Yup, you read the correctly, a hummingbird cake! I (Ivie) had wanted to make a layered cake and offered to do one for a friend’s birthday. I had never done an actual layered cake before. I have made many batches of cupcakes, from scratch and box, and wanted a new challenge. I bought a couple of cake pans and a very cute cake carrier from amazon (only $14). The only think left was to pick a recipe. I had heard the name “Hummingbird Cake” a lot recently, so I decided to check it out.
The hummingbird cake dates back to the mid 19th century South. It was first published in 1978, in Southern Living and won the favorite cake award that same year at the Kentucky State Fair. Like all things wonderful and delicious, this cake is making a popular comeback and it did not disappoint. (The history information was found on Wikipedia.)
I followed a recipe from the Food Network website and like I do with any recipe before cooking, I browsed the comments to check for any recommendations. I took into consideration 2 very important concerns that came up over and over again – start checking the cakes after 30 minutes and add more pineapple!
I set off to the grocery store and picked up my ingredients, after taking inventory at home.
The main flavors in the cake are bananas, pineapples, and pecans. You can’t have a southern style food without pecans! The cake was spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It was almost like a banana bread with pineapple added, and I’m sure it would make some great muffins as well.
First, I started by putting the flour, salt, baking soda, and ground spices into a dry mix bowl. I also put the bananas, crushed pineapple, nuts, and 1/2 cup flour into another bowl. Mixing both thoroughly.
Finally, with my trusty Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I whipped up the sugar and eggs, then slowly added the oil a little at a time. I did this with the whisk attachment. After about 5 minutes, bringing the ingredients to a thick consistency, I switched over to the paddle attachment and added in the dry ingredients and then the fruit mix. I forgot to take a picture of the mix and the cake baking, sorry.
When the cake was cooling on a rack, after about 40 minutes of baking (which I felt was maybe a little too long), I started making the frosting.
It is traditional for the hummingbird cake to be made with Cream Cheese Frosting. Which, in my humble opinion, is the best kind of frosting! Ingredients, room temp cream cheese, unsalted butter, vanilla (my mama’s homemade stuff), powdered sugar, and lemon zest.
Again, I used the stand mixer and made the frosting. Using room temp cream cheese and butter is essential. This is the first time I’ve been able to get my frosting to the correct consistency, and for it not to be chunky. Chunky frosting does not taste right and definitely doesn’t look pretty.
Once the cake was cooled, I did my best to stack and frost it. I think I did a pretty good job for my first try. I definitely need more practice and I can’t wait to make more cakes! Anyone need a cake made?
And here is the cake, ready to go to the party! Even though I am my own worst critic, it still did turn out well enough. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and might actually let me make another cake for future functions.
Have you made a layered cake? What is your favorite kind of cake?