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Hummingbird Cake

This is such a pretty cake it’s hard to imagine any leftovers.  And, it’s relatively easy to make.  The frosting might take a bit longer if you want to decorate it as shown.   I don’t usually bake cakes, not that I don’t like them, but because there’s just the two of us and we’d be eating cake until the cows came home!  Over the holidays our daughter, her boyfriend and my sister were here so I didn’t worry whether or not desserts would be eaten.  I had a few cakes in mind that I wanted to make but never got around to it.  When you live near Manhattan anyone who stays with us wants to get their fill of the big apple – I don’t blame them.

In December I was asked to give my feedback on a coat from chefuniforms.com (they’re a US based company that sells chef uniforms globally).  I was baking up a storm and figured that was as good a time as any to test it.  I asked for the pink wrap coat and was glad I did.  Yeah, I know, pink and a wraparound!  White is a more traditional color as it helps to keep you cool in the kitchen (it reflects heat). I am so used to using a bar apron that I wasn’t so sure I’d like this coat but I liked the fact it covered my arms…protection a bar apron won’t give me.  The wrap has no buttons so no chance they’ll fall off into whatever I’m preparing and it was easy to move around in.  I have a small kitchen so I am forever bending over or down on bended knee to get things out of a lower cabinet.  Making this cake with this wrap coat definitely made clean up a lot easier and the icing sugar landed on the coat and not my clothes!


Serves 8 to 10  people
adapted from Bird On A Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
8 oz. can crushed pineapple (with juice)
2 cups diced ripe bananas (or mashed if bananas are ripe)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350f (180c).  Line the bottom of three 8 inch cake pans with wax paper, and grease the sides.  I chose to use two 8 inch cake pans.  If you decide to go this route, then you’ll need to adjust the baking time for at least another 10 minutes.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add applesauce, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Stir in pineapple, bananas and walnuts. Divide equally into prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting:  In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Add the sugar a few cups at a time, beating until fluffy.  To make the petal effect, visit My Cake School for the tutorial.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  If the saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, then this cake is worth a thousand bites!  Enjoy!

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