Hummingbird Cake " My Girl Paula "

This weeks recipe for My Girl Paula was to bake a Hummingbird Cake. I was so excited to make this weeks recipe, I haven't make a hummingbird cake in about 15 years.

This cake has three layers and I thought it was going to be a bit of a challenge. So I took my time putting it all together and split up the recipe.

I baked the cakes the night before and assembled and frosted the cake yesterday. This cake gets it's dense consistency from the mashed bananas and crushed pineapple.

It kind of reminds me a little bit like a Carrot Cake. The Hummingbird Cake is a true southern cake and is so moist and delicious.

It still remains a bit of a mystery on where its unusual name came from. But there are many theories about the origin of this cakes name.

One theory is that in old times people used to hum while eating this cake. Another possibility is that the name is derived from the intense sweet taste of the cake and how it attracts people to eat it.

 of like how a hummingbird is attracted to the sweet syrup they love to drink. So you see know one knows exactly where the name derived from.

Southern Living magazine is credited with the first reference to the Hummingbird Cake. They published the recipe in its February 1978 issue, submitted by a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, N.C. But Mrs. Wiggins did not include an explanation of the cake's unusual name either.

Theories are that this cake has been around much longer by other names. Including Granny's Best Cake & The Never Ending Cake according to the food history websites. It also has been said that this Southern Cake may have even migrated over from Jamaica.
Who knows, but I do know one thing this cake is so darn good. If you are looking for an unusual cake to bake this would be the one.

The recipe states to add chopped pecans into the batter and also garnish chopped pecans on top of the cake.
Well my nutty kids don't like nuts so I opted to omit them from the cake and use whole pecan halves on the top. I would of loved to of added the chopped pecans.
 It would of looked so pretty on top of the cake. Oh well I think it still turned out very pretty with just the pecan halves. Also I did not have a 3rd cake pan so I poured the remaining batter into a 9 inch round spring form pan and it worked out perfectly.
My cakes baked a lot faster than the 23 minutes more like 18, I am guessing it is due to my new convection oven. I ♥ my new oven. It is awesome and bakes everything so nice and even.

Southern Hummingbird Cake

Ingredients::3 - cups all purpose flour
2 - cups granulated sugar
1 - tsp baking soda
1/2 - tsp salt
3/4 Cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 -3 very ripe bananas – mashed (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, with juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten

Frosting Recipe:

1 pound box confectioners’ sugar
8oz package cream cheese- room temp
1 - stick butter, softened (1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs milk, more if needed
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325F Grease and flour three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, oil, 1/2 cup pecans, bananas, pineapple with juice, vanilla, cinnamon and beaten eggs. Stir well until smooth.

Pour batter into the 3 pans and bake for 23-26 min, or until tops spring back. Let cool in pans for 10 min. Then cool on racks completely.

Make the icing by mixing the sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 1 tbs milk in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Mix until smooth.

 If needed add more milk, 1 tsp at a time for proper spreading consistency. Ice between each layer and on the top and sides. Sprinkle the top with pecans. Keep refrigerated.

*Note if using self-rising flour omit the baking soda and salt*: I got in a pinch and did not have any baking spray or shortening. Can you believe that, I couln't. I did not know what to use to substitute to grease the cake pans.

I read around and saw that you could grease the cake pans with butter, then lightly flour. It worked the cakes popped right out of the pans. Paula would be so proud that Iadded that little extra bit of butter!!!


This looks divine! Thanks for sharing!
Sonya said…
Wow that is one impressive looking cake!!
Kim said…
Your cake looks absolutely beautiful!! I chose to make mine as cupcakes so that we could share with everyone. They were really delicious : ) Yours is a beauty.
That looks amazing. I really wanted to make that but I am the only one who will eat anything with cream cheese in my house and everyone else I could have shared with is either diabetic or is on a diet. Oh well maybe for a church dinner or a reunion.
Krystal said…
That looks great!! I love the pecan design on top.

I use a cake release that works wonders: equal parts oil, shortening, and flour. Smear it on the pan, and I have never had ANYTHING stick. Love it!
Ingrid_3Bs said…
YUM! That looks and sounds wonderful. I've yet to taste a hummingbird cake. I definitely need to fix that.
Tina Butler said…
Krystal thats a good combo. I didnt have shortening on hand so i had to go with the butter.
Looks great and I agree Paula would love the extra butter!
Melissa said…
I wondered how the cake got its name - very interesting info! Yours looks absolutely gorgeous!
Leslie said…
soooo yummy. I did a Hummingbird post a while back! Delish
Anonymous said…
That sounds yummy. I am a little intimidated by baking anything so fancy.
Tina Butler said…
Leslie, I saw yours a couple months back. It was beautiful. You got to have chopped nuts on yours. I couldnt do that.

Donna, that is the fanciest cake I have ever made. Well besides my dd's barbie doll cake. It really was pretty simple to frost and decorate.
Heidi said…
I have had a recipe for hummingbird cake for about 5 years and have never made it, but wanted to. I had no idea what it would be like because I had never heard anyone say they had tried it before. Thanks to you, now I have an idea what exactly it is and man it sounds great! I am going to dig out my recipe and see how similar it is to yours.
Tina, the cake is beautiful. I totally understand about omitting the pecans. My daughter is always wanting to bake - "but leave out the pecans Mom". I've held on to a recipe for hummingbird cake cupcakes for a while now. After seeing your beautiful creation, I guess it's time to pull out the recipe and start baking. Oh, those bananas and pineapple and pecans. Lovely.
Anonymous said…
ok girlfriend, I am TOTALLY making this cake for sunday. Im going to do the cakes like you said the day before. Your cake looks beautiful =) -Aim in NY
Anonymous said…
I love the way you decorated yours. It's so pretty! I thought this cake was delicious. It was the first time I had tried it. Thanks for the background on the origin. That's great!
Oh my! Yours came out looking good too! Yummmmm!
That cake looks beautiful. I'm the worst at making a pretty cake. Count me impressed!
Holly said…
Hi Tina! I am visiting from the BlogFrog and wanted to say welcome - great to see your Recent Visitors widget on the side. That cake recipe sounds (and looks) incredible. I can tell you are a Paula Dean fan - I just got back from a blogging conference in Chicago (held two weeks ago) and Paula Dean was there. I had never met her in person and had no idea how funny she is. She was a riot! Nice to have found your blog!

Holly at TheBlogFrog
I NEED to bake this cake for my family. Your recipe would make me a rock star with my neighbors.

I can't get my mouth to stop watering.
Jessica said…
What a beautiful cake! And I love your theory behind why it's called the hummingbird cake too! :)
Maria said…
Hey! I am a big fan! I tried this cake today and while I probably switched out enough stuff to make it totally off base, I thought I'd share it with you anyway!

Thanks for the inspire!
Rosie's mom said…
I've tried a couple of your recipes on here and they were really good, thanks! Regarding buttering the pans then dusting with flour, my mom used to use Crisco shortening then flour. I've also heard if making a recipe with cocoa, use cocoa to dust it. Also, with a box cake mix, use a little of the cake mix. Never tried it but sounds like a good idea! Thanks for the recipes, plan on trying many more!
Unknown said…
This cake looks amazing... perfect with a cold glass of milk! Can't wait to try!