This luscious hummingbird cake is soft, moist and completely delicious! An easy cake recipe made from scratch with banana, pecans and cinnamon and dotted with juicy pineapple, layered with tangy cream cheese frosting. The perfect cake for special occasions or afternoon tea!
This delicious banana pineapple cake is such a special recipe for me. It was one of the first cakes I made for my pop – and it makes me think of him and smile every single time I make it.
Lovers of banana cake will adore this three-layer cake with a lovely and unique flavour combination that is sure to brighten anyone’s day! If you’ve never tried hummingbird cake before, think banana cake + carrot cake (minus the carrots!) with delicious bursts of sweet pineapple, flavoured with warming spices. It is an incredibly moist cake, thanks to the pineapple, mashed banana and oil. And of course, we can’t forget the rich and tangy cream cheese frosting and pecans!
It is an old-fashioned cake that is perfect for parties, special occasions, Easter or just because!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Soft and moist – a beautiful, flavourful cake recipe with a soft, tender crumb.
Quick and easy to make – this recipe is super easy to follow and uses simple pantry ingredients.
Can be made ahead – the layers and frosting can be made ahead and assembled when required.
What you’ll need
** This post contains tips and instructions to achieve the best possible results. For full ingredient quantities and methods, see the detailed recipe card below.
Bananas – brown and spotty are best here! The spottier the banana, the sweeter and softer the cake will be.
Pineapple – I use canned, crushed pineapple here, due to the convenience and the sweetness. Drain a little of the juice from the can before adding it to the mixture. You can also use fresh pineapple if you prefer, but make sure you choose a pineapple that is ripe and sweet.
Pecans – finely chop the nuts so that they aren’t to chunky. They can be toasted in advance, if desired. Walnuts can also be used instead, or skip the nuts to keep the recipe nut-free.
Cream cheese – make sure the cream cheese is full fat (for maximum flavour) and leave it to sit at room temperature to soften while you prepare the cake. Cold cream cheese will be difficult to beat and will form a lumpy frosting.
Step by step instructions
This cake is so easy to make! Wet ingredients + dry ingredients are mixed together until just combined. Once the batter is ready, gently fold in the pecans.
Divide the batter between three 23 cm ( 9″) cake tins. Bake the cakes as per the recipe instructions below.
For the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese and lemon juice together until lump-free. Then, gradually add the icing (confectioners) sugar until completely combined and smooth.
**Note: Before frosting, allow the cake to cool completely, or the warm cake will melt the frosting and the cake layers will slide.
Layer the frosting in between each cake layer and over the top (as well as the sides, if you like!). Sprinkle some additional pecans or walnuts over the top to decorate.
Storage – due to the cream cheese frosting, this cake should be kept cold, in the fridge. Store it for up to 5 days (or freeze the layers, minus the frosting).
If you can find a fresh, juicy and sweet pineapple, you can finely chop it and use it instead of canned pineapple.
This cake tastes even better the next day! It gives the flavours the chance to mix together and for the cake to soften into the frosting. Eat it cold from the fridge, or set it out at room temperature for an hour, to soften slightly before serving.
Decoration – this cake can be dressed up with beautiful fresh flowers, crushed pecans or walnuts, pieces of fresh pineapple or even some toasted coconut.
If you have a special occasion, the cake layers and frosting can be made ahead and stored separately in the fridge, ready to assemble.
Looking for some more delicious cakes to bake? Give these recipes a try!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment or review below, or send me a message. For more food inspiration, tips and to share your own recipes and creations, head over to my Facebook Recipe Group.
Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake
- 3 cups plain flour all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 medium bananas spotty, ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 cup crushed pineapple approx 400 gram can, with a little juice drained. Or use finely chopped, fresh and sweet/ripe pineapple
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 cups pecans finely chopped into very small pieces
For the frosting
- 2 cups cream cheese 500 grams, softened at room temperature
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups icing sugar
- extra pecans finely chopped
For the cake
- Pre-heat oven to 180 °C/160 °C fan forced (356F/320F fan forced). Grease and line three 23cm (9 ") cake tins with a little oil spray and baking paper.
- Keep the nuts aside to fold in later. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugars). In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (bananas, pineapple, eggs, oil and vanilla).
- Gently add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
- Fold in the chopped pecans (they taste amazing if they are toasted before adding them to the cake, but this step isn't essential).
- Evenly spoon the mixture between the three cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cakes are completely cooked through. You can test if your cakes are cooked through by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre of the cakes. If it comes out mostly dry, with a few crumbs sticking, the cake is ready. If the wet mixture comes out on the skewer, it needs a little more time.
- Remove the cakes from oven and allow them to sit for a few minutes before gently removing them from the tins. Allow the cakes to cool completely on wire racks.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed (or a hand mixer if you don’t have an electric one), blend the cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth. Slowly add the icing sugar bit by bit, until completely combined.
- Stack the cooled cake with frosting in between each layer. Save some frosting for the top of the cake (and a little for the sides if you are making a naked cake). Decorate with the remaining nuts and enjoy!
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