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Hummingbird Cake

The list of ingredients for this hummingbird cake recipe is long, but it is a one-bowl wonder.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: hummingbird cake, Jamaican
Calories: 6435kcal
Author: Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo



  • ¾ cup Pecans 85 g
  • 1 ½ cups Granulated sugar 305 g
  • 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour 355 g
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups Vegetable oil 230 g
  • 1 ½ cups Mashed bananas very ripe (320 g)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp Coconut extract
  • ¾ cup Sweetened flaked coconut 70 g
  • ¾ cup Crushed pineapple 160 g


  • ½ cup Cream cheese room temperature (115 g)
  • ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature (115 g)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 2 ½ cups Powdered sugar sifted (230 g)
  • Toasted chopped pecans for decoration (optional)


Make the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F [165°C]. Spray a 9-by-13-in [23-by-33-cm] cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Toast the pecans on a sheet tray. If you will be removing the cake from the pan and decorating the sides with chopped pecans, add more pecans for that purpose. Though the toasting typically takes 10 to 12 minutes, start checking them after 8 minutes. The browning happens suddenly when the nuts are heated to the point that their oil comes to the surface, and they can burn quickly. Use your nose while you bake! You will notice a toasty aroma when they are nearly ready. When they are done, remove them from the oven, let them cool completely, and then chop them into 1⁄4-in [6-mm] pieces. Turn the oven down to 300°F [150°C].
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, and bananas to the dry ingredients. Stir well to moisten the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla extract, coconut extract, coconut, pineapple, and pecans (reserving some for decoration if desired) and stir until everything is well incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes, until the cake bounces back in the middle when pressed gently and a toothpick comes out clean. The cake will release from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool before frosting. It can be iced in the pan or out, depending on your preference.

Make the Frosting

  • While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, lightly beat the cream cheese until there are no lumps remaining. Add the butter and combine until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Stir. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it is moistened, and then stir until completely smooth.
  • Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Make a decorative pattern if you feel inspired. If you’ve removed the cake from the pan, put a small amount of icing on the sides and then coat the sides with toasted, chopped pecans.
  • Store this cake in the refrigerator because of the frosting. Remove it from the fridge an hour or two before serving for the best flavor and texture.


Reprinted from Zingerman’s Bakehouse by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo with permission by Chronicle Books, 2017