ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hummingbird Cake Recipe - a Favorite Southern Dessert

Updated on July 30, 2018
ThelmaC profile image

Thelma Raker Coffone is an award winning writer who enjoys writing on a variety of topics, especially those honoring Veterans.

Delicious Hummingbird Cake
Delicious Hummingbird Cake | Source

Please Rate This Recipe for Hummingbird Cake

4 stars from 23 ratings of Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake has been a Southern favorite recipe for years, due to its taste, moistness, readily available ingredients and ease of making. What more could you ask for?

What started out as a tasty and simple cake has become a "claim to fame" for many high profile cooks. Paula Deen and Martha Stewart both have their versions of Hummingbird Cake. Southern Living magazine claims that they published the recipe first, in their February 1978 issue. However, I can remember my mother baking the same cake in the 1950s, without the fancy name of Hummingbird Cake. In our family we just called it Cake!

No one knows how it came to be known as Hummingbird Cake. Some have said it tastes so good that you hum when you eat it. Others believe it is as sweet as hummingbird nectar. Regardless of the name, it is an award winning cake having been voted the "Favorite Cake" at the 1978 Kentucky State Fair.

Truthfully, it is a very rich cake. But that's a good thing! It can be served in small slices so it stretches a long way for a large family or for a potluck dinner.

Tips for Success when Baking Hummingbird Cake

Here are some tried and true tips to assure success when baking Hummingbird Cake:

  • Make certain the pecans are fresh. They have a high fat content so they spoil quickly. They can be kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for three months and in the freezer for six months. Don't forget to note the date on the container.
  • Bananas become sweeter as they ripen and taste much better in this recipe. Very ripe bananas are also easier to mash and blend into the cake batter.
  • You can replace the oil with butter if desired. However, using oil assures a cake that is more moist.
  • Some people enjoy this cake without frosting (less sugar content!) but most bakers serve it with the Cream Cheese Frosting. Delicious either way.
  • You can add whole maraschino cherries and pecan halves to the top of the cake which makes it very attractive on a nice cake plate. Remember, presentation is important.
  • Put the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving so the frosting can set up firmly. Uneaten cake (if any!) should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or in a cake carrier with a lid.

Cook Time for Hummingbird Cake

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: Depends on size of slices

Ingredients for Hummingbird Cake

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • Cream Cheese Frosting recipe below

Baking Instructions for Hummingbird Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour well three 9 inch baking pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar and vanilla at medium speed on mixer until fluffy. Add the lightly beaten eggs, a little at a time, and beat all together well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the mixture in the large bowl alternately with the buttermilk. Add mashed bananas, undrained pineapple and pecans.
  4. Pour the batter into the three pans evenly. Hold the pans a few inches above the counter and drop onto counter to get any bubbles out of the batter.
  5. Bake 30 minutes then check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of each layer to see if it comes out clean.
  6. When done, remove the pans from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes while the layers are still in the pans. Then remove layers from the pans and let them cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.

Frost between each layer first then frost top and sides of cake.

You can leave the frosting plain or garnish with pecan halves, maraschino cherries (nice accent at Christmas) or chopped pecans as you desire. Lightly press the garnishments with your hand or fingers into the frosting.

Refrigerate cake at least 1 hour before serving so the frosting has time to get firm. Refrigerate any uneaten cake.

Have you ever eaten Hummingbird Cake?

See results

© 2013 Thelma Raker Coffone

Please Share Your Comments on Hummingbird Cake

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      2 days ago from USA

      Thanks for this recipe. This looks like a really delicious cake!

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      I bake this as a whole cake rather than 3 layers

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      3 years ago from the USA

      This cake is so mist and yummy! Thanks for recipe!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This is a great cake its a distant cousin to Banana Nut Bread I think...

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      4 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Essie I have gotten some great reviews on this cake. It is pretty tasty! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • EsJam profile image


      4 years ago from Southern California

      Mmmmm, looks terrific! I'm not much of a baker...but I do like this one! Thank you...

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      4 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Wow! This cake looks delicious. I have not heard of hummingbird cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have to try this. Voted up and shared to my fb account.

