banana bread and carrot cake got drunk one night….

If banana bread and carrot cake got drunk one night and made a baby, it would be hummingbird cake.  This cake is a spic-y, banana-y, tropical-y delight wrapped in decadent cream cheese frosting.  If you make this for a party, go ahead and print out several copies of the recipe because EVERYONE will want it.  Good for any occasion, this traditionally southern recipe also works beautifully as cupcakes.  P.S.  This is made using WHOLE WHEAT flour – you won’t be able to tell, and with all of the fruit, it’s practically a health food!  Adapted from Martha

Makes one 9″ two layer cake or 30 cupcakes


3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (doesn’t have to be overripe, see step 2)
3/4 cup minced fresh pineapple (small dice)
3/4 cup pureed fresh pineapple (liquefied)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
for the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter at room temperature
for cute flower decorations
1 pineapple

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter two 9″ round cake pans.
  2. If your bananas are overripe, great.  If not, place on a cookie sheet and bake (unpeeled) for 15 minutes or until completely softened.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, add coconut oil, vanilla and sugar and beat until well combined (about 2 minutes).  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until well combined and scraping down bowl as necessary.  Beat entire mixture at medium speed until light an fluffy (about 3 minutes more)
  5. Add the banana, pineapple, and coconut, stirring to combine thoroughly.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  7. Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let pans cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove cakes form pans and allow to cool directly on rack for another 15 minutes or until completely cooled.
  9. For the frosting:  Beat cream cheese and butter until combined.  Add powdered sugar and stir until combined, add vanilla and incorporate.
  10. Put flattest cake on serving dish.  Use a large bread knife to trim off the dome on the top (leaving a completely flat top).  Add 1 cup of frosting and spread a thick layer leaving a 1/4 inch around the outside edge unfrosted.
  11. Stack the second cake on top of the first.  Frost the top, allowing the frosting to “fall” down the sides, spreading gently with an offset spatula.  Place cake in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.
  12. For the flowers:  If decorating with pineapple flowers, remove outside edge (including eyes), top and bottom from a fresh pineapple.  Slice pineapple as thinly as possible, while still getting a complete round.
  13. Place thin rounds in muffin tins and bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours.  CHeck to see if they are dried out, if not, continue to bake, checking every 30 minutes to make sure they don’t get too brown.  Leave in muffin tins overnight to reinforce petal shape.  The baking took about 5 hours in my oven….I hardly had the patience.  On the plus side, these things aren’t only beautiful, they are DELICIOUS!  Basically fresh dehydrated pineapple.
  14. Decorate cake with pineapple flowers, pressing slightly to make sure they adhere to the frosting.
  15. Impress friends and make new ones by serving your deliciously southern, totally tropical masterpiece!




  1. The flavors in this cake feel like a mash up of summer and fall. Hard to argue with that. Love the pineapple flowers, putting this on my weekend projects list. Thank-you for the great recipes!