Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Hummingbird Cake

Servings: 12-16
A little bit of history about Hummingbird Cake from cookbook author, Anne Byrn, "This wonderful banana-pineapple cake has been around for nearly thirty years, and I used to think its name came from the fact that when you tasted it the flavor was so good it caused you to hum. But Southern food writers Martha Pearl Villas and her son John Villas say the cake might have been so named because it is so sweet, and hummingbirds are known for their love of sugar water.

For the Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, well beaten
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained (reserve 1/4 cup juice to add to batter)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted* (see instructions below)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts, toasted* (see instructions below)
2 cups chopped or mashed bananas (4-6 medium to large ripe bananas)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted* (see below)

1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped or several walnut halves, for garnishing top of cake

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans.

Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together several times. Put into mixing bowl. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Do NOT beat with a mixer. Stir in vanilla, the crushed pineapple, the reserved 1/4 cup pineapple juice, the chopped black walnuts, and the chopped pecans, then add the chopped or mashed bananas. Spoon the batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn cakes out onto cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, beating at low speed just until smooth. Add the vanilla , and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in the 3/4 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts.

Frost the tops of all 3 cake layers. Place one frosted layer on a cake plate, top with second frosted cake layer, then top second cake layer with the third frosted cake layer. Frost sides of cake. Place either the 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans on the center of cake or place several walnut halves around edges of cake for garnish. Store cake in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.

Makes 12-16 servings.

How To Toast Pecans or Walnuts:
It's amazing how just a little toasting brings out the full, total flavor of nuts. Here is how to toast the pecans.

Spread chopped pecans (or chopped walnuts, if using) out in one layer on a baking pan. Stir once or twice with a metal spatula or a long wooden spoon while toasting. Remember that chopped nuts will take less time than whole nuts and halves. Toast nuts for 4 to 5 minutes or until you smell a wonderful aroma coming from your oven.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: May 28, 2002-Recipe Revised on May 20, 2008