Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hankering for Hummingbird



Growing up I can always remember lazy summer days, sitting in the kitchen and looking out the window at all of the birds coming to the feeder. As far back as I can remember, hummingbirds were my favorite. I was intrigued by how fast their wings moved and how swiftly they could come and go. Now that I am in an apartment, I don’t get to enjoy watching the hummingbirds, but I know it’s something to look forward to when I visit home along with many other things of course!

But obviously this isn’t a blog about birds, but instead a blog about food, so how does that tie together with hummingbirds you ask? With the one-of-a-kind hummingbird cake of course! :-)

Even I questioned how a cake and a hummingbird have a similarity, but supposedly this confection descended from Jamaican roots and the hummingbird is one of the national symbols. Regardless  of where it came from or how it got its name, there’s no arguing that this fruit-filled sweet is definitely something you want to try if you haven’t already!


Hummingbird Cake

*Recipe adapted by me*


  • 3  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  cups  sugar or Splenda
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 3  large eggs one large egg + 2 egg white, beaten
  • 1  cup  vegetable oil 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 1  (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 c  chopped pecans
  • 2  cups  chopped bananas
  • Cream cheese frosting:

  • 1  (8-ounce) package  fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2  cup  butter or margarine, softened
  • 1  (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract


    Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and applesauce, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1/4 cup pecans, and bananas.

    Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

    Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

    *I sprinkled these on top instead of pecans*

    -Sweet plantain chips-


    As you may have noticed, I tried to lighten this up a bit by using applesauce in place of the oil, and a few other substitutes. Here are some secrets of eggs concerning baking lighter:

    • Packaged cake mixes usually contain ingredients that help with texture, tenderness, etc. so using only egg white often works fine.
    • One large whole egg has 70 calories, 5 grams fat, and 213 mg cholesterol. 2 egg whites have 30 calories and no cholesterol.
    • When reducing eggs in a from-scratch recipe, substitute 2 egg whites or 1/4 c egg substitute. It’s best to leave at least 1 whole egg.

    Have you tried hummingbird cake?

    p.s. Get your hands on this cookie if you can!

    Nana’s Peanut Butter Cookies

    (Disclaimer:free product)

    *It’s sweetened with fruit juice sweetener, but you’d never be able to tell if I didn’t tell you! ;-)

    *Fresh-baked and super cake-like.

    *Great peanut butter flavor.





    Christina said...

    i LOVE hummingbird cake. carrot cake is my favorite, but hummingbird comes to a very close second. mmmmm

    The Healthy Hostess said...

    That cake looks so delicious and fresh! I saved the recipe! I need to do more baking!

    Lindsay @ said...

    I just had humingbird cake for the first time last month. It was so good and happened to be with Christina from the comments above!

    sophia said...

    I'll need a metabolism like a hummingbird to devour that cake...because I know I won't be able to stop at one slice! Funny...I just realized I've never seen a hummingbird in real life!

    Krista said...

    That hummingbird cake sounds like something my Mom used to make when I was a kid. I love the combo of pineapple and bananas!

    Erica said...

    I've never made hummingbird cake before. I totally want to try it now though. I like any fruity/vegetably based cakes. In fact, I just made a banana cake this morning (veganized). The cookie looks pretty jammin too- massive! Hope the rest of your weekend is fantastic.

    There are some carabou's down south. They are in Charlotte but I haven't seen any in the Charleston area. I agree though- they are delicious

    Kerstin said...

    I've always wondered where hummingbird cakes originated from - yours looks amazing and I wish I had a big slice right now!

    Damaris said...

    i've never heard of hummingbird cake. what a fun recipe.

    Kelly said...

    I have never tried anything like this, though I do make hawaiian cupcakes that are somewhat similar. Your post title scared me a little at first. I thought you were going to tell me you ate hummingbirds. ;-)

    Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

    I've never heard of hummingbird cake. Sounds delicious!

    Mary said...

    It's been several years since I had a humming bird cake. Your version looks really lovely and I love the healthy changes you've made to the recipe. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

    Kim said...

    I love the way you lightened up this cake. Using the applesauce in place of 1 cup oil is a dramatic savings and I think the applesauce would actually flatter the other ingredients much better anyway! Looks like a wonderful recipe:)

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    Anonymous said...

    i've been eying Nana's cookies forever! cant wait to try them