Classic Hummingbird Cake

If you have never tried Hummingbird Cake, you are in for a treat! First let me assure you that despite its name there are no birds of any kind in this cake! But its said that it was named for one. The cake supposedly was first created in Jamaica maybe in the late '60's and apparently was first named "Doctor Bird Cake" after a variety of Jamaican hummingbird called the red-Billed Streamertail. The way the bird probed flowers with it's long beak reminded people of a doctor inspecting a patient. It is believed that this cake was sweet enough to attract hummingbirds and the sttreaks of banana was also resembled the bird's plumage. And so "The Doctor Bird Cake" began.

The Hummingbird cake is a bit different from other cakes in that it's made with oil instead of butter and because it contains more fruit than flour. The no-beat batter usually contains nuts and spices and is scrumptious with cream cheese frosting. Packed with banana and pineapple this cake may indeed be sweet enough to attract hummingbirds.

In February 1978, Southern Living Magazine published what is believed to be the first recipe submitted by Mrs. L H Wiggin. But enough history, lets bake a cake! This version was found on

First we need to gather our ingredients

This is just a picture I thought you might enjoy. Its a very old chopper that was handed down to me.

Mix the first 5 ingredients

Add the oil and eggs

Stir until all is moistened

Stir in the nuts and fruit

Pour into 3 prepared cake pans. I only had 2 of the size I needed so I improvised, lol.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Begin making the frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter together.

Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and add vanilla

Once the cake layers are cool frost with the cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle the top with chopped pecans.

Now just serve and enjoy!

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients
  2. Add oil and eggs
  3. Stir until dry ingredients are moist, do not beat
  4. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, pecans and bananas
  5. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8' or 9" pie pans
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  7. Cool on wire racks until completely cool
  8. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers then on the top and sides
  9. Sprinkle with 1/2 chopped pecans (listed with frosting ingredients)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 16 oz package powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together softened cream cheese with softened butter. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat at low speed till totally mixed and then add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. 

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