A sweet and sinful cake that is loaded with pineapple and banana to keep it moist and topped with perfect cream cheese frosting. It’s like someone took Grandma’s best banana bread up a notch. A big notch. And you’re gunna want a slice.
It’s hard to imagine not enjoying cake. It seems lately that I am learning to enjoy the simple things a lot more often than I would have ever allowed myself a few years ago. I am not sure if it’s age or a little more security financially, but an extra slice of cake after dinner is something I will no longer turn down. Especially if it’s home made.
Hummingbird cake is a southern classic and something I had never tried being just above the Mason-Dixon line. I had seen it here and there in classic recipe collections and magazines and finally decided to give it a go. Damn, those Southerner’s know a thing or two about cake. Remember a few weeks ago when I declared Tres Leches Cake my favorite cake ever? Yeah, apparently I had forgotten my love affair with cream cheese frosting. Silly me. This recipe for Hummingbird Cake came right from the source, Cook’s Country, and did not disappoint. If anything, this cake never stood a chance.
For the Cake
- 2 8 oz cans crushed pineapple in juice
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teas baking powder
- 1 teas baking soda
- 1 teas cinnamon
- 1 teas salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 2 teas vanilla
For the Frosting (mmm frosting)
- 28 tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 1/4 teas vanilla
- 1/2 teas salt
- 20 oz cream cheese, chilled and cut into 20 pieces
- 1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- Make the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9" cake pans. Line each pan with a round cut out of parchment paper and grease again. Set aside.
- Drain the pineapple over a strainer so that you can reserve the juice. Press gently to make sure to get most of the juice out.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the juice until reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the sugar and eggs quickly. Add the oil and mix to combine. Add the bananas, pecans, vanilla, pineapple chunks, and reduced pineapple juice. Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until just combined.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until nice and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before flipping and discarding the parchment paper. Let cakes cool completely, at least 2 hours.
- Make the frosting: Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in the clean bowl of your stand mixer (I mix the confectioners' sugar in 1/2 cup at a time to avoid mess). Mix until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Bump the speed up to medium and add the cream cheese, one piece at a time until all 20 pieces have been incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often. Best until smooth 2 minutes.
- Spread a huge dollop of frosting over the bottom layer of the cake. Top with the second layer and smooth the remaining frosting evenly over the entire cake. Add the remaining 1/3 cup taosted pecans to the top and allow to set in fridge at least 2 hours before slicing to serve.
Cook's Country April / May 2014