Hooray for Hummingbird Cake – Recipe

Hummingbird cake is my favourite cake flavour. It has a delicate crumb, a deliciously spiced aroma, and it tastes so bloody good with cream cheese icing. This recipe is also really easy and quick to make so it’s a win, win.

I actually use this recipe in the first episode of The Great Kiwi Bake Off! (Check it out on TVNZ on demand if you haven’t already watched it.) The judges may have thought it was a bit too mature for a children’s birthday cake, but they still agreed that it had excellent texture and flavour so I have expert opinions backing me up. 😉

Mmmmmm look at it. I just want to dive right in.

Hummingbird cake isn’t super popular in N.Z and I find it very sad. To help change that, all of you lovely people reading this need to make it and then feed it to your friends and families to spread Hummingbird cake awareness. With that in mind, let’s get to the recipe. I really hope you make it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


P.S. Don’t listen to Sue and Dean. I’m sure kids will like it too hehe

Hummingbird Cake Recipe:


  • 3 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 250 ml plain oil
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100g chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 can pineapple pieces (250g drained weight)
  • 2 Tbsp pineapple juice reserved from the can
  • 325g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cream cheese frosting for decorating

Two 20 cm diameter cake tins, greased and lined


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 fan.

Whisk eggs and sugar until light and mousse like. This does take a few minutes but just keep at it. By the end you should be able to lift a whisk out of the bowl and watch the mixture dripping off it sit on the top of the main mix for a while before recombining. 

Whisk in oil until smooth and then mix in the banana, pineapple, juice, and pecans or walnuts. Sift over the flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Fold the mixture gently until combined. Do not over mix.

Divide batter between the two lined cake tins. Bake for 20 minutes and then check with a knife or skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is done. 

Leave for 5 minutes and then remove from tins. Cool on wire racks.

I highly recommend icing this cake with cream cheese icing. It’s rich texture and slightly sour taste are the perfect accompaniment to this delicate and spicy cake. 

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