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Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese frosting is a moist and delicious homemade layer cake full of tropical banana, pineapple and coconut flavors!

Is there anything better than a homemade cake? I say no… especially when it tastes like the tropics! Scroll down to see tons of detailed step-by-step photos on how to make this recipe. It’s one of my favorite treats to make for Easter along with Hot Cross Buns.

old fashioned hummingbird cake
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Why you will love this recipe:

  • Tropical flavors: This cake combines banana, pineapple, and even the flavor of coconut to create the most delicious, moist, old fashioned cake.
  • Super moist: Hummingbird Cake is so moist is because you use just as much fruit as you do flour. Also, because oil is used instead of butter, the cake is light and fluffy.
  • Easy to make: Whether you’re an expert baker or a beginner, this recipe is easy to make and difficult to mess up. Since the cream cheese frosting can be made while the cake is baking in the oven, the entire recipe doesn’t take much time.
hummingbird cake with dried pineapple and pecans

If you have heard of a hummingbird cake, it’s most likely because it was originally printed in Southern Living magazine and has become a favorite dessert of the south.

And if you love these flavor combinations, you will want to make my friend Michelle’s hummingbird bread.

slice of hummingbird cake

Ingredients needed:

Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

  • Cake: Flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, banana, pineapple, eggs, coconut oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, pecans
  • Frosting: Cream cheese, butter, vanilla, confectioners sugar
ingredients to make hummingbird cake

How to make Hummingbird Cake:

Detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Step 1: Toast the pecans

Place the raw pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven. When they’re cool, chop them into small pieces.

Step 2: Mix the cake batter

  1. Mix ingredients: Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix in the toasted pecans.
  2. Add to pans: Pour even amounts of the Hummingbird Cake batter into three prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven.

Step 4: Make frosting

Whip together the cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla. Incorporate the powdered sugar until the frosting is completely mixed. The frosting should be light and fluffy.

Step 5: Decorate cake

Once the cake has cooled, everything can be assembled. Spread the frosting in between the two cake layers, reserving enough to coat the top and sides of the cake. Top with remaining chopped pecans and some pumpkin pie spice.

Baking tips for best results:

  • Substitutions: Melted butter or lite olive oil can be used in place of the melted coconut oil. Fresh pineapple can be used in place of canned. Cinnamon can be used in place of pumpkin pie spice. Walnuts make a great substitution for pecans, or the nuts can be omitted altogether.
  • Storage: To remain moist, cake should be covered or stored in air tight container. Hummingbird cake can be left out at room temperature for a short period of time, but any leftovers should be kept in the refrigerator.
  • Sheet pan: This recipe is meant to make a large layered cake using three 9-inch round cake pans. If you’d like to bake it as a sheet cake, you will need a deep 9×13-inch pan or something even longer and cooking times may be extended.
close up of hummingbird cake

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Hummingbird Cake

Prep20 minutes
Cook28 minutes
Total48 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese frosting is a moist and delicious homemade layer cake full of tropical banana, pineapple and coconut flavors!

Ingredients 

Cake:

Frosting:

Garnish for top:

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Enter your email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great recipe ideas from me every week!
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Instructions 

to make the cake:

  • Toast pecans: Spread 2 1/4 cups raw pecans (for the cake and garnish) in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in 300°F oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring once. You'll know they're done when you can smell them. Allow pecans to cool before using. Chop or crush into small pieces.
    toasted pecans on baking sheet
  • Prep oven and pans: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans.
  • Dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the paddle attachment.
    mixing dry ingredients for cake
  • Wet ingredients: Mix the banana, pineapple, eggs, coconut oil, sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
    mixing wet ingredients for cake
  • Mix: Pour half of the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and beat on low speed to combine and then on high speed for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix on medium until fully combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chopped toasted pecan pieces.
    adding pecans to cake batter
  • Bake: Spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate pans halfway through baking. Cool in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes. As soon as they are cool enough to touch with your hands, remove cakes from pans and transfer to wire racks. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.
    freshly baked cake in cake pans

to make the frosting:

  • Beat: Using your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    whipped cream cheese
  • Mix: Add vanilla and mix. Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Okay to beat on high speed at the end to make it extra light and fluffy.
    adding powdered sugar to cream cheese

Assemble the cake:

  • Frost: Place the first cake round on a serving platter. Spread a layer of frosting on top. Place the second cake round on top of that and frost. Top with the final cake round and cover the top and sides with remaining frosting.
    spreading frosting on cake
  • Garnish: Top with remaining pecan pieces and pumpkin pie spice. Dried pineapple or banana also make a nice garnish.
    topping cake with nuts

Notes

Serving size based on one slice with frosting if the cake is cut into 12 equal portions.
Substitutions: Melted butter or lite olive oil can be used in place of the melted coconut oil. Fresh pineapple can be used in place of canned. Cinnamon can be used in place of pumpkin pie spice. Walnuts make a great substitution for pecans, or the nuts can be omitted altogether.

Nutrition

Calories: 811kcal, Carbohydrates: 107g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Sodium: 288mg, Potassium: 334mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 76g, Vitamin A: 600IU, Vitamin C: 5.2mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 2.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

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6 Comments

  1. Krissy you’ve got my mouth watering!! If we didn’t already have a perfectly planned menu for our tea party tomorrow, I’d likely be squeezing this in somewhere ; P