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      5 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Monis Mas it really isn't hard and the little bit of extra effort is so worth it! Thanks for your nice comments.

    • Monis Mas profile image


      5 years ago

      This cake looks sooooo good. And it doesn't seem too hard to make, which means I can give it a try :-)

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      randomcreative thanks for taking the time to stop by and read about the hummingbird cake. I appreciate your nice comments.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I'm from the midwest and had never heard of hummingbird cake before, but it sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing this great recipe and for providing so much information about it.

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      IslandBites welcome to HubPages! I look forward to seeing more of your Caribbean recipes. Thanks for the comment.

    • IslandBites profile image


      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Nice recipe

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      billybuc I always enjoy and appreciate your comments. Thanks!!! Come on down south sometime, we don't bite!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never heard of this, but of course I've never been to the South, so there you go. :) It sounds and looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe and nice job of including some history with the recipe.

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      RTalloni thanks for your great comments about Hummingbird Cake. I hope if you adapt the recipe for people with allergies to cow milk that you will write a hub about it. Thanks so much!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting to read about the history of the so-called Hummingbird cake. It makes me think of the proverb, "There's nothing new under the sun." :) Anyway, the cake is a fabulous treat. One day I hope to work on a version that uses coconut oil, coconut/almond milk, and goat's milk to replace the cow milk products (due to allergy). Before I knew that problems were due to consuming cow's milk I tasted this wonderful dessert. It could be my next choice after chocolate! :) Neat hub, thanks!

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      prasetio30 I bet your Mom would make it for you. Thanks for your comments and voting up!

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Elisha if you figure out how to make it gluten and dairy free, that would make a great hub. Thanks for stopping by.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Delicious and you make me hungry, my friend. Wow...I should share with my mother and I hope she'll make it for me. Thank you very much. Voted up and useful :-)


    • Elisha Jachetti profile image

      Elisha Jachetti 

      6 years ago

      I love hummingbird cake. I need to figure out how to make it gluten and dairy free.

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      paxwill it is very sweet and delicious. But the best part it is so easy to make. Try it sometime. Thanks for your comments!

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Hello drbj ... glad I made you hum with this recipe. It really is worth humming about!

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Hello neighbor c mark walker from 2 towns away. Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comments.

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      vocalcoach you are as sweet as the Hummingbird Cake for sharing it and voting it up. Thanks so much!

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      rebeccamealey thanks so much for sharing my hub on your facebook page. I really appreciate it! I see you are from northeast Georgia ... I am in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Thanks Neighbor!

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      bridalletter from the "Show Me" state of Missouri. Glad you like the recipe and that you are going to try it out. Let us know the results.

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Just Ask Susan I'm glad you are going to try the recipe. Let us know how you like it!

    • ThelmaC profile imageAUTHOR

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      moonlake I'm sure there are good cooks up north that know about this recipe too. Thanks for your comments!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      I've never eaten Hummingbird cake before, Thelma, but I am now humming with anticipation as I read your delicious recipe. Thank you.

    • c mark walker profile image

      Charles Mark Walker 

      6 years ago from Jasper Georgia

      Haven't had a Hummingbird Cake in years. This looks like a good recipe Thelma with some good advice along with it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'ts been a long time since I've had it and I didn't know it was officially called hummingbird cake, but it makes sense since it is soooooooo sweet!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is a 'too-die-for' recipe! And the additional tips you've provided are a nice bonus. Good photo. Sharing and voted up plus 5*.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have heard of hummingbird cake before, but had forgotten. Thanks for the reminder. It looks and sounds delicious. I shared on my FB.

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 

      6 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you for sharing the recipe. I have it at tea rooms whenever it is available. I love the name of it too. I am positive I will try this recipe out myself. So many good ingredients in it.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh my this sounds so good. Thanks for sharing your recipe and I can't wait to try it.

      Pinning and Voting +++

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      We've ate this cake up north years ago, my mother=in=law made it. We ate it way before Martha or Paula. We also just called it cake. I'm from the south and don't remember my mom or any family member making it. Enjoyed your hub voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)