This Hummingbird Cake is a classic Southern dessert. This moist cake is made with pineapple, bananas, pecans, and frosted with a sweet cream cheese frosting.
Even though we live in the desert of sunny Arizona, we have traveled across the country many times to visit the South. I tell my husband that I am a Southern gal at heart living in Arizona. We love to visit Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, and more. One year we spent a hot 4th of July in Savannah Georgia. I wanted to take in all of the food and culture so we ate a fair share of fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese dip, red velvet cake, and hummingbird cake. There's just something so charming about the South -- the warm, friendly people, the comforting food, and the beautiful architecture.
After eating Hummingbird Cake at a bakery in Savannah, I wanted to recreate this famous Southern cake at home. A hummingbird cake is a moist cake is a traditional cake but the additional ingredients are what set it apart from the rest. Ripe bananas, chopped pineapple, and crunchy pecans make it extra special. The sweet cream cheese frosting is what makes it all come together.
This Hummingbird Cake is perfect for your Easter or Spring celebration.
What ingredients are in Hummingbird Cake:
- Brown Sugar
- Sour Cream
- Mashed Banana
- Baking Soda
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Bean Paste
This easy Hummingbird Cake recipe is super moist and it stays moist for days! If you want to keep it extra moist, I suggest brushing on a simple syrup (water and sugar cooked until syrupy). This adds some extra sweetness to the hummingbird cake as well.
How to make the Best Hummingbird Cake Recipe:
- Start by mixing together the oil, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in full-fat sour cream. Add mashed banana. I suggest using ripe bananas with a few brown spots on the peel. The riper the banana, the more natural sugars are present. If you use a banana with some green on the peel, this cake will not be as sweet.
- Choose fresh or canned pineapple. You can cut up fresh pineapple or use canned pineapple chunks. Just make sure you drain the canned pineapple so there isn't too much liquid in the cake.
- For a taller cake, I suggest using 8-inch cake pans. You can also use 9-inch cake pans but it will be a wider cake and not as tall. My favorite cake pans are listed below.
- Bake just until baked through. You can test the cake doneness by placing a cake tester or toothpick into the center of the cake. Remember the cake will continue to cook and set up for a few minutes after being removed from the oven.
- Frost with sweet cream cheese frosting. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature so that it incorporates well into the butter.
What baking tools are suggested for baking:
Classic Cake Recipes:
Obsessed with this cake! Thanks for the amazing recipe 🙂
Is 20 minutes really enough time to bake a cake? I love your yellow cake recipe but that also takes longer (at least 30 min) than what is instructed.
You are amazing! This cake is one of the best I have ever had!!!!
Hi! Would this cake still be good without the nuts? My son has an allergy. Not sure if it is worth it to try without the nuts.
Oh, absolutely! My kids prefer it without the nuts so I have made it before without nuts, no problem. 🙂
Haven’t made the cake but if something you and spouse like
Make slice freeze. Do the same for son and you can enjoy both and son is happy.
I don't have vanilla bean paste, is it worth the investment or will it taste ok using organic vanilla extract?
Hi Lisa! You can use regular vanilla, no problem! I love to use vanilla bean paste in frostings and homemade ice creams where the flavor truly comes through. But vanilla extract works great!
Beautiful. We have always loved this cake. Yes you are a southern girl at heart. Your family is lucky. 😂 you do a wonderful job with everything.
You are the kindest person, Pam! Thank you, my friend.
I am new to,your site and wish to make this beautiful cake. The pictures show a four layer cake . Did you double recipe and bake all 4 layers at one time or make two separate recipes (2 layers)’at a time. I’m hoping to make this for Easter. Thank you
Hi Jennie! Great question. I will add more specific directions in my recipe card. I use (4) 8-inch cake pans. You can use 2, 3, or 4 depending on desired thickness. I hope this makes sense! 🙂
I love all of your recipes I've tried to date and can't wait to make this too! So confirming that you use 4 x 8inch rounds and I assume the recipe ingredients above is enough to fill the 4 rounds, right?
I just saw your update posted. Seems you used 4 x 8 inch rounds using the amount of ingredients listed in recipe. (no need to double the recipe) I think I'll make 3 x 8 inch rounds making thicker cake layers and still using the same amount of ingredients stated in the recipe. Thank you!! I'll report back with the family reviews... sure to be raving!!
Yep, you got it! I usually use three 8-inch cake pans so that will work perfectly. You don't have to double it -- there's plenty for 3-4 layers! 🙂 I hope you love it.
I came across your site and wanted to make this cake but in your ingredients when you wrote how much flour to use what can of flour cake flour or all purpose?
Hi Jenny. Based on the recipe she indicated that she used for 8 inch pans. Therefore, the same volume of batter can split into four separate pans. It’s not two separate recipes it’s one recipe and one batch fits into 4-8inch pans or she said you can use 2 to 3 - 9inch pans; you’ll just have a wider cake. The 4-8 inch pans is going to give you a taller cake if you want it appear as hers. The cake is quite lovely.
I love this Cake but my family doesn't. I only get to make this if I'm going somewhere or for work. I really like everything about this cake. This is a great one for Easter that's for sure......
Hahaha I am with you, Donna! Anytime I put nuts in desserts, my kids usually run. 🙂