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5 from 2 votes

Southern Hummingbird Cake

A southern favorite...Hummingbird Cake is dense, moist, rich banana cake with crushed pineapple and toasted pecans with a buttery cream cheese frosting. It's delicious!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword hummingbird cake recipe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Author Joanne Schweitzer


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 dashes ground cloves
  • 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas 4-5
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canola, corn or vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans, divided optional
  • 1 tsp coconut extract optional

Buttery Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened don't over or under soften
  • 1 tbsp half and half creamer or whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened don't over or under soften
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Hummingbird Cake Batter

  • First, preheat oven to 300F if you're toasting pecans in oven. If you're doing them on the stove top, then put oven on 350F. Or, you can buy Trader Joe's Toasted Pecan pieces on Amazon.
  • Then, toast chopped pecans: toast on a baking sheet for 8 min at 300F. Or, In a small pan on stove top on medium heat, add chopped pecans. Stand there for 2-3 minutes to ensure they don't burn. Burning happens quickly so, don't walk away. As soon as they start to brown, remove them and set aside. Don't skip this step as it adds great flavor and texture.
  • Next, in a medium bowl, add flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Set aside.
  • Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine white sugar, brown sugar, mashed bananas, pineapple with juice, oil, vanilla and coconut extract, and eggs. 
  • Next, slowly add the flour mixture to the oil mixture. Stir in one cup of the roasted pecans. The remaining 1/4 cup will be used for topping the cake.
    Hummingbird Cake Batter
  • Then, liberally oil spray and lightly flour or use (oil spray with flour in it) three 9 inch round baking pans or line with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper. 
  • Next, add one third of the cake batter to each greased baking pan and bake at 350F for 27-31 min. Insert a toothpick in the middle to test. If it comes out clean, they're done. Let cool before frosting.

Buttery Cream Cheese Frosting

  • First, in a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese and mix until it's smooth- about 1 minute. 
  • Next, Add butter, vanilla and salt. Mix until well incorporated and smooth.
  • Then, add one cup of powdered sugar at a time. Mix until smooth.
    Buttery Cream Cheese Frosting

Hummingbird Cake Assembly

  • First, on a cake plate, put the biggest layer (if you have uneven layers) down first. Spread about 1/4 of the frosting on the first layer but stop at about 1 inch from the edges of the cake layer.
  • Then, repeat for second layer and third layer.
    Southern Hummingbird Cake
  • Next, add frosting to the sides of the cake.
  • Last, top with remaining 1/4 cup roasted pecan pieces. Store in refrigerator.



Store in the refrigerator up to five days or freeze cake up to 6 months.

Helpful Hints and substitutions:

  • Use very ripe bananas. They're sweeter.
  • Substitute all white sugar instead of half white and half brown.
  • Substitute chopped walnuts instead of pecans.
  • Add 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Add 1/2 cup of raisins.


Serving: 0g | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg