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Savor the Rich, Comforting Flavors of This Unforgettable Hummingbird Cake Recipe

A slice of the islands, Hummingbird cake with cream cheese icing

Recipe from Kardea Brown at Food Network.

Hummingbird Cake brings the Islands to America.

While watching the Spring Baking Championship on HGTV this spring, I discovered a cake that immediately caught my attention: the hummingbird cake. I had never heard of it before, but once I learned about its delicious ingredients, I couldn’t wait to try making one myself.

The hummingbird cake has a rich history. It originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and is known as the “Doctor Bird Cake,” named after the island’s national bird. The cake made its way to the American South in 1968 and quickly became a favorite for its moist texture and delightful blend of tropical flavors. It features ripe bananas, crushed pineapple, toasted pecans, and a hint of cinnamon, all wrapped in a creamy frosting.

I found a wonderful recipe by Kardea Brown, one of the show’s judges, on the Food Network. Her recipe combines all these mouthwatering ingredients into a perfect cake for any occasion. Although I’m not usually a fan of coconut, I’ll include it for authenticity—and I feel it will add just the right touch.

This cake is a delight for all the home bakers out there. Your kitchen is filled with the aroma of bananas, pineapple, and spices as the cake bakes to perfection. And the combination of sweet fruit, crunchy pecans, and creamy frosting is guaranteed to impress your family and friends. So, if you’re looking for a delicious new recipe, why not make a hummingbird cake? You won’t regret it!


For the Cake:

  • Nonstick cooking spray for the pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 very ripe large bananas, mashed (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • One 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • Dried pineapple rings for decorating
  • Toasted coconut chips for decorating

For the Buttermilk Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Lightly coat the insides with flour, knocking out any excess.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, beat together the granulated sugar, oil, coconut flakes, vanilla, eggs, mashed bananas, and crushed pineapple until well combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. Fold in the toasted pecans.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 30 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.
  9. Once completely cooled, level the tops using a serrated knife.

For the Buttermilk Frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and salt, and beat to combine.
  4. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.


  1. Use the buttermilk frosting to assemble the cake layers.
  2. Decorate the top of the cake with dried pineapple rings and toasted coconut chips.

For all of you who try this yummy hummingbird cake recipe, let us know how it turns out. DM us on Facebook or Instagram, and please include pictures. Who knows, perhaps we will follow up with your reactions. 

Hummingbirds aren’t just about cake. Check out this article and discover what makes these creatures so fascinating. 

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