Hummingbird Cake

Share this recipe!

Prep 30minBake 30-35minMakes 12-15 serves

Originating (and excessively popular) in America, Hummingbird cake is a tropical mix of banana and pineapple, and when layered with an orange cream cheese frosting makes a great celebration cake. Sweet and indulgent, a small slice is all that is needed to satisfy.


Edible flowers, to decorate (optional)

150g (1 cup) plain flour
75g (½ cup) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
220g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
45g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
2 very ripe large bananas (about 250g each)
440g crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained and juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
185ml (¾ cup) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease

Orange cream cheese frosting
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 orange, zest finely grated
375g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush three 20cm round cake tins with extra sunflower oil to lightly grease and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Sift together the plain and self-raising flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and coconut and stir to combine, breaking up any lumps.
  3. Mash the banana and combine with the drained pineapple, 80 ml (⅓ cup) of the reserved pineapple syrup, eggs and oil. Add to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until just combined.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared tins and spread with the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  5. Stand the cakes in the tins for 5 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool (this will take about 1 hour).
  6. Meanwhile, to make the Orange cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter and orange zest until very smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating well after each addition and beat until well combined and really creamy. Divide the Orange cream cheese frosting evenly among 3 bowls.
  7. Take one portion of the Orange cream cheese frosting and use a palette knife to spread half over one cake layer. Top with a second cake layer and spread with the remaining frosting of the first portion. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread another portion of frosting over the sides and the remaining portion over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the pecans to decorate

Baker's Tips

  • This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Cakes for CrowdsCLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.

Photography by Alan Benson.