hummingbird cake

Sometimes you just have to indulge your sweet-tooth. This cake is a big hit in our house! Simple and delicious.

Art Smith’s Hummingbird Cake

Created by Chef Art Smith and recipe used with permission from Chef Art Smith


This cake is one of the most requested desserts at Art Smith’s Chicago restaurant, Table Fifty-Two.


Serves 12

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped ripe bananas

1 cup drained crushed pineapple

1 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs , beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped pecans


8 ounces cream cheese , at room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter , at room temperature

1 pound confectioners’ sugar (about 4 1/2 cups sifted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake, position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and
reheat to 350�. Lightly butter two 9″ round cake pans, sprinkle evenly with flour and tap out the excess. (If you wish, butter the pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, then flour the pans and tap out the excess.)

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, stir or whisk the bananas, pineapple, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Do not use an electric mixer. Pour into the dry mixture and fold together with a large spatula just until smooth. Do not beat. Fold in the pecans. Spread evenly into the pans.

Bake until the cake springs back when pressed in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the cakes to wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks (remove the parchment paper now if using). Turn right side up and cool completely.

To make the icing: Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until combined. On low speed, gradually beat in the sugar, then the vanilla, to make a smooth icing.

Place 1 cake layer, upside down on a serving platter. Spread with about 2/3 cup of the icing. Top with the second layer, right side up. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake. The cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and stored, uncovered in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.


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  1. Wow what a pretty, sweet, tasty-looking cake. I’ve heard of hummingbird cake before, but why is it called “hummingbird”? Any reason?

  2. I love hummingbird cake! my guess is it’s called hummingbird cake because it is so sweet, since hummingbirds like sugar water. nonetheless this cake is amazing! love the blog!

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