Friday, 13 May 2011

Hummingbird cake

Note: No actual hummingbirds were harmed during the making of this cake.

Blogger's been down much of the day, so this recipe is a little late, but hopefully it will prove to have been worth the wait. The first time I tasted this cake was in a little independent coffee shop in Durbanville in the Western Cape. The owner of the coffee shop had a friend who made them for her. She refused to share the recipe with me, but told me that it was an Australian cake.

In the intervening years, I have tracked down many recipes for this cake, and they all seem to indicate that it originates in the southern United States of America. None of them explain how it came by the name, though. Perhaps someone can tell me the real story.

Enough of that, now. Let's get baking, shall we?

Oven temperature

750ml plain flour
500ml sugar
2.5ml salt
5ml baking powder
5ml ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
175ml vegetable oil
2.5ml vanilla
225g tin of crushed pineapple in juice
250ml chopped pecans
3 medium sized bananas, mashed

125g butter at room temperature
250g cream cheese
500g icing sugar
2.5ml vanilla extract
2.5ml lemon juice
'Some' chopped pecans

  • Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon, then stir in the sugar.
  • Fold in the beaten eggs, oil, vanilla, pineapple (complete with juice), nuts and bananas.
  • Blend well (by hand, though - not in a blender!) and divide into three 20cm baking pans.
  • Bake for 25 minutes and then cool on racks before icing.
Now let's get weaving on that icing, shall we, because it's deeeelish!
  • Beat together the cheese and butter.
  • Gradually add the icing sugar a little at a time, mixing well with each addition.
  • Finally, add the lemon juice and vanilla and stir well.
  • Apply to all three cake layers. I suggest dividing it up evenly first.
  • Stack the layers and then garnish with a few pecans.
Be warned, this cake was so tall that it left icing on the top of my tallest cake tin! What a problem to have.

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