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Hummingbird Cake

Rumor has it, this crowd-pleasing cake got its name because every bite makes you hum with delight.

  • Servings: 12
Hummingbird Cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November 2006


For the cake

  • Nonstick vegetable spray
  • All-purpose flour, for pans
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

For the frosting

  • 1 pound (1 box) confectioners' sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or more if needed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray and flour three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.

  2. Prepare the cake; in a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pecans, bananas, pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon, and eggs.

  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 26 to 28 minutes.

  4. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

  5. Prepare the frosting; in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk on medium speed until frosting is smooth. If needed, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to achieve the proper spreading consistency.

  6. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread the top of the first layer with 1/4 of the frosting. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another 1/4 of the frosting. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top with pecans. Remove parchment paper strips; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Reviews (15)

  • Alibamy 11 Nov, 2013

    Any good cook knows, that self rising flour allready has the baking soda, salt, and baking powder included, so know need to add this, and allways taste your cake before serving to a crowd, especially if its the first one that you have ever made

  • iolie 5 Nov, 2013

    need to remove this recipe page! You have two for this recipe. THIS one does not have the soda or salt. So, while
    leery - I still made it. Needless to say, wasted ingredients. (Left out the pecans just in case. Still, not happy!!!

  • B Wilson 10 Aug, 2013

    So disappointed. Made this previously using the Simply recipe and it was a show stopper. Where is the baking soda?? I was irrevocably embarrassed in front of foreign diplomats and fear this will reflect negatively on America the Beautiful.

  • Lori2009 4 Apr, 2013

    Excellent cake. So easy to make and very delicious. The recipe clearly calls for self-rising flour, so if you follow the recipe, will get great results. Your guests will love it!!!!

  • bliss45 31 Mar, 2013

    Very disappointed. Just made this for Easter, they forgot to list baking soda - cake didn'traise. Costly and timely mistake.

  • grissypop 25 Nov, 2011

    So good!!!!!!! Followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect! Everyone loved it at Thanksgiving!

  • Grandmommy 16 Jun, 2011

    I LOVE this recipe! It's a definite keeper! This cake is so moist and flavorful and it was a big hit at our family gathering. I had lots of requests for the recipe.

  • umpalumpa99 2 Feb, 2011

    I've made this cake into cupcakes on several occasions, and someone has ALWAYS asked me for the recipe. Give this recipe a chance - you won't be disappointed!

  • reneefromaustralia 6 Apr, 2010

    This cake tastes beautiful. I love it!

  • lessig 26 Mar, 2010

    oh my gosh! this is so good.. it tastes better the second day!!!

  • valerie316 22 Mar, 2009

    What an amazing cake. Today, I am adding freshly shaved carrots, coconut, and raisins to the recipe for a variation that my grandmother passed down to me. The frosting is wonderful. I am using the frosting recipe for two different cakes today, one being the hummingbird and the other for a red velvet cake.

  • bettymoc 22 Sep, 2008


  • bettymoc 22 Sep, 2008


  • alysonbelden 8 Jun, 2008

    This cake is delicious. I made it a few months ago for a family get together, and I just had to look it up again to make for a birthday party tomorrow. Yum!

  • springrobin 11 May, 2008

    With a kitchenaide mixer, this cake couldn't be easier to make. It was the hit of our church bake sale!

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