Hummingbird Cake


From Atlanta Kitchens: Recipes from Atlanta’s Best Restaurants
Originally from the kitchen of Son’s Place, Gibbs Smith

This cake with nuts, fruit, and cream cheese frosting has a mysterious name that no one seems able to trace. But since its appearance in the sixties, it quickly has become a fixture at church suppers and reunions. Sadly, Son’s Place is now gone, but former owner Lenn Storey’s daughter’s recipe remains.

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch salt, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped bananas
2 cups pecans, divided
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 (16-ounce) boxes confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.

3. Combine the flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the eggs and oil, and stir until moistened. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, pineapple, bananas, and 1 cup pecans. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pans.

4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpicks inserted in centers of the cakes come out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

5. Meanwhile, prepare frosting. In large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining vanilla and remaining salt.

6. Spread the frosting between layers, on the sides, and on top of the cake. Garnish with the remaining pecans.

Serves 8 to 12.