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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!

Hummingbird Sheet Cake {A Pretty Life}

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!

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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

Ingredients

Units Scale

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
  • 8 ounce can crushed pineapple (well drained)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped firm ripe bananas

Cream Cheese Icing:

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

Instructions

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

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Recipe from Sarah Addison Allen

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20 Comments

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

      1. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

    1. Maybe add the pineapple juice instead of draining? As someone here mentioned. Cake sounds delicious, l always do sheet cakes! I once had a recipe for a layered carrot cake from my sister, but I’m not good at those, so just made a sheet cake and everyone loved it!

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