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Hummingbird Cake

Pecans, bananas and pineapple make this cake incredibly moist and delicious!

Light in texture and moist - this hummingbird cake is perfect for a spring or summer celebration but honestly all year round! The cream cheese frosting compliments the light sweetness of the cake perfectly.

Hummingbird cake with pecans and cream cheese frosting

The perfect cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese frosting is so much easier to make than buttercream in my opinion but there are still some things to consider to make it perfect and not taste like butter.

First things first: how to avoid a buttery taste. There are two main factors. The first one is to whip your butter for at least 3 minutes until pale and lighter in color. It is the same step as for a buttercream and it really makes all the difference. Whipping air into the butter makes it lighter and taste less like butter fat.

The other factor on how to avoid a buttery taste is powdered sugar. You will need more than you think. I know it sounds kind of like a lot to add 5 cups of powdered sugar into the frosting but that is what is needed to create a delicious slightly tangy cream cheese frosting.

Some people ask if they need to add butter into the frosting and I would always recommend it. Butter gives the frosting stability and more body. It is easier to work with and it sets nicely in the fridge so you will be able to smooth out the sides. I chose an easy decoration for this cake with it being covered completely in pecan pieces so no need for great decoration skills.

Ingredients of Hummingbird cake with pecans and cream cheese frosting

These are the cake pans that I always use in my recipe videos and the bake even strips for flat cake tops!

A 8 inch cake pan is the traditional choice to make most cake recipes. It creates tall cake layers without making a huge cake! Having issues with cake domes? Bake even strips help to get flat cake tops by cooling the sides of the cake while baking so that the center bakes evenly with the outside.

Slice of Hummingbird cake with pecans and cream cheese frosting

Hummingbird Cake

Slice of Hummingbird cake with pecans and cream cheese frosting


3 cups (360 g) cake flour

1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar

1 cup canola oil

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (600 g) mashed ripe bananas

8 ounces (226 g) crushed pineapple, drained

1/3 cup (80 ml) 100% pineapple juice

1/3 cup (40 g) chopped pecans

For the cream cheese frosting:

16 oz (450 g) cream cheese, cubed

1 cup (226 g) butter, softened

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar

1 tbsp heavy cream, optional

2 cups (240 g) chopped pecans

1/2 cup (60 g) pecan halves

Check out my Pineapple Coconut Cake tutorial while this one is in the making


Step 1:

To make the cake prepare three 8 inch baking pans with parchment paper and grease them with butter or baking oil. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Into a big mixing bowl combine white and brown sugar and vegetable oil. Mix it until well combined. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Make sure that it is mixed in completely and there are no lumps of egg left. Add the rest of the wet ingredients: mashed banana, pineapple, pineapple juice and vanilla. Mix it until smooth. Then fold in all the dry ingredients. You can mix them in a separate bowl first but it is not necessary. So add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix it until it is just combined. Over mixing makes a dense cake.

Step 2:

Divide the batter between three cake pans and bake it in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. If you are using bake even strips add 10 minutes to the baking time. Check the doneness with a wooden skewer. When the skewer comes out clean of with a few moist crumbs it is done. Let it cool in the cake pans for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake pan and let the layers cool on a wire rack completely. Freeze if desired (see notes)

Step 3:

For the frosting mix softened butter it until fluffy and whiter in color. In a different bowl mix cream cheese until smooth for about 4 minutes on a low speed. Mix in whipped butter until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar little by little until smooth. Then add vanilla and salt. Mix until well combined. Then whip it for about 2 minutes until it has a fluffy consistency. Add heavy cream or milk until it has the desired consistency.

Step 4:

To decorate the cake place one cake layer on a cake plate. If it has a dome cut it even. Then spread 1/3 cup of the frosting on top. Smooth it out and you can sprinkle some crushed pecans on top if you want. Top it with the second cake layer and add some cream cheese frosting. Add the last cake layer. Then cover the whole cake with a thick layer of frosting and smooth it out. While the frosting is still soft cover the whole sides of the cake with crushed pecans. Sprinkle some on the outer part of the top, too and finish it with a border of pecan halves. Let it chill in the fridge until needed.


Hummingbird cake with pecans and cream cheese frosting


  • If you want to pipe swirls on the cake I would recommend to add about 1/2 cup or more of powdered sugar to the frosting used for that. So first cover the cake with frosting and then use left over frosting mixed with more powdered sugar to pipe swirls. If it is too soft still place it in the fridge for about 10 minutes, whip it up and then try again.

  • I like to place my cake layers in the freezer after they have completely cooled. Freezing them for a few hours or over night makes it so much easier to decorate them as they crumble less and are easier to handle.


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