Hummingbird Cake

If this cake were at a family reunion, I imagine she would be that kind aunty who knows exactly what to do during a family crisis, eats whole grain everything, and has visited far more countries than you had thought, telling you her amazing adventures over hot drinks in front of the fire when your parents go away and you have to stay at hers.
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But as a cake, it’s amazing. Full of flavour and depth, and not even very complicated. Where does the name come from? I honestly have no idea, but I like it. I’m not sure what a traditional cake has in it, but I made up this recipe to use up 5 pineapple rings we had left from making burgers for dinner…. Waste not want not! This ending up applying to me even more after I mucked up the frosting and ended up making Rugelach out of it 😉
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I was actually quite pleased with the turn out. It’s quite dense (full of fruit of course), but not heavy, and it has no butter either! Just measure and mix. Be warned though, it does take close to an hour to cook!
Oh, and one more thing; take care with the frosting. I was close to tears when out of the blue, my cream cheese frosting curdled. I know now I was over beating it, and the cream cheese shouldn’t have been at room temperature (or at least that’s what I think happened, if you have any ideas please tell me!). Be gentle and cautious.

Hummingbird Cake
Cake:
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda

1&1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp threaded coconut
2 Tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla essence or extract
2 bananas
2 eggs
5 pineapple rings
2/3 cup oil
2 tbsp milk
Cream Cheese Frosting:
50g butter, softened
2 Tbsp cream cheese (you could always add more!)
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
A few drop lemon oil (optional)
Juice and zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line the bottom of a 20cm diameter spring form tin and oil the sides.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, spices, sugar and walnuts until combined. In another small bowl, soak the coconut in the water and vanilla until soft. In another bowl, mash the bananas, and chop the pineapple finely. Mix the eggs, pineapple and oil into the bananas until combined, then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour the egg mixture into it and mix together until just combined (don’t overmix!). If the batter is a bit too thick, it should be a bit on the gloopy side, then add some milk. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes or more, until very golden brown and skewer comes out clean with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool in the tin for about an hour, then remove and cool completely.
When ready to ice, beat the softened butter until light and fluffy. Briefly mix in the cream cheese, don’t overmix it! Slowly, I took it off the electric beaters and did it by hand, mix in the icing sugar bit by bit. When you’ve added about half the sugar, mix in the lemon oil, zest and juice, then add the rest of the sugar and mix until smooth. Ice the top of the cake (there is probably enough to spread a little in between two layers if you wanted to split it in half- I’d put some lemon or passionfruit curd in too!). Slice and enjoy. Makes quite a substantial cake, and lasts at least 3 days if untouched.
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One thought on “Hummingbird Cake

  1. Pingback: Summer Lemon Hummingbird Cake with Grape Compote Filling | They Say Butter Is Love

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