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Hummingbird Cake

I was looking for a dessert to bring to my family’s Easter party and a recipe for Hummingbird Cake graced my computer screen. Bingo! I had to bake this! This three layer cake with cinnamon, pecan, pineapple, bananas, and cream cheese frosting is not to be missed. Every reference to the cake I found stated it’s already been wildly popular for decades, especially in the South.

I love the history of this cake. It goes not only by Hummingbird Cake but also by The Cake that Doesn’t Last, Nothing Left Cake, and Granny’s Best Cake. It’s exact origins remain a mystery.

The general consensus seems to be that the first printed reference to Hummingbird Cake appeared in the 1978 issue of Southern Living magazine submitted by a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins. Southern Living magazine claims it’s their most requested recipe and the cake is cherished all across the South.

According to Food Timeline other evidence shows this cake may have Jamaican roots. The hummingbird is one of Jamaica’s national symbols. The sweetness of the cake is similar to the sweet food sources hummingbirds love.

The manner in which hummingbirds eat is another possible namesake: hummingbirds swarm their food source quickly and disperse. This is the kind of cake that you bring to a party and everyone quickly digs in until there isn’t a crumb left.

Hummingbird Cake is an easy no-fail recipe that will keep your flock humming with happiness. It’s certainly a new classic for my family. I had fun learning about it and making it. Is Hummingbird Cake already prized by your family? I’d love to hear any family history of serving this classic cake!

Sugar Dish Me suggested I submit this cake to Aspiring Bakers #18 Layers of Love (April 2012) hosted by Sam of Sweet Sensations. Check it out!

Hummingbird Cake

Source: Adapted from SouthernLiving.Com

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

2 cups chopped bananas

For the Frosting and Topping

1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

16 ounce package confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened–don’t overdo it. It will look really thick at this point. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.

Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Prepare the cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.

Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

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