1½ cups (375ml) neutral flavoured oil, such as rice bran or grape seed
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
250g crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped banana

Cream cheese icing
125g butter
250g cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3¼ cups (500g) icing sugar


Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and flour a 25cm cake tin and line the base with a circle of baking paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Combine eggs, oil and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and beat lightly until combined.

Add egg and oil mixture to dry ingredients with crushed pineapple and its juice and banana. Mix until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared cake tin. Bake for 1 hour or a skewer inserted is removed dry with no clinging batter. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing horizontally into two or three. Sandwich the cake with some of the icing and top with the remainder.

For icing: beat or process together butter, cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar. Add a little milk or hot water if it is too stiff.

Lyndey’s note: This cake will keep fresh for up to 4 days and can also be frozen un-iced for up to four months.

Lyndey Milan, Australian home cook hero, combines a thirst for life and a sense of fun with a love of good food and sparkling shiraz. A familiar face on television and in print, she been instrumental in changing the way Australians think and feel about food and wine for over thirty years.

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Comments for this article

One Response to “Hmmm Hummingbird cake”

  1. Mum of many :) says:
    December 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I made this and must say it’s a new fave over the typical banana cake :)

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