Hummingbird Cake is a dense and moist southern cake flavored with bananas, pineapple, and cinnamon and covered in a rich cream cheese frosting topped with toasted pecans.
The first Hummingbird Cake recipe was published in Southern Living magazine in 1978 after being submitted by a reader from Greensboro, North Carolina. It became the most requested recipe in the magazine’s history
Occasionally, Hummingbird Cakes will have coconut in them, probably because coconut is such a natural fit with banana and pineapple. The mashed banana, crushed pineapple, and Vegetable oil keep the cake very moist and the pecans provide some crunch and texture contrast.
The technique for making the cream cheese frosting is from America’s Test Kitchen and I love it. Instead of starting the frosting by beating together softened butter and softened cream cheese, you beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together and then add 1-ounce pieces of CHILLED cream cheese. The end result is a thicker, firmer cream cheese frosting that holds its form better when you spread it between the cake layers, making the cake much easier to frost.
Plus it just seems to taste better right from the get go because the cold cream cheese chills the frosting some. I’ve never found room temperature cream cheese frosting to taste very good.
You would think that the cream cheese would have trouble blending in evenly with the rest of the ingredients, but it magically and instantly gets completely absorbed into the frosting. You will have a hard time not sticking your finger in for a taste or two.