Desserts An image of a freshly baked hummingbird cake

Published on August 26th, 2012 | by Gareth


Hummingbird Cake


This week I wanted to mix it up a little and offer you a guest post from my good friend and fellow blogger Wayne Web (the chap doing a series of crazy diets each month – which are definitely working for him too). Read about Wayne’s latest diet. Wayne is more of a baker than I am so this post compliments Humble Crumbles savoury and sweet offerings with a seriously good, no nonsense cake. Over to you Wayne for words n pictures of cake.

Despite many jokes to the contrary, the Hummingbird cake contains no Hummingbirds, either fresh or canned. Instead the Hummingbird Cake is a staple of the American Southern states from the mid nineteenth century.

So it’s older than the civil rights movement.

Historical differences aside there are many variations on the Hummingbird theme, but the core ingredients seem to be oil, banana, pineapple and cinnamon. With or without coconut or with extra spice like this recipe, the cinnamon, pineapple and banana provide the unmistakable flavour while the oil provides the moist texture of the finished product.

I love this cake and many recipes like it because it falls into the easy 2-bowl preparation – which is my favourite kind of baking. No faffing about with drizzling this, or gently stirring that, this is a cake that throws itself in a bowl (or two), pours out the mix and bakes consistently without fuss.


  • Grease & line a springform cake tin, or deep-dish square pan. (Springform usually easier to extract from)
  • Heat oven to moderate (around 170-180 depending your oven, fan forced etc…)
  • A BIG bowl
  • A Wooden Spoon
  • 2x sieves


  • 450g can of unsweetened, crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • ½ cup of self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1-cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2x well ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs (beaten with a fork)
  • ¾ cup of cooking oil

Step 1. Drain the fluid from the pineapple – keep ¼ cup of juice aside, add white rum to the rest and drink liberally at your own leisure.

Step 2. Sift in the flours & soda to your bowl. Add sugar and mix loosely.

An image of Hummingbird cake dry ingredients

Sift dry ingredients

Step 3. Add in everything else and mix, mix, mix. No need to beat it, it has committed no crimes, just mix it. Think of it like the civil rights movement, stop the beatings and allow things to mix naturally – with a big stick (or spoon in this case).

An image of step 2 baking a hummingbird cake

Step 3a


An image of hummingbird cake mix

Step 3b Mixed and ready for cake tin

Step 4. Bake for 45 minutes or so, but skewer the cake to ensure it’s cooked as it can be wet and depending on your oven… well anyway you figure it out – take it out before it’s burned or it sinks in the middle from over baking…. My oven which has recently been serviced will often throw times out the window and you kinda have to feel your way – you probably cannot do too much harm giving in 45 minutes and then checking when it needs to come out as it won’t be overdone that time alone.

An image of a freshly baked hummingbird cake

Post bake

You can elect to frost the cake if you wish with a cream cheese frosting (piece of cake to do with 30g butter, 60g cream cheese, dash of vanilla and 1 ½  cups o’ icing sugar – stir liberally) or you could do a simple sugar glaze (2 or 3 tablespoons of juice or water with a few more tablespoons of sugar – nuke for 30 seconds and mix and drizzle (hate that word) over the top BEFORE you release the springform part.

An image of hummingbird cake and tea

Time for tea

But really? You don’t need that as this cake will stand on it’s own taste and texture easily and the icing on the cake is literally just that – if you like icing – go for it – if you like cake, then skip that part and just eat as is.






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About the Author

Englishman in Sydney loves a whisky, pies and all things savoury. Digital Marketer by day, cook the rest of the time. Amateur writer, photographer & aspiring anthropologists.

2 Responses to Hummingbird Cake

  1. “You can elect to frost the cake if you wish”. Hahah, the cream cheese icing is mandatory in my house! 😉

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