Moist Hummingbird Cake Recipe Is the Most Googled Cake In the South by Ann Marie Patitucci

Moist Hummingbird Cake Recipe Is the Most Googled Cake In the South

If you've never heard of a hummingbird cake, then I am extra excited to share this recipe with you! My local book club read the book The Secret to Hummingbird Cake a couple of years ago. I had never heard of hummingbird cake before reading the book! A book club friend made the cake for our post-discussion potluck and we all enjoyed it. I’ve been intrigued by hummingbird cake and its origins ever since. And, I learned that hummingbird cake is the most searched for cake recipe in the south. Now you've found this amazing dessert recipe!

The cake’s key ingredients are bananas and pineapple, which are what make it so moist. The cake is named for its home country, Jamaica, where the hummingbird is the national bird. According to chef Jamie Oliver, “originally, it was called the 'Doctor bird cake,' a nickname for a Jamaican variety of hummingbird called the Red-billed Streamertail. The name came from the way the bird’s long beak probes flowers, like a doctor inspecting a patient … Some say the cake was named after the bird because it was sweet enough to attract hummingbirds (who eat only nectar), while others say the yellow streaks of banana [were] reminiscent of the bird’s plumage.”

So interesting! The cake (that makes a great snack anytime of day) is made with flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, canola oil, eggs, crushed pineapple, mashed bananas and chopped walnuts. The frosting is made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. To me, hummingbird cake tastes like a mix of banana bread and a carrot cake (minus the carrots and raisins!). Regardless of its name, it is sweet and delicious cake recipe and I hope you enjoy it!

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Cuisine: Jamaican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Servings: 15



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 cup chopped black walnuts


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 pound butter, softened
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Garnishes

  • pecans halves or chopped walnuts or slivered almonds

Helpful Products

Recipe Notes

  • To ensure the cake releases from the pans, be sure to grease and flour them (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).
  • The additional nuts for garnish are optional, but they add a nice touch.
  • To make this cake gluten-free, use gluten-free flour.
  • To make a four-layer cake, carefully slice the cooled cake layers in half lengthwise, making four layers.
  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, pineapple, bananas and nuts. Add flour mixture and mix together by hand.
  3. Pour batter into two 9-inch cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center of each pan comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling racks.
  4. Prepare the frosting by blending together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Evenly spread frosting on all sides of cake (I recommend using a rubber spatula). You can decorate it with walnut or pecan halves and/or slivered almonds.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 449

Total Fat: 22.3g

Saturated Fat: 3g

Cholesterol: 79mg

Total Carbohydrate: 56.3g

Dietary Fiber: 2.1g

Total Sugars: 36.3g

Protein: 8.8g

Vitamin D: 8mcg

Calcium: 55mg

Iron: 2mg

Potassium: 215mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Donna John
Hummingbird cake is very popular down south. I grew up eating it. It is delicious! Love this simple recipe. I've seen some very complicated ones. Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Ann Marie Patitucci
I've noticed that it's popular in the south, too. I'd never heard of it when I lived in NY or Wyoming!
What a pretty cake, had not heard of it...
Elisa Schmitz
OK, now I'm going to have to read The Secret to Hummingbird Cake. Sounds like a fun book to read, then make this delicious recipe! #yum
Ann Marie Patitucci
My whole book club enjoyed the book!
Chef Gigi
OMG! Im SO literal. ( or maybe just so Northern Californian lol ) I thought this was for birds in the garden until I came to read the ingredients! I spent plenty of time in Jamaica too! I should know this, but I'm so happy I stumbled onto this recipe. I have a wedding cake order coming up soon. The bride asked for a carrot cake, and the groom wanted something tropical! Win-Win. But I still feel dumb. LOL !!!!

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