If you are from the South, you have no doubt eaten your fair share of Hummingbird Cake. If you are from different parts of the country, then you probably have never heard of it. Let me just say, you are in for a treat. It is wonderful. No, there are no Hummingbirds injured in the making of this delightful cake.
There are different theories to explain the origins of this cake's unique name, and so far nobody agrees on which one is right. Here are several explanations.
►This cake is so yummy that it makes you HUM with delight, or happiness when you anticipate having a slice
►Hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers and this cake is just a sweet as a flower's nectar
►Hummingbirds themselves are associated with the lighthearted and sweet side of life, hence the name of this cake
►When the cake is served, people hover around it the way hummingbirds hover around nectar bearing flowers
►Although a cake made for people, it is a cake sweet enough to attract even hummingbirds
►Bananas and pineapples come from the tropics, and the national bird of Jamaica is a hummingbird...could this be how it got its name?
So pick the theory that makes the most sense to you, or embrace all of them as having a role in how Hummingbird Cake got its name.Go and make the cake....You can thank me later!
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped--optional. (Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/s cups Crisco oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 can (regular size) of crushed pineapple, do not drain
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 - 4 medium sized bananas)
Mix all ingredients together. Put in your pan of choice.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray three - 9x2 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. OR I have also cooked this in a bundt pan (like pictured today).
Cream Cheese Frosting (Plus)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 ⅔ cups icing (confectioners) sugar
The rest of the can of pineapple--although (drained for the icing) (This is optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup finely chopped pecans--again, optional
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Add the pineapple (if you desire) at this point. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the finely chopped pecans.
Garnish with pecan halves if desired.
My Hummingbird cake is different than the traditional ones, as I put pineapple in the icing too. I have yet to find someone that did not love that extra touch. If you don't want to, then just leave the pineapple out and make the regular cream cheese icing. Either way, you will love it.
I have linked with Foodie Friday. Go by and check out all the delicious ideas.