Hummingbird Cake

See the RecipeArthur Meehan

This recipe comes from Mammy's Cupboard restaurant in Natchez, Mississippi, they serve good old down-home cooking in a uniquely designed building—shaped like a woman's skirt—that is a local landmark. Ole Miss students and architecture buffs alike have trekked all the way to Mammy's for desserts like this one.

Hummingbird Cake
This Southern classic is so delicious that one bite of it will make you want to sing.
Yield: makes One 9" Cake

For the Cake

  • 3 tsp. butter, softened
  • 3 cups plus 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 12 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 6 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed
  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 12 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 tsp. almond extract
  • 12 tsp. coconut extract

For the Frosting

  • 14 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Instructions

  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease each of three 9" round cake pans with 1 tsp. of the butter, dust each with 1 tbsp. of the flour, tapping out excess, and set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add oil and eggs and mix well. Add bananas, pineapple, coconut, pecans, cinnamon, and vanilla, almond, and coconut extracts, and mix well. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 25–30 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly, remove cakes from pans, then set aside to cool completely.
  3. For the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, almond, and coconut extracts in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth, then reduce speed to medium-low and gradually beat in sugar.
  4. Assemble and frost cake, spreading 1 1⁄2 cups of the frosting evenly between the three layers of cake and use the remainder to frost top and side of cake completely.