Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hummingbird Cake-The Essence of Sweet


I grew up eating hummingbird cake and wondered where it came from and how it got its name. A little research tells me the first known published recipe appeared in a 1978 Southern Living magazine and was submitted by a reader from North Carolina. More research tells me that hummingbirds reject the nectar from any flower that does not have at least a 25 % sugar content. Its no wonder then how this sweet delicacy got its name.


When I took this to a recent potluck gathering, nearly everyone there remembered their mother or grandmother making it. Most, however, had forgotten it and were glad to be reminded. Southern Living claims this is their most often requested recipe. Taste this once and you’ll understand both the name and the popularity.

Hummingbird Cake

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups chopped bananas

Combine dry ingredients. Add eggs and oil. Stir until moist. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and nuts. Divide evenly into 3 greased and floured cake pans or a prepared 9X13. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.


1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened ***

1 pound powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

Combine cream cheese and butter. Cream until smooth. Blend in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and nuts.

***The original recipe included “butter or oleo”. My much younger sister in law called to ask me what oleo was :). Fortunately, she could not see my jaw drop :)

It’s been a busy busy week here! I am glad to be joining our gracious hostess Michael Lee West for Foodie Friday. Click on her button on the sidebar to be inspired by beautiful pictures and recipes! Thanks for stopping by !~~Susan


  1. I love hummingbird cake, well pretty much any cake that isn't dry ;) You have such a nice blog I nominated you for an award so check my blog for more.

  2. What a beautiful post! My friend was just saying today that she was bummed the hummingbirds left for the season-so I sent her your link-thanks!:@)

  3. Your post is stunning. I do so love that cake.

  4. Oh My!! I have not had that in years. That cake is SO good. I usually crave savory, but when I do want something sweet, I want something decadent like that.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. Living in the South for the last 30 years I have had that cake a time or two! So sweet and yummy. Love hummingbirds!

  6. I never heard of the cake, but I'm not from the South. But I would love to try it so thanks for the recipe. It looks beautiful!


  7. Oh my, I'd forgotten Hummingbird Cake too. It is delicious and I'll have to make one soon.

  8. Hey Susan!
    I for one have NEVER heard of Hummingbird cake...
    but it looks and sounds wonderful...moist!
    I will certainly give it a try.
    Loved my catch up with you this evening...the red velvet cake balls,,,yum.
    Your pillows turned out the fabrics you chose.
    Must also try the tailgate deliciouness!!!!!
    Have a tasty weekend,
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  9. Thanks for the recipe, Susan. John always orders it whenever we go to Mammy's Cupboard....Christine

  10. How beautiful, I have seen this cake time and time again through the years. I guess it is time to make one!

  11. I adore humming bird cake, Susan! That's one of my favorites. There was a lady from Mississippi who owned a restaurant in Florida, and she used to fix this a lot. I miss her and her cake, too!

    Hope all is well with you. Sounds like you are busy, busy. I'm still on break, but I decided to come up for air and see what everyone's been doing. I hope to be blogging again in a week or so.


    Sheila :-)

  12. I haven't had Hummingbird cake in years. A lady I used to work with made them all the time....I think I'm gonna have to try your recipe out ;o)

  13. I am laughing at your younger sisters comment. I wish I had a piece of this cake right now. I just know I am going to be thinking out the cake for the entire weekend:-)

  14. It must be a Southern thang! :) I have heard of it though!
    Looks delicious. 1 lb of sugar! SWEEET!
    Hope all goes well there!

  15. Hi Susan,

    I have never heard of this cake but it does sound and look delicious.
    Many thanks for sharing the recipe and I will try this next time I am thinking of baking something.

    Happy weekend

  16. Your cake looks delicious. My mother also used to make it. Joey's grandmother made a similar cake and she called it Amalgamation Cake, funny name but good to eat.

  17. I've actually never heard of it, but it sounds as good as it looks! YUM!

  18. Susan, I'm like your friends at the potluck. I had forgotten all about this delicious cake. Yours turned out so pretty. I don't think I've ever made it, but I ate many a piece of H.B. cake when I was young. Thanks for the recipe. laurie

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