Hummingbird cake is one of my all-time favourites. Packed with interesting flavours and textures, it’s something a little different, and is perfect as a special occasion treat.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (23 votes)


  • 3 large, overripe bananas, mashed
  • 200 g (7 oz/¾ cup) crushed tinned pineapple, plus 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the pineapple juice
  • 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) vegetable oil
  • 345 g (12 oz/1½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy milk
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 55 g (2 oz/1 cup) flaked coconut
  • 90 g (3 oz/¾ cup) chopped pecans

Maple Pecans

  • 125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) chopped pecans
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) maple syrup

Icing (see Note)

  • 250 g (9 oz) vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 125 g (4½ oz) vegan margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 310 g (11 oz/2½ cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar

Cook's notes

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.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 24 cm (9½ inch) round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas, pineapple and pineapple juice together using a fork. Add the vegetable oil, sugar, apple sauce, soy milk, vanilla and vinegar. Whisk well to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the batter and whisk until just combined; make sure you don’t overmix, so the mixture doesn’t become tough. Add the coconut and pecans and gently stir them through. Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin.
  5. Bake for about 35–40 minutes, or until golden. The top of the cake should spring back slightly when touched, and a knife should come out almost clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.
  6. Turn the oven down to 160°C (320°F) for the maple pecans. Spread the pecans on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle the maple syrup evenly over the nuts. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the maple syrup has been boiling and bubbling for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
  7. To make the icing, place the cream cheese and margarine in a mixing bowl and blend together using electric beaters. Add the vanilla and beat in well. Add the icing sugar in three batches, beating well in between. Set aside at room temperature until you’re ready to ice the cake.
  8. Once the cake and maple pecans are both completely cooled, spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake. Use a mallet or knife to crush the nuts into shards or big chunks (or put them in a plastic bag, then wrap in a cloth, and smash with a mallet or rolling pin). Sprinkle the nuts over the cake.



 For super-silky cream cheese icing, ensure both the margarine and cream cheese are softened to room temperature before using.


Recipe and images from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99