Originating (and excessively popular) in America, hummingbird cake is a tropical mix of banana and pineapple, and when layered with an orange cream cheese frosting, makes a great celebration cake. Sweet and indulgent, a small slice is all that is needed to satisfy.
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 75 g (½ cup) self-raising flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 220 g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
- 45 g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
- 2 very ripe large bananas (about 250 g each)
- 440 g crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained and juice reserved
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 185 ml (¾ cup) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
- edible flowers, to decorate (optional)
Orange cream cheese frosting
- 100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250 g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 orange, zest finely grated
- 375 g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture, sifted
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush 3 x 20 cm round cake tins with extra sunflower oil to lightly grease and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
Sift together the plain and self-raising flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and coconut and stir to combine, breaking up any lumps.
Mash the banana and combine with the drained pineapple, 80 ml (⅓ cup) of the reserved pineapple syrup, eggs and oil. Add to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until just combined.
Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared tins and spread with the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Stand the cakes in the tins for 5 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool (this will take about 1 hour).
Meanwhile, to make the orange cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter and orange zest until very smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating well after each addition and beat until well combined and really creamy. Divide the orange cream cheese frosting evenly among 3 bowls.
Take one portion of the orange cream cheese frosting and use a palette knife to spread half over one cake layer. Top with a second cake layer and spread with the remaining frosting of the first portion. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread another portion of frosting over the sides and the remaining portion over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the edible flowers to decorate
• This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
• Stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Cakes for crowds.