Hummingbird Cake

hummingbird cake

I was more intrigued by the name of hummingbird cake than the cake itself when I decided to make it. This is such a lovely name. I tried to find out how the name came from, but eventually I gave up because it didn’t seem to matter anymore.

hummingbird cake

The cake was deliciously tender and moist, filled with tropical ingredients – pineapple, nuts and banana. Traditional hummingbird cake doesn’t include coconut, but I had a strong feeling that it would taste even better with it. And believe it or not, it did!

This cake is similar to carrot cake, except it uses pineapple instead of carrot. A sweet cake with tons of different flavours. And because of its sweet ingredients, I reduced the amount of sugar for the cake and the frosting to balance the sweetness.

hummingbird cake

Now, the dried pineapple flowers. They don’t just look elegant, lovely and cheerful, they also taste great! Perfect for basically anything – cake, cupcake, muffin, banana bread, vanilla ice cream, or even eat it plain as snack.

Ingredients (5-inch 2-layer cake):
Dried Pineapple Flowers
1 whole fresh pineapple Cake
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup nut of your choice (e.g. walnut, almond, pecan)
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package 8-ounce cream cheese, soften
3/4 cup powdered sugar

To prepare pineapple flowers, preheat oven to 225F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the top, bottom and outer rind off the pineapple. Use a small pairing knife or a melon baller to remove the pineapple “eyes”. Use a sharp knife to cut pineapple into very thin slices. Place slices on the prepared baking sheet. Pat them dry with paper towel.
Bake for 30 minutes until tops look dried. Flip slices and bake for another 30 minutes until completely dried.
Line slices into a muffin tin to form cones. Let sit overnight in room temperature to dry and shape flowers.
To prepare cake, preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 5-inch cake pan, and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, egg and banana until well combined.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just blended.
Fold in pineapple, nut and coconut.
Pour the cake batter evenly between cake pans, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
To prepare cream cheese frosting, place cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread a layer of frosting. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Smear the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with dried pineapple flowers.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave cake in room temperature for at least an hour before serving.


  1. hai fanny!

    im asha from Malaysia….all your recipes was superb!

    if i want to make 9inch x 2 layer cakes, i just need to double up the ingredients rite? or the taste will not be the same? :(

  2. My hand mixer comes with the hook and whisk attachment only. Can I use the whisk attachment for this recipe? Made the pineapple flowers already and may not have sliced them thin enough so baked for a further 15min in the muffin tray and lined them with cupcake liners and they turned out beautifully!

    1. Hi ChinThing, in fact you could just mix the cake batter by hand. Just make sure all the ingredients are well combined. Only when you add the flour mixture, do not overmix it. Hope you enjoy the recipe. :)

    1. Hi Janet, a regular bundt cake pan may be too big for this cake. You could bake the whole cake in an 8-inch cake pan, and frost the whole cake with the cream cheese frosting. Happy 2015! :)

  3. What a beauty – have made the traditional before, but this sounds yummy. Every try the fruit cocktail cake? It’s a winner also. Going to store to get stocked up.

  4. Hummingbird cake is very similar to “Dr. Bird” cake that originated in Jamaica. One suggestion ? Don’t cut the top off the pineapple ! Grab and twist the leaves and the top will come off. Peal the bottom leaves off and discard. Place the remaining core with leaves attached into a small glass of water and place in a sunny window. It will root in a short while and can be planted in a large clay pot and put on the porch in warmer months , inside when it approaches freezing. Beautiful lush plant that if handled properly and you are lucky, a new pineapple will sprout from its center. The “Dr. Bird” leaves the bananas in small chunks… and no coconut….otherwise they appear related. The pineapple flowers are a great addition, Thanks, don s.

  5. Hi Fanny, I made a simplified version last night. didn’t need two layers. so I put all in one bigger form and baked for 40-43 minutes, came out perfect. and what a heavenly taste is has. Thank you!

  6. looks lovely, where can one find pineapple flowers and can you substitute canned pineapple?

    1. Hi Pauline, the recipe tells you how to make pineapple flowers with pineapple. Of course you can just go ahead garnish the cake with some chopped canned pineapples. :)

  7. My fave 13 x 9 cake. Don’t know origin of name either.
    Can’t wait to add your pineapple flowers.

  8. Lovely looking cake, Fanny!
    JBaum, I have 6″ cake pans although I am not a very active baker. In fact I don’t think it’s too hard to buy 5″ cake pans. I think I’ve seen them on Amazon.

    1. Thanks Danae. I agree that everyone seems to enjoy it, be it the baker or the eater, cause it’s really simple to make, not to mention to eat. :)

    1. Thanks, Isadora. I love your food shown on your website too. So colourful and delicious looking. Cheers. :)

  9. I made this exact same cake for my friend’s birthday this weekend, and I had received rave review about how delicious this cake was. They all loved the dried pineapple flowers too! This cake was really easy to make, and the flavor was unbelivable. Thank you SO much for sharing!

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