I took my favourite hummingbird cake recipe and turned it into a hummingbird sheet cake. Topped off with a thick cream cheese icing this is pure heaven.
What is a Hummingbird cake?
Pineapple and banana make up the main flavour profile of a hummingbird cake. This would be the result if banana bread and a carrot cake had a baby. It’s soft and fluffy whilst still being very moist with lots of fruity bits.
The origins of the hummingbird cake are said to come from Mrs. Wiggins who submitted it to Southern Living magazine in 1978. It became an instant favourite.
So many people have told me that this particular recipe is their favourite cake of all time. It definitely is one of my best cake recipes.
What size pan do you need for a hummingbird sheet cake?
I love to make a traditional double-layer cake but a sheet cake is so much easier to share with a crowd. This is party food at its best.
I used a 23cm x 33cm x 5cm non-stick KitchenAid sheet pan. For people in America, this is 9 inches x 13 inches x 2 inches.
It is only necessary to line the bottom and one side of the pan. Cut only one strip to do this. I gave the sides that were not lined a light spray of cooking spray. The cake pulls away from the sides once baked anyway.
What cream cheese do you need?
I adore Président cheese, a global brand that was founded in France in 1968. I was thrilled when they asked me to do a couple of recipes using their cream cheese range. They have recently expanded this and having tasted them all, I give them a full thumbs up.
For this recipe, I have used their thick & smooth plain cream cheese. When it’s such a key component in this frosting, you really want the best. It whips into fluffy perfection without splitting.
A few tips on how to make a hummingbird cake:
I prefer tinned pineapple in this recipe but you can use fresh. Just make sure it’s very ripe and you use the soft fruit and cut out the hard inner core part. make sure you chop the pineapple finely to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
Ensure the bananas are ripe which will affect the sweetness and how easily they mash.
With this recipe, I have used walnuts in the recipe and decorated the sheet cake with pecan nuts. This was all I had on hand. Either works but I prefer raw walnuts a little more.
Hummingbird sheet cake
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 210 gms or 1 1/2 cups white or light brown sugar
- 250 ml or 1 cup of sunflower oil
- 280 gms or 2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 450 gms drained weight or 2 cups of pineapple (tinned or fresh), finely chopped
- 350-360 gms or 1/1/2 cups roughly mashed banana about medium
- 3/4 of a cup of walnuts chopped
Cream cheese Icing:
- 100 gms butter room temperature
- 140 gms President thick and smooth plain cream cheese
- 450 gm or 3 cups of icing sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Extra chopped walnuts or pecan nuts for decoration
- Pre heat the oven to 180 C /350F and line one large rectangular cake pan – 23cm x 33cm x 5cm (pinch x 13 inch x 2inch)
- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add the oil and continue to beat.
- Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into the mixture, add the spices and mix briefly to incorporate and then remove from the mixer.
- Fold in the chopped fruit and nuts and pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for about 40 – 50 minutes until golden brown and when a sharp knife is inserted into the middle it comes out clean. Loosely cover the cake with a piece of tin foil it with a piece of tin foil halfway to prevent over-browning
- Allow the cake to cool on a rack before removing it from the tin and icing it.
- To make the cream cheese frosting/icing, beat all of the ingredients together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy and ice your cooled cake. Finely chop up a few extra nuts and scatter them over your cake to decorate.
*Président Cheese proudly sponsors this post.