Hummingbird Cake, with its unusual name and ingredients, calls for a little background explanation. The Hummingbird Cake first appeared in the southern regions of the United States in the 1970’s, and I, being from the north, had never heard of it until the advent of food blogs. The recipe originated in Jamaica and was called Doctor Bird Cake, named after Jamaica’s state bird – a variety of hummingbird.
Tropical-Jamaican ingredients like bananas, coconut, pineapple and rum flavor this cake and it is also laced with pecans, which are local to the southern States.
Hummingbird Cake is typically a beautiful layer cake filled and frosted with traditional American Cream Cheese Frosting. By making the cake in a brownie pan instead of in layers you get all the flavor while saving a ton of time – all the sooner you can dig in to this yummy treat.
- 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 ½ pk. Vanilla sugar)
- 8 ounce can (227 g) crushed pineapple, undrained (or pineapple chunks, undrained, blended using an immersion blender)
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup (100 g) chopped toasted pecans, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup (42 g) shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
- ⅔ cup (160 g) butter, room temperature
- 3 cups (330 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 7 ounces (200 g) full-fat cream cheese spread*
- Preheat oven to 350°F (170°C). Grease a 9x13 inch (25x40 cm) baking pan.
- For the cake: Stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, oil, rum and vanilla and blend to combine. Blend in pineapple and bananas. Fold in nuts and coconut.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Remove from the oven and allow cake to cool completely in pan.
- For the frosting: beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one third at a time and beat on high speed until light and creamy. Blend in lemon juice or vanilla. Add the cream cheese and beat on high for a few seconds to blend.
- Spread frosting on the cooled cake and garnish with chopped, toasted pecans. Cake will stay fresh tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.