Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake is one of those recipes that’s uniquely Southern, and found nearly every springtime at someone’s baby shower, wedding, or barbecue.

Rumor has it the cake’s name comes from its over-the-top sweetness – so sweet that there’s no way a hummingbird could resist it’s sugary lure.

Personally, it reminds me a lot of carrot cake, but instead of getting its sweetness from carrots, it gets it from fresh pineapple, ripe bananas, and warmly roasted walnuts. They’re each equal stars of this show.

James loved the cake for its denseness, and it’s cream cheese frosting. I loved it for all the fresh fruit and walnuts – both of which are incredibly good for you. That makes it healthy, right?!

If you’ve never had a Hummingbird Cake, take my advice and add it to your Springtime celebrations menu. Everyone could use a little Southern hospitality in their lives, don’t you think?



  1. says

    The epitome of church dinners. All of the old ladies around here still get all riled up about a good hummingbird cake. I am so glad to see it carrying on. If you asked me on a normal day, I’d never pick this cake but anytme it shows up its always an unexpected treat. Great choice :-)

  2. says

    I could always use a little extra cake in my day and I would gladly welcome some Southern hospitality to go with it. Politeness is hard to come by in some areas around here. In fact, I think I’ll start carrying slices of this cake around with me…

  3. Danielle says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had this cake. It looks yum, as all things southern ultimately are! It doesn’t look like you frosted between the layers if the cake, just stacked and did tour crumb coat. Is this true?

    • says

      Danielle, I did frost between the layers, but I was nervous about doing a ton of frosting in the layers because I never seem to have enough to do the final coat if I do that. But I definitely did add a fair amount between each layer too, when I did the crumb coat. Thanks for checking!

  4. says

    I’ve never heard of this cake! But I would like to get to know it better. I think New Englanders need to know about this one. Beautiful pictures!!

  5. says

    MMM….I’m starving right now and would push an old lady out of the way for a slice of that!!

    That cake would make any Arkansas after church potluck crowd proud!!

    • says

      It’s super good, Michelle. Maybe you could tweak it to make it a little healthier, or maybe just let the kids indulge once a year?

    • says

      Me too, Sylvie! I researched a bunch of sites, and that seemed to be the consensus, plus I called my nan and asked her. Nans are never wrong, you know.

    • says

      Teri, it’s great for a baby shower because it goes so far. You can make the one cake and it’ll feed the whole crowd because it’s dense and you only need small slices to keep folks happy.

  6. Jaime says

    Looks great! How do you divide the batter between the layers evenly? I always have trouble when I simply eyeball it, so I tend to stay away from layer cakes for this reason. Any tips?

    • says

      I sure do. Jaime, what I do is pour the batter into a giant measuring cup or bowl so I know how much I have in cups. You can even do this between multiple measuring cups if you don’t have one cup or bowl big enough. Then just do the simple math of how much batter you have, divided by 3.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that it’s okay if layer cakes aren’t exactly uniform in size per layer. The end result is going to be completely covered in frosting, and you won’t be able to tell whether or not one layer is bigger than the other until you cut into it. And at that point, do you really care? You’ll be too busy eating delicious cake! :)

  7. says

    I saw your photo, and my first thought was, “Ahh, a real cake. That’s what cake is SUPPOSED to be.” Hummingbird cakes were a favorite of my little old Cajun Maw-Maw.

    • says

      Aww, Shelly, your comment made my day. I love your Cajun Maw-Maw. I have a midwestern Nanny. They’re awesome, aren’t they?

    • says

      Lauren, I have wanted to go to Table 52 since I saw that Sunday Fried Chicken of Art Smith’s on Best Thing I Ever Ate on the food network. I’m excited to know that good Southern man is making hummingbird cake too! Now we just have to get ourselves to Chicago!

  8. says

    I love Hummingbird Cake! I always make mine with pecans, though. I just prefer them, and I was raised in Seguin, Texas (Home of the World’s Biggest Pecan!). LOL

  9. Elizabeth says

    Thanks or sharing this recipe! I never had this cake before and it looked amazing so I just had to make it. It was delicious!

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