Moist Hummingbird Cake Recipe: The Most Googled Cake Recipe in the South by Ann Marie Patitucci

Cakes/Cupcakes Desserts
11 months ago

Moist Hummingbird Cake Recipe: The Most Googled Cake Recipe in the South

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. We all enjoyed it. I’ve been intrigued by hummingbird cake and its origins ever since. And it is the most searched for cake recipe in the south! 

The cake’s key ingredients are bananas and pineapple. It 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! To me, hummingbird cake tastes like a mix of banana bread and carrot cake (minus the carrots and raisins!). Regardless of its name, it is sweet and delicious cake recipe and I hope you enjoy it!

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

Garnishes (Optional)

  • chopped walnuts and/or slivered almonds

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large 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.

Note: To make a four-layer cake, carefully slice the cooled cake layers in half lengthwise.

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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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