★★★★★

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Hummingbird Cake is a moist layer cake filled with pineapple, pecans and coconut. Perfectly sweet and spiced with cinnamon, this classic southern dessert keeps everyone coming back for another slice!

If you like Hummingbird Cake, this Italian Cream Cake Recipe is another southern tradition you’ll love! Our Kentucky Butter Cake is another easy recipe filled with down-home goodness.

Slice of hummingbird cake with a fork taking a bite.

Why this Recipe is Best

This Hummingbird Cake might just be the ultimate dessert for people who love fruit in their cake.

Pineapple, banana and coconut are baked into every bite, and the whole thing is covered with a rich pineapple cream cheese frosting.

  • Bananas make this cake super moist.
  • It’s made with both butter AND oil for a tender crumb.
  • Pecans give a hint of nutty flavor and perfect crunch.
  • Delicious with or without coconut.
  • Pineapple in the cake AND the frosting!

With a consistency similar to carrot cake and a flavor that marries pineapple cake and banana bread, Hummingbird Cake is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make hummingbird cake.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you from making this delicious cake. One mixing bowl is all you need!

  • Bananas – Use very ripe or even overripened bananas in this cake. The riper they are the more sugary juices they bring to the Hummingbird Cake. Use our guide on how to ripen bananas in minutes!
  • Crushed pineapple – This recipe uses canned pineapple (including the juices) in both the batter and the cream cheese frosting. You will need one 8 ounce can in total.
  • Shredded coconut – This is a delicious addition to Hummingbird Cake but if you’re not a fan of coconut, feel free to simply leave it out.
  • Vegetable oil – Combined with butter, it makes the cake dense (like carrot cake) and moist, but not tough. You can use any mild vegetable oil blend or canola oil.
  • Cream cheese – For best results, use the full fat regular cream cheese that comes in blocks. The rich flavor and light tanginess make it a perfect base for the sweet frosting.

How to Make Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake looks as impressive as it tastes. You’ll be happy to find that it’s no more difficult than making any typical layer cake. Just mix, bake, assemble and frost!

Step by step photos showing how to make hummingbird cake batter.

STEP 1. Make the cake batter

First you’ll beat together the oil, butter and sugars. Then add eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla extract followed by the dry ingredients. Fold pecans, coconut and pineapple into the batter last.

STEP 2. Bake

Divide the batter into round cake layer pans. Bake until the cakes spring back to the touch, then remove and let the layers cool completely.

STEP 3. Assemble and frost

Step by step photos showing how to assemble hummingbird cake with frosting.

Mix together the frosting ingredients. Spread frosting over first layer of the cake, then top with the second layer. Cover the top and sides with a thick layer of frosting before serving!

PRO TIP: Unlike most cake recipes, ours has pineapple added to the cream cheese frosting! You’ll love this tangy addition!

Tips and Tricks

  • Keep chilled. After frosting, store Hummingbird Cake in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. It tastes amazing cold straight from the fridge.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. Let chilled items like the butter, cream cheese and eggs sit on the counter for a few minutes before using them in this cake recipe. Room temperature ingredients are much easier to mix for a smooth batter (or frosting).
  • Measure ingredients correctly. Often people scoop their flour directly out of the bag, resulting in TOO much flour. Check out our tips on how to measure flour correctly (and make substitutions too).
  • Be generous with the frosting. I like to put about 2 cups of Hummingbird Cake icing on the first layer of the cake alone. A bite of this sweet cake is even more satisfying when you get a mouthful of rich pineapple frosting along with it!
  • Love coconut and pecans? Try our watergate cake recipe next! Paired with pistachio, it’s a delicious combo!

Hummingbird Sheet Cake (13×9)

Hummingbird sheet cake made in a 13x9 and served on a white plate.

Sometimes you may be looking for something easier. Instead of making a layer cake, how about a 13×9 cake instead!

13×9 Recipe-

  • Prepare cake batter as directed.
  • Grease and flour 13×9 baking dish.
  • Add all the batter and bake for 48-53 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • You’ll only need 1/2 of the frosting recipe.
Hummingbird cake with slices made and one being removed from cake platter.

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze hummingbird cake?

Yes, the individual layers of Hummingbird Cake can be frozen without frosting. Wrap them tightly in foil, then place in freezer bags. They stay good frozen for 2-3 months. When ready to eat, let the layers thaw then assemble and add frosting before serving. You can also freeze the entire cake. Wrap in plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze for up to 30 days.

Can I make Hummingbird cake without nuts?

You sure can. This recipe tastes delicious without the pecans, if you need it to be nut free.

Do I need to drain the pineapple first?

No, you should use both the pineapple and the juices in the can to make this recipe. The juices add necessary liquid to both the cake and frosting.

More Easy Cake Recipes

Yield: 12 servings

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Total Time 56 minutes

Hummingbird Cake is a moist layer cake filled with pineapple, pecans and coconut. Perfectly sweet and spiced with cinnamon, this classic southern dessert keeps everyone coming back for another slice!

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ cups mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup shredded, sweetened coconut

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Instructions

    1. For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
    2. Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the butter with oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for about 3-4 minutes, until fully blended and creamy.
    3. Add in mashed bananas and beat until combined. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.
    4. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined, then beat for an additional 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    5. Fold in pineapple, pecans, and coconut.
    6. Divide the batter and pour into the two pans.
    7. Bake for about 36-40 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and then turn out cake onto a wire cooling rack until completely cooled.
    8. For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in pineapple, coconut, and pecans.
    9. Spread about 2 cups of frosting of the top of one of the cooled cakes. Add second layer of cake and add frosting to top and sides. Keep refrigerated. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Keep chilled. After frosting, store Hummingbird Cake in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve it. It tastes amazing cold straight from the fridge. Will stay fresh for up to 7 days.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. Let chilled items like the butter, cream cheese and eggs sit on the counter for a few minutes before using them in this cake recipe. Room temperature ingredients are much easier to mix for a smooth batter (or frosting).
  • Not a fan of coconut? Just leave it out.
  • No need to drain pineapple. One 8 ounce can is what you'll need for the the cake and frosting together.
  • Measure ingredients correctly. Often people scoop their flour directly out of the bag, resulting in TOO much flour. Check out our tips on how to measure flour correctly (and make substitutions too).
  • Be generous with the frosting. I like to put about 2 cups of Hummingbird Cake icing on the first layer of the cake alone. A bite of this sweet cake is even more satisfying when you get a mouthful of rich pineapple frosting along with it!
  • Can I freeze hummingbird cake? Yes, the individual layers of Hummingbird Cake can be frozen without frosting. Wrap them tightly in foil, then place in freezer bags. They stay good frozen for 2-3 months. When ready to eat, let the layers thaw then assemble and add frosting before serving. You can also freeze the entire cake. Wrap in plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze for up to 30 days.
  • 13x9 Recipe- Prepare cake batter as directed. Grease and flour 13x9 baking dish. Add all the batter and bake for 48-53 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You'll only need ½ of the frosting recipe.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Serving Size:

    1 slice

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 874Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 110gFiber: 4gSugar: 79gProtein: 8g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Old fashioned Hummingbird Cake has everyone (not just hummingbirds) flocking to the dessert table! This impressive pineapple-banana cake is flecked with coconut and pecans for even more irresistible flavor.

    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

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    Posted on February 1, 2022

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