Hummingbird Meets Cake

Before animal rights activists come rushing at me with pitchforks or there is any other sort of misunderstanding, let me make one thing title – no birds were harmed in the making of this cake.

There were no shootings or other illegal activity of that kind or boiling in a witches cauldron – after all, I myself am a vegetarian 🙂

45The title is simply a small, feeble attempt at comedic wordplay by yours truly because what I made next today is called a Hummingbird Cake. I found this recipe during my extensive searches of the one and only Exclusively Food (I swear, if I keep going at this rate, I will end up making all of their sweet recipes and even many savouries!) and it stood out to me because

a)  It was a simple two bowl (I made it into 1 bowl) cake

b)  It had a blend of many different flavours which I was a little apprehensive about and therefore wanted to try and prove myself wrong

After a couple of adaptations, which is kind of becoming my staple way of doing things, I popped this cake into the oven, out of the oven and into my mouth almost as soon as possible since the aroma given off by this cake is simply killing – it is exotic and sweet and, I know this will sound weird, light – as if it could lift you out of your depression or stress. Seriously, stay out of the kitchen and any rooms within a 20m radius because the smell is seriously delicious and seriously makes you hungry (I should know!)

53So my adaptations were:

  • Increasing the pineapple juice/syrup to 6 tbs (or 1/4 cup + 2 tbs)
  • Increasing drained pineapple (which I forgot to crush and had to mash with my potato masher) to 2/3 cup
  • Increasing ground cinnamon to as much as desired (for me around 2 tsp)
  • Adding in 2 tsp of allspice for extra flavour
  • Substituting crushed walnuts in place of pecans
  • Using specifically LIGHT brown sugar (since dark would be a little too rich with the cream cheese frosting which OF COURSE was off limits for myself)
  • Substituting melted butter (1/2 cup = 113g) instead of oil since I am a firm no-oil-in-sweets believer

71And I really recommend:

  • Adding in 1-2 tsp vanilla or a fruity essence – if it is something strong lower to 1 tsp
  • Adding in a little bit of desiccated coconut, perhaps 1/2 cup – 2/3 for a little extra texture-ality
  • Adding in 1-2 tbs of orange (lemon and lime are not big brown sugar fans) zest
  • That you keep an eye on baking time – I made 1/2 the recipe in a heart shaped tin and it took only 1/2 hr to bake as opposed to the 1 hr 10 minutes for a normal sized cake
  • That you leave your cake to cool in the oven so it does not deflate

61Anyway, I am not exactly sure why this is called a Hummingbird Cake (is there even really a bird called a Hummingbird because many-a bird hum or at least sing) – my take on this is then that, due to the exotic flavours of spices, bananas and pineapples, it is a very exotic bird which feasts on only the most natural fruit on a sunny and sandy beach – makes sense right???
And is it just me or does this cake which is meant to be with cream cheese frosting remind you of carrot cake?


  1. Shagun says:

    Hi Uru

    I like this cake and would like to make it for Shankar’s b’day on Saturday. It is a bit plain for a B-day cake…can you please suggest how I can dress it up a bit….how do you make a cream cheese frosting….do you suggest mascarpone with fruit or candied ginger on top?


    • Hi Aunty
      This cake would be smashing for a birthday but yes, needs dressing up for the occasion
      A cream cheese frosting is simply an icing made creamier and more delicious using cream cheese along with butter, sugar and flavouring – I suggest a plain frosting rather than richly flavoured for this cake since the cake itself has many components – here is a no-fail frosting recipe:

      As for dressing up, I think layering the cake with this frosting (split cake in two and sandwich) and then frost the top evenly
      Marscapone and fruit might be a little excessive since there is already a type of cheese used but I believe a circumference of candied lemon and orange peel would compliment the colouring quite well
      And then garnish with a small walnut tower in the middle drizzled with honey or golden syrup

      Best of luck and give my happy birthday to uncle 🙂


  2. Love your photos of the baked cake, CCU. especially the “broken heart”. I, too, have trouble getting the right lighting for my photos, so I bought a large piece of white foam board (poster board would also work). Cut in half, one piece goes under whatever I’m photographing and one behind or to the side. Then I take lots of pics from various angles and sort it all out once on the computer and in the iPhoto program.


Sweet Comments Welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.