cake/ recipe

Hummingbird Sheet Cake

This Hummingbird Sheet cake tastes like bananas and cinnamon and subtle pineapple all wrapped up in a moist and so very delicious cake.  With the cream cheese icing it’s a show stopper!

Baking inspired by a book.

Ever since I read Sarah Addison Allen’s book ‘The Girl Who Chased The Moon‘, I have wanted to make a Hummingbird Cake.  I am a big fan of this author’s writing…her books are easy and magical reads that always leave me wanting more.  But this particular book stuck with me because of all of the cake talk.  Let me explain…one of the characters in this book, Julia, bakes cakes as a way to communicate how she feels, and I was drawn to this.  I really love the idea that your emotions are translated into the cooking and baking you do.  Sometimes I find that my most flavourful and enjoyed recipes are the ones I’ve made when I’m in a really good mood.  But mostly I could identify with the idea of baking as a way to communicate.  In certain circumstances, baking certainly is a way to capture the heart of someone dear to you.  I know I can relate to that…food and all the baking and cooking that comes with it is definitely my love language.  When I make something for my family I do it from a place of love…it’s how I show my family love.  And I love to do it, especially baking desserts.  Make any sense?  I’m rambling.  But nonetheless, I loved this book and now I’ve finally made the cake I’ve been dreaming of since I first read it.

Hummingbird Sheet Cake {A Pretty Life}

Why is it called Hummingbird Cake?

 First the name…Hummingbird Cake?  Who wouldn’t want to eat something with such a fantastic name as that? There’s no real explanation as to why it’s called Hummingbird Cake, which is kind of a bummer because I’d really like to know why it has such a whimsical name.  But what is known about this cake is that it was originally submitted by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina to the February 1978 issue of Southern Living, and it won several blue ribbons at county fairs.  Don’t you just love recipes with history behind them.  That’s my fave.

Hummingbird Sheet Cake {A Pretty Life}

Sheet Cakes are SO easy!

I decided to make this recipe as a sheet cake because honestly, I didn’t feel like making a tiered cake.  (I haven’t mastered the art of a perfect tier cake, and sheet cakes are easy, and easy is good!).  This is quite a big cake so you could definitely make it for a special occasion where you’re going to be serving up to 10 people.  And it is full of many flavours that most people love!  Winner winner hummingbird cake winner.  😉

Hummingbird Sheet Cake {A Pretty Life}

I hope you try this recipe…it’s too delicious not to!


Hummingbird Sheet Cake

This Hummingbird Sheet cake tastes like bananas and cinnamon and subtle pineapple all wrapped up in a moist and so very delicious cake.  With the cream cheese icing it’s a show stopper!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 1 sheet cake 1x
  • Category: Cake



Hummingbird Cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 8- oz can crushed pineapple (well drained)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped firm ripe bananas

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1 250 g block of cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar (confectioners)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


Hummingbird Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9×13 cake sheet pan, or line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and vegetable oil. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Add the oil mixture to the flour mix, and gently combine.
  6. Stir in the pineapple and pecans.
  7. Then stir in the bananas.
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan, and bake for 50 – 60 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean).
  9. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before spreading on the icing.

Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. With a mixer on low speed, combine the cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Then increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy.
  3. After the cake has cooled, spread on the icing.
  4. Enjoy!

Keywords: hummingbird cake

Recipe from Sarah Addison Allen


More Delicious Sheet Cake Recipes:

Have a delicious day!


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  • Reply
    Sarah R.
    June 22, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    I’ve always love the idea of hummingbird cake and yours sounds fantastic!! Thank you so much for linking up at Snickerdoodle Sunday- hope to see you again this weekend!

    Sarah (Sadie Seasongoods)

  • Reply
    Minnie L Douglas
    June 24, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    Hi there, I tasted this cake only once, and that was over thirty years ago but I never forgot the taste because it was too delicious and moist. sweetness is my weakness . Thanks for sharing on Turn it up Tuesday.

  • Reply
    Lou Lou Girls
    June 26, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    This looks so amazing! I can’t wait to try it. Pinned and tweeted! Thanks for being a part of our party. I hope to see you, Monday at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

  • Reply
    Katherines Corner
    June 26, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    This is fantastic, I invite you to share at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. ( you can link up through Sat midnight). Hugs!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Fun Money Mom
    June 26, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    This looks absolutely delicious!!! Thanks so much for sharing at Share The Wealth Sunday!


  • Reply
    June 28, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    This looks perfect for summer get togethers! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  • Reply
    June 30, 2015 at 1:07 AM

    Yum! This looks so good! Thanks so much for sharing at #HomeMattersParty. Hope you’ll join us again.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    This looks insanely delicious!! I’ve never had hummingbird cake. I shall have to remedy that.

  • Reply
    Joan Pike
    December 22, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    The original is from Jamaica and is called a doctor bird cake. The pineapple is never drained.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2016 at 1:38 PM

      Oh that is fun! Thank you for sharing! I think I might try it without draining the pineapple next time…delicious! 🙂

      • Reply
        October 1, 2018 at 6:01 PM

        5 stars
        I never drain the pineapple either. I also just put a sugar glaze when I make it in a bundt pan. My grandma called it a Jamaica cake

  • Reply
    October 1, 2018 at 5:58 PM

    My grandma made this cake my entire growing up. She always make it in a bundt pan. I just followed in her footsteps until a few years ago. I started making it as a sheet cake. I love making bundt cakes however it easier to make in a cake pan with a lid. Doesn’t take up as much room in the fridge. I’m the only grandchild (50 years old) in the family that makes this cake. None of her girls make it either.
    I love making this cake, everyone loves it. Reminds me of my childhood at my grandparents house

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      October 5, 2018 at 11:53 AM

      I agree, sheet cakes are so much easier to make and store in the fridge! I also really love the memories it brings to you! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 26, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    I had made this cake for years when my girls were young. Always a favor, but time consuming. I love your sheet cake version. Quick and just as delicious. My entire family rejoices with this revisit. Your directions were very complete. Thanks.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2021 at 7:40 PM

    4 stars
    I really love this cake. When I first tried the recipe I followed exactly and was left with a batter that resembled cookie dough. I could not pour the cake into the pan. In fact it would not even come out when holding the bowl upside down. My mistake?!?! I don’t know. I tried recipe again and added a half cup of whole milk and it came out perfect. I would love to see other comments on how this recipe worked for others. I will definitely keep this recipe in my rotation of cakes. It is so good!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2021 at 11:59 AM

    what other kind of freosting could you make for this? No cream cheese used

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      May 25, 2021 at 1:11 PM

      Hi Janice! You could just use a regular vanilla buttercream frosting.

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