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Hummingbird Cake with Pineapple Filling

Hummingbird Cake is a unique cake that features bananas, pineapple and pecans. My version uses candied pecans baked inside the cake, and also as cake decoration. This cake is moist, tall and full of fun tropical flavors!

Hummingbird Cake

How To Make Candied Pecan Crumble

  • Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl combine the egg whites, chopped pecans and sugar. Spread pecan mixture on top of the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times. Set aside to cool. Once cool, break up any large pieces with your fingers. Store in a zip top bag or in an airtight container.

How To Make Pineapple Filling

  • Place thawed pineapple in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Over a bowl pour pineapple puree over a sieve to remove the solids. The puree will be thick. Use a spoon to stir and press the puree through the strainer.
  • Place pineapple puree in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugar and cornstarch mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Once the puree thickens, remove from the heat. Cool for 5 minutes and then add fresh lemon juice. Chill for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Hummingbird Cake Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour: is great for baking since it’s very versatile. It’s perfect for cakes that need extra structure like this one! Those bananas, pineapple and pecans need a little extra support.
  • Baking soda: promotes browning.
  • Ground cinnamon: all cinnamons aren’t created equal. Vietnamese cinnamon is typically spicer than Indonesian cinnamon. For less spicy cinnamon, stick with cheaper options that claim no origin.
  • Salt: enhances flavor.
  • Bananas: use very ripe bananas for best flavor.
  • Eggs: bind, thicken, emulsify and leavens.
  • Granulated sugar: dissolves easily in batters.
  • Vegetable oil: cakes using oil yield a cake with a tender crumb and remain soft even when the cake is cold.
  • Vanilla extract: enhances flavor
  • Crushed pineapple: enhances flavor.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

Have you ever made cream cheese frosting and had those pesky clumps of cream cheese left over in your frosting? Yeah I’ve been there too. The Cake Chica’s Tip: I’ve found the trick to getting rid of those annoying clumps of cream cheese in your frosting is to add the cream cheese in last, and of course making sure it’s at room temperature.

How To Apply A Crumb Coat

  • Place a medium dollop of frosting on top of the cake. 
  • Using a small offset spatula, start spreading the frosting out. 
  • Continue to spread frosting on the sides of the cake. The frosting does not have to be perfectly smooth. 
  • Refrigerate the cake uncovered for at least 15 minutes to set before adding the final coat of frosting.
Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake Assembly

  • Apply a generous amount of frosting on the top of the chilled cake. Smooth out the frosting with an offset cake spatula all the way to the edge of the cake. You should have excess frosting on the sides. 
  • Place a parchment lined disc on top of the cake (parchment paper side down) and gently press to adhere, making sure the disc is level. Apply more frosting to the sides of the cake. Once the sides are covered in frosting, use the cake scraper and gently press against the bottom cake board and top acrylic disc and rotate the cake board and scraper, creating a smooth surface on the sides of the cake. Fill in any gaps with more frosting and rotate the turntable again. Once the sides are frosted, chill the cake for another 30 minutes.
  • Carefully insert the cake spatula under the acrylic disc and rotate the cake turntable until the disc releases. 
  • Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the counter. Have the candied pecans off to the side in a bowl. Carefully pick up the cake by the bottom cake board in one hand and with the other hand gently scoop the pecans on the sides of the cake over the rimmed baking sheet. 
  • Carefully place the cake back on the turntable or a serving platter. Place remaining frosting in a piping bag fitted with Wilton piping tip #1M pipe shells of frosting on the top edge of the cake. Place about 1/2 cup filling on the top center of the cake and spread out in an even layer, reaching the dollops of frosting and serve.

Cake Decorating Tools

  • 8-inch round cake board
  • Cake turntable
  • Small offset cake spatula
  • Piping bags
  • Coupler
  • 8-inch round acrylic disc
  • Cake scraper
  • Wilton 1M piping tip

Hummingbird Cake Baking Schedule

  1. Make the candied pecan crumble.– Day 1
  2. Prepare the pineapple filling and bake the cake layers. – Day 2
  3. Make the cream cheese frosting, assemble and serve. – Day 3
Hummingbird Cake

Make Ahead

  • Candied pecan crumble: can be made up to 1 week in advance.
  • Pineapple filling: can be made up to 5 days in advance.
  • Cake layers: can be made up to 3 days in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap, stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Hummingbird Cake

Cake Storage

Assembled cake: can be stored up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight cake container.

