This cake has become one of my family's favorite Easter traditions. I think it's just because it's my favorite, I make dessert every year, and thus have forced it upon everyone else. Isn't that how all family traditions begin?
I thought it looked so beautiful amongst the pastel dresses (buy my Wedgwood dress here), watercolor backdrop, and spring blooms. This Hummingbird Cake is perfect for Easter. It's decided.
Now, you say "Hummingbird Cake" to just anyone out on the street and they might look at you funny. Apparently it's a Southern thing.
Think of it as a spice cake, similar to the texture of a carrot cake, but instead of carrots, with pineapple, bananas, and coconut. So sweet it's like Hummingbird nectar.
For this shoot, I tinted the cream cheese frosting the palest robin's egg blue and speckled the outside with chocolate to make it look like a Hummingbird's Egg. Subtle and sweet.
Tune in to Talk of the Town on Thursday to see just how it's done. I'll be on baking this exact cake and showing Meryll and Lelan how to decorate it.
Here's the recipe so you can share it with your family this Easter!
Hummingbird Cake 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 cups sugar 3 large eggs 2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large) 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 4 6-inch round cake pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat oil, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix together banana, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; blend well.
Divide batter between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.
Transfer pans to a wire rack. Once cooled, invert cakes onto racks; reinvert, top side up. Cool completely. While cake is cooling, make frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting 1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated. Use immediately. Divide frosting in half between bowl bowls. Add 2-3 drop of blue food coloring to one bowl of frosting and mix until color is evenly distributed (add one drop at a time until you reach the desired shade).
To assemble cake, place layer on serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread top of layer with 1/4 inch of white frosting. Top with untrimmed layer and repeat frosting until all four layers are stacked. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining white frosting to create a crumb coat. Refrigerate until icing is set. Frost the sides and top of cake with blue buttercream and make smooth with a warm metal spatula. Speckled Egg Decoration
In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder with 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Stir well until cocoa is completely dissolved and you have a thin, chocolate paint. Cover your work area with wax paper. Lightly dip a basting brush or new paint brush into the chocolate. Holding the brush with one hand, gently flick the bristles with your other index finger to splatter the chocolate paint. Practice first onto your wax paper until you get the hang of it. When you’re ready to start speckling, hold the paintbrush fairly close to the cake and start splattering. Move up, down and all around to completely cover the cake. Top cake with speckled eggs.