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My boyfriend’s folks were coming to visit – we needed cake. So I whipped out the beautiful Cakes To Celebrate Love and Life and started the search – something not too rich, but still delicious. And easy wouldn’t hurt either!

The Hummingbird Cake – originating in the American South, it is a rich, fruity cake with cream cheese icing. The core ingredients are chopped nuts, crushed pineapple and mashed banana – perhaps an attractive combination for a hummingbird?!

The cream cheese icing was very rich, and the cake itself is quite rich, so my aim if baking something that wasn’t rich went a little pear-shaped, but it still went down well and was enjoyed by all πŸ™‚

Changes for next time…less butter in the icing and perhaps less oil in the cake batter. And I will probably make it smaller, change the quantities and make only two layers – it was way to big for just the four of us! We couldn’t finish it!



(Adapted from Cakes to Celbrate Love and Life)



  • 3 c (420 g) flour
  • 2 c (200 g) sugar
  • 5 ml bicaronate of soda
  • 5 ml cinnamon
  • 5 ml salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 and 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1 can (400 g) crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 1 c chopped nuts (I used pecan nuts and walnuts, pecan seem to be traditional but you can use whatever you like)
  • 2 c (about 6) mashed bananas
  • 7.5 ml vanilla essence


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 Β°C. Line 3 x 23 cm cake tins with wax wrap and set aside.
  2. Chop the nuts and mash the bananas and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, bicarb, sugar, cinnamon and salt together.
  4. Add the beaten eggs and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well by hand (No electric beaters required!)
  5. Add the pineapple, bananas, nuts and vanilla essence and mix well.
  6. Split the batter between the 3 cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or unitl a knife or cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out and allow to cool completely before icing.

Cream cheese icing


  • 1 tub cream cheese (240 g)
  • 250 g butter, softened
  • 2 c (280 g) icing sugar
  • 5 ml vanilla essence


  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the icing sugar and beat.
  3. Add the vanilla essence and beat.
  4. Put the icing in the fridge for about half an hour to firm up before icing the cake.

No photos of the finished product I’m afraid – my icing attempt is too embarrassing to share πŸ˜‰