Hummingbird Cake

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Hummingbird Cake

Recommended Recipes

Hummingbird Cake

Recipe adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Handbook by Bobbie Lloyd

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake with Pineapple Filling

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Homemade Hummingbird Cake filled with pineapple filling, frosted with cream cheese frosting, garnished with candied pecan crumbles.

Ingredients

SPECIAL TOOLS

  • 3 8-inch round cake pans
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Stand mixer
  • 8-inch round cake board
  • Cake turntable
  • Offset cake spatula
  • Piping bags
  • Round piping tip or coupler
  • 8-inch round disc
  • Cake scraper
  • Wilton piping tip #1M

CANDIED PECAN CRUMBLE

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 cups chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

PINEAPPLE FILLING

  • 16 ounces frozen pineapple, thawed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water

CAKE

  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 very ripe bananas, broken into large pieces
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups (16 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) juice packed crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3/4 (3 ounces) cup Candied Pecan Crumble

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened

Instructions

CANDIED PECAN CRUMBLE

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the egg whites, chopped pecans and sugar. Spread pecan mixture on top of the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times. Set aside to cool. Once cool, break up any large pieces with your fingers. Store in a zip top bag or in an airtight container.

PINEAPPLE FILLING

  1. Place thawed pineapple in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Over a bowl pour pineapple puree over a sieve to remove the solids. The puree will be thick. Use a spoon to stir and press the puree through the strainer.
  2. Place pineapple puree in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugar and cornstarch mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Once the puree thickens, remove from the heat. Cool for 5 minutes and then add fresh lemon juice. Chill for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator until ready to use.

CAKE

  1. Adjust and oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Place the bananas in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium speed, puree the bananas. Transfer the banana puree to a bowl and wipe down the mixer bowl.
  4. Attach the whisk attachment to the stand mixer and add the eggs and sugar to the mixer bowl. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and creamy. Add the oil and vanilla extract and whisk for another 2 minutes until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment and with the mixer on low speed, add the pureed bananas and the pineapple and mix until incorporated.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and with a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in the flour mixture in three additions, mixing until just combined. Fold in the 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Save remaining candied pecans for decorating.
  7. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  8. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 1 hour, then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt. Reduce the speed to low and beat for 1 minute.
  2. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the cream cheese and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Do not over beat or the frosting will become soupy.

ASSEMBLE

  1. Center one cake layer on a cake board and place on a cake turntable. Fit a piping bag with a plain round tip or coupler and fill with about 1 1/2 cups frosting. Pipe a frosting dam around the edge of the cake. Spread about 1/2 cup pineapple filling in the center in an even layer all the way out until it reaches the frosting dam. Place the second cake layer on top and gently press to adhere. Pipe another frosting dam around the edge of the cake and fill with 1/2 cup pineapple filling, spreading in an even layer all the way out to the frosting dam. Place the third cake layer on top (bottom side up) and press gently to adhere.

CRUMB COAT

  1. Apply a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake to catch any loose crumbs and to seal the cake. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. While the cake is chilling prepare the candied pecans.
  2. Apply a generous amount of frosting on the top of the chilled cake. Smooth out the frosting with an offset cake spatula all the way to the edge of the cake. You should have excess frosting on the sides. Place a parchment lined disc on top of the cake (parchment paper side down) and gently press to adhere, making sure the disc is level. Apply more frosting to the sides of the cake. Once the sides are covered in frosting, use the cake scraper and gently press against the bottom cake board and top acrylic disc and rotate the cake board and scraper, creating a smooth surface on the sides of the cake. Fill in any gaps with more frosting and rotate the turntable again. Once the sides are frosted, chill the cake for another 30 minutes.
  3. Carefully insert the cake spatula under the acrylic disc and rotate the cake turntable until the disc releases.
  4. Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the counter. Have the candied pecans off to the side in a bowl. Carefully pick up the cake by the bottom cake board in one hand and with the other hand gently scoop the pecans on the sides of the cake over the rimmed baking sheet.

Notes

  • Candied pecan crumble: can be made up to 1 week in advance.
  • Pineapple filling: can be made up to 5 days in advance.
  • Cake layers: can be made up to 3 days in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap, stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • Assembled cake: can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 855Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 579mgCarbohydrates: 102gFiber: 7gSugar: 59gProtein: 13g

*Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary.*

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