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This classic Hummingbird Cake is soft, moist and tender with the perfect amount of bananas, pineapples and pecans. I layer it with my Favorite Cream Cheese Buttercream and decorate it with a mosaic of dried fruit and nuts.

Hummingbird Cake Overhead Bite

I feel like this hummingbird cake always plays second fiddle to Carrot Cake. But she deserves a shining spotlight of her own! The bananas and pineapple give it a tropical vibe like rum cake, this tropical trifle recipe, and these coconut cupcakes with marshmallow fluff frosting!

The crunchy pecans and generous amount of cream cheese buttercream pull it back to the South.

Hummingbird Cake Slice Back
Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake unsliced wood background
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Hummingbird Cake Slices Blue Slate

Why do we call it a ‘Hummingbird Cake’?

This cake was first created in Jamaica, where significantly, the national bird is the scissors-tail hummingbird. Locals call this the Doctor Bird cake, which is their nickname for this particular type of fine feathered friend.

Ten years after a 1968 export from Jamaica’s Tourist Board of local Jamaican recipes (including this dessert), Southern Living printed the hummingbird cake recipe.

It took flight! (Pun very much intended.) This cake became Southern Living’s voters’ favorite recipe in 1990. And you can be sure that included a bomb cream cheese frosting!

Doctor Bird Dessert Mosaic Side
Doctor Bird Dessert Crumb
Doctor Bird Dessert Overhead Slice
Hummingbird Cake Cream Cheese Buttercream slice on cake server
5 from 6 ratings

Hummingbird Cake

This classic Hummingbird Cake is soft, moist and tender with the perfect amount of bananas, pineapples and pecans. It is layered with my Favorite Cream Cheese Buttercream and decorated with a mosaic of dried fruit and nuts.
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 18 people


  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil
  • ½ tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 8 oz Pineapple in their own juice
  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • ¾ cups Pecans chopped and toasted
  • 1 Cream Cheese Buttercream
  • Dried fruit and extra pecans for garnish optional

My Secret Recipe:


    • Spray and line two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with parchment. Be sure to spray the sides of the pan. Preheat oven to 350°F
    • Whisk together flour, cinnamon, soda and salt; set aside.
    • Use a hand blender (immersion blender) or a regular blender to blend the pineapple and bananas together.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs until beaten.
    • Whisk in the oil and vanilla until emulsified
    • Whisk in the sugar followed by the pineapple banana mixture
    • Fold in the flour mixture followed by the chopped pecans.
    • Divide between the two prepared pans. Bake until cake tester or skewer comes out with only a few clinging crumbs but no wet batter streaks, approximately 25-30 minutes.
    • Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.



    Yield: 9-inch, 2-layer cake
    Originally adapted from Southern Living


    Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Southern
    Calories: 333
    Like this? Leave a comment below!

    Before You Go

    Once you start in the citrus direction, it’s often hard to stop! Go for this Orange Upside Down Cake next!

    Hummingbird Cake Adornment
    Hummingbird Cake Three Slices

    Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

    I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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    Recipe Rating


    1. 5 stars
      This hummingbird cake was delicious – the buttercream frosting was so decadent, but it was still simple to make!

      1. Hi Shruthi! I’m so happy this cake was a delicious and decadent experience for you!

    2. 5 stars
      This cake is just perfect! I made it for my daughter’s birthday party and have many people asking me for the recipe. Thank you so much for easy to follow instructions.

      1. Hi Vladka, I’m so happy you made this for your daughter’s birthday and that everyone wanted the recipe! Thank you for commenting!

      1. Hi Darcey! This is a great graduation party cake, thank you so much for letting me know everyone enjoyed!

    3. 5 stars
      Sooo delicious! Made this for brunch this past weekend and everyone loved it. The banana flavor was amazing.

    4. 5 stars
      My mom requested a Hummingbird Cake for Mother’s Day and I was happy to oblige. I found this recipe and am so glad I did. It was so easy to make and the cake was such a hit! The banana and pineapple flavors are fantastic. My mom loved it, but so did the rest of us. Thank you for a great recipe!

      1. Hi Rebecca! This is the absolute perfect Mother’s Day cake, I’m so happy your mother and the rest of your family enjoyed!