Hummingbird Cake

I had the honour of celebrating the Christening of a dear friend’s baby last weekend. After the service we were spoilt with lots of yummy treats. Among others, a delicious Hummingbird Cake. I couldn’t resist the urge to grab my camera and take a picture. And I am so glad I did because now I can share it with all of you. Coincidentally I also had the The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook with the recipe. See, it’s meant to be.

The recipe states that the cake should be decorated with pecan nuts or walnuts. But the berries look just as delightful, and perhaps a little bit more festive. This cake is perfect for a bridal shower or baby shower. It could even do as a wedding cake if you’re going the DIY route! Enjoy.

(From The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)



  • 300g castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • 270g peeled bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g tinned pineapple, chopped into small pieces
  • 100g shelled pecan nuts (or walnuts), chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole to decorate
  • 2 quantities Cream Cheese Frosting

three 20-cm cake tins, base lined with greaseproof paper


Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

  1. Put the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until everything is well mixed.
  2. Stir in the chopped pineapple and pecan nuts by hand until evenly dispersed.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand and spread about one-quarter of the Cream Cheese Frosting over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with pecan nuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, cold
  1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  2. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
  3. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes