I like to think I inherited many of my characteristics and genes from my grandmother (Abuela), but I am certain she gave me her sweet tooth. Abuela turned 89 on the first of the month, and I knew the best way to her heart was a sugary path right through her stomach. As I was spinning my wheels brainstorming what to bake her, I looked to my kitchen counter and Capture the Coast was staring right back at me. I grabbed the beloved cookbook and flipped to the desserts section, and as soon as I saw IT, I knew it was the one. Hummingbird Cake. If I’m being completely honest, Abuela is a sucker for ALL confections and sweet treats. But if you make her a dessert that has pineapple or coconut in it, she is truly defenseless. You will win her heart upon the first scrumptious bite.
The Hummingbird Cake recipe featured in JLT’s Capture the Coast cookbook is a mouth-watering combination of pineapple and banana, topped with a velvety cream cheese icing, and finished off with crunchy crumbled pecans.
Here is what you’ll need to concoct this southern dessert staple:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups mashed bananas
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (2-pound) package confectioners’ sugar
Pecan Pieces (if desired)
For the cake… Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon until combined. [side note: the recipe says to sift the aforementioned ingredients 3 times. However, I didn’t have a sifter, and mixing worked out well for me.]
Add the eggs and oil to your dry ingredients, and stir the mixture until moistened. Next, add in the vanilla, pineapple, pecans, and mix thoroughly. Finally, add in the mashed banana and brown sugar, and mix one last time.
Divide your batter evenly between three greased or floured 8- or 9-inch round cake pans [I used disposable aluminum cake pans to cut back on excessive dish-washing… I love to bake but I hate to clean up after!]
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, and remove from oven. To ensure the cake is baked through, insert a wooden toothpick into the center and check that it comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes, and then place cakes on wire racks to cool completely.
For the frosting… Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract, and sift in the confectioners’ sugar, 2 cups at a time. Beat well after each addition, and continue beating the frosting until it is completely blended.
To assemble… After allowing the cakes to cool completely, spread your icing between the layers and over the top and sides of the cake.
Next, top with pecans, if you choose. Now the most important part of all, ENJOY!