Sunday, 8 March 2015

Hummingbird Cake

Mum is a brilliant baker, properly brilliant. Although she definitely is far too modest to say so herself. So this week, in the lead up to Mother's Day next weekend, I thought to celebrate Mum's baking brilliance. See, this was the cat cake Mum made for my third birthday:

Just look how happy I am at the thought of a ginormous pink cat cake!

Mum also made our scrumptious wedding cake and virtually single-handedly baked the Cake Table at the Wedding:

So, as a huge thank you to my Mum in a million, I thought to bake this Hummingbird Cake.

This indulgent cake, which hails from the Southern states of the USA, is packed full of juicy pineapple, banana and cinnamon and topped with a delicious cream cheese icing and roasted pecan nuts. It is inspired by one of my all time favourite puds as a child, Mum's Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which we'd often have on a Sunday following a roast dinner. Once I'd carefully extracted the unwanted cherry and catapulted into my brother's bowl, I'd tuck in with gusto and be requesting seconds within, erm, seconds.

I'm also contributing this recipe to Beko's blogging challenge for Mother's Day. Beko have just announced the launch of a new page on their website celebrating their unique oven induction hob technology. Induction hobs work like a gas hob, but are easy to clean and have special technology to heat up the surface of a magnetic metal pan, minimising wasted energy and the potential risk of injury.

Hummingbird Cake

For the cake:
350g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
150g soft brown sugar
200g golden caster sugar
2 large bananas
1 x 425g tin of pineapple chunks, drained and chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml olive oil
50g finely chopped pecan nuts

For the icing and decoration:
100g softened butter
250g full fat cream cheese
100g sifted icing sugar
50g pecans finely chopped and lightly roasted

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 2 x 23cm round cake tins.
2. Sift the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl:

3. Stir in the sugars and a pinch of salt.
4. In a second bowl mash the bananas and mix in the chopped pineapple, eggs, extract and oil:

5. Fold into the dry ingredients until smooth. Gently fold in the pecans:

6. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until risen, golden and the sponges spring back on light touch. Leave to cool for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
7. To make the icing: beat the butter until soft, then add in the cream cheese and icing sugar, beating to form a smooth icing. Spread half of the icing over one of the sponges and top with the second spread. Spread over the remaining icing and decorate with the roasted chopped pecan nuts

Baker's notes
  • This is adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe for Hummingbird Cake
  • For a zesty icing, grate a lemon and add to the frosting
  • The origins of the name of the hummingbird cake remain a bit of a mystery. I love the thought that it was named 'Hummingbird' because it makes you 'hum with happiness' when you tuck in!
  • With thanks to Beko who sent me vouchers as a thank you for baking this recipe 


  1. I am very very impressed with that pink cat cake! YOu look so happy about it too!

    Lovely Hummingbird cake for your Mum!

  2. I love Hummingbird cake. Your mum is definitely a talented baker and it clearly runs in the family!

  3. A BEAUTIFUL post and cake Kate and such a wonderful recipe for Spring too! Karen xxx

  4. That's a fine cake that any mother would be pleased to receive I'm sure. I'm very impressed with the pink cat cake especially since there seems to be a pink mouse getting in on the act - couldn't be better when you're three. Keep up the fine family tradition.

  5. So excellent baking runs in the family I see ;) Hummingbird cakes are delicious. I also love your pink cat cake.

  6. I have just made the cake but am being very good and saving it for tea. Does it need to be kept in the fridge due to the cream cheese?

    1. Hi Mark! Great to hear you made the cake- thank you for letting me know! I left mine out without refrigerating it as it was pretty cold in our kitchen overnight in early March. I stored it in a cake tin and we ate most of it the following day- it was absolutely delicious. So I guess it depends on how warm the storage is! In e summer months I've often placed cakes with cream cheese frosting in the fridge to avoid any melting. Hope that helps. Enjoy!


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