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Hummingbird Cake

This classic Southern dessert is a feast for the eyes as well as the sweet tooth! Like dolled-up banana bread, dressed to the nines for its debutant debut, the Hummingbird Cake is sweet and makes a great impression. If you are in need of a healthier variation for this recipe, substitute canola/vegetable oil with 6 tablespoons vegetable oil and 6 tablespoons applesauce. You can also replace the cream cheese used in the icing with fat-free or reduced-fat cream cheese.

 

INGREDIENTS

 Cake

1½ cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

¾ cup vegetable oil or canola oil

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup crushed pineapple with juice

¾ cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Icing

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans.

2. Using an electric beater, beat sugar, eggs, oil, bananas and vanilla until      ingredients are well mixed.

3. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and continue to beat until batter is well mixed.

4. Fold in pineapple and pecans. Divide batter into prepared cake pans.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

6. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before icing (about 30 minutes).

7. To make icing, use an electric mixer to cream together cream cheese and butter until mixture is fluffy.

8. Slowly add powdered sugar, first mixing on low speed and then increasing the speed to high. Beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix for another 2 minutes.

9. Spread ¾ cup of icing on first layer of cake. Top with second layer and spread remainder of icing on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of cake.

There are many delicate and beautiful ways to decorate a Hummingbird cake, but the variation pictured above uses a generous amount of chopped pecans and edible flowers as a garnish.