This Southern layer cake features a crowd-pleasing combination of banana, pineapple, and coconut. The name's origin remains something of a mystery: Some say it's because the cake is as sweet as nectar; others, that it makes you hum with happiness.

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

Servings:
12
Yield:
Makes one 9-inch layer cake
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in the center. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Butter paper, and dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

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  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat oil, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  • In a medium bowl, mix together banana, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; blend well.

  • Divide batter between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

  • Transfer pans to a greased wire rack. Let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen. Invert onto racks; reinvert, top side up. Cool completely. Assemble cake, or wrap each layer well and freeze (thaw before using).

  • With a serrated knife, trim and discard rounded top off one layer. Place layer on serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread top of layer with 1/4 inch of frosting. Top with untrimmed layer. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Decorate with pineapple flowers, if desired. Serve at room temperature. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

Reviews (18)

203 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 49
  • 4 star values: 56
  • 3 star values: 61
  • 2 star values: 29
  • 1 star values: 8
Rating: 1 stars
07/09/2019
I have been making the ORIGINAL Hummingbird Cake for years and there is NO COCONUT in the original recipe.
Rating: Unrated
07/25/2017
My husband is allergic to coconut. Any suggestions for a substitute? This recipe sounds delicious.
Rating: 4 stars
05/11/2017
Made this cake after seeing it on Martha Bakes. It was a HUGE hit for my dad's birthday. Although I did have to double the frosting recipe, it was wonderful, I even made the dried pineapple flowers. Everyone who tried it raved that it was their new favorite cake. Only made 2 alterations - I used cake flower and I added a dollop of sour cream for some added moisture. It was perfect!
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Rating: Unrated
08/22/2016
Made this cake originally when it was featured in Living years ago. It was terrific! Big hit! Made twice since but I don't remember the piece about greasing the cooling racks. Feel like it would be problematic putting hot pans on greased racks but maybe there's a reason. Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences? Thanks B
Rating: 3 stars
11/03/2014
After making and taste testing, I dropped everything and ran to the store to start over! -Was completely too oily! I exchanged oil with unsalted butter. -I used King Arthur Cake flour to make a much more airy cake. -I added about 1/4 cup of vanilla yogurt, because it's amazing! That's why -I added a little Captain Morgan rum and a dash of ginger for a bit of spice. Then it turned out so much better without an after taste or guilt of oil. Yumm! Thanks.
Rating: 5 stars
11/03/2013
Love this cake. It is really very simple to do. Personally, would make it little bit less sweet. I made it for my stepdaughter's birthday and she loved it. However, it is so simple that it does need to be big event cake only. I would say it is perfect with coffee.
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Rating: Unrated
02/25/2011
I made this cake for my son's birthday (without the frosting or pineapple flowers - I covered it in fondant to fit the the theme). It was so easy and delicious I decided to make it for every birthday party in the future. I am going to double it this year for my daughter's party.
Rating: Unrated
02/25/2011
I made this cake for my son's birthday (without the frosting or pineapple flowers - I covered it in fondant to fit the the theme). It was so easy and delicious I decided to make it for every birthday party in the future. I am going to double it this year for my daughter's party.
Rating: Unrated
05/08/2010
I make this amazing cake every year for my mom on Mothers Day. She usually starts hinting the month previous........like I would forget! The dried pineapple is well worth the time
Rating: Unrated
04/03/2010
I just made the cake for Easter. I had a very difficult time getting the pineapple slices dry, but finally did and when I put them on the cake it looked exactly like the picture - I am very happy with the results. (recipe makes much too much frosting, about a third was left over)
Rating: Unrated
03/11/2010
I made this cake 2 weeks ago. It was quick and simply and the best thing is... its already being requested...
Rating: Unrated
09/24/2009
I made this cake for my husband six years ago and he STILL talks about it! I'm going to make it again this weekend for his 40th birthday.
Rating: Unrated
07/19/2008
I made this cake and everyone that tried it came back for more. It is very easy , beautiful, and delicious!
Rating: Unrated
06/17/2008
I made this as one of 3 cakes for our family Easter celebration. It was a great hit we have family members who arn't big fans of chocolate (like myself) and thought I bought it at a bakery. I also made this as a two teir cake for a 62 wedding anniversary and it was loved by all. It a perfect alternative for and early day celebration since it is more bread sweet that cake sweet.
Rating: Unrated
06/09/2008
This cake is delicious and decadent, and quite easy to do, but the flowers (see dried pineapple flowers), can be tricky. I suggest practicing with the pineappe a couple of days in advance, as they take a while to dry out.
Rating: Unrated
06/09/2008
This cake is delicious, and decadent. The flowers are tricky to dry out, so I suggest practicing with the pineapple a couple of days in advance, as they take a while to dry out.
Rating: Unrated
03/21/2008
I love that cake and so did my family. Not only is it good but it's really beautiful with the flowerlike pineapple slices.It's also quite easy to do.
Rating: Unrated
01/25/2008
This cake is wonderful!!! My friends and family loved it!! The icing is excellent!!!!!