Wednesday, September 18

Hummingbird Cake

For the past three weeks I've once again been working at the local junior school as a boarding house parent. Even though I absolutely adore the work that I've been doing, not only is it rather stressful, but I've also been deprived of nuts!
Since a couple of the children have severe nut allergies this means no walnuts, pecans, (and worse of all...) peanut butter whilst on the job. (My friend Abby is particularly struggling from Snickers withdrawal symptoms!)

However, there was one magical time where I had a two day break from the manic boarding house and could therefore stuff my face full of anything nut related in time for my next shift.
As you can imagine, I took advantage of this and whacked out my cookbook for a nutty nibble.

And here is the product of my labour!
A three tiered 'Hummingbird Cake' covered in a rich Cream Cheese frosting and smothered in crunchy walnuts.
It is a little bit like a moist, flavoursome carrot cake but instead crammed full of juicy pineapple and ripe bananas.
A sticky and addictive twist on a classic!

Needless to say, myself and my parents happily wolfed down the whole three layered sponge within two days and even licked the plate clean.
Inspiration from this has to go to the Hummingbird Bakery whose recipe I've tweaked numerous times to finally crack the best combination possible.
The sponge itself is also dairy free (as a know one or two bloggers out there have been dying for a recipe as such!) except you'll need to switch the icing for some butter cream.

I dare you to try to not have more than one wedge, I found it near impossible... The more I bake the more my will power is failing!

To make your own beautiful Hummingbird Cake, you will need:

For the cake:
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 270g mashed bananas
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g tinned pineapple, chopped into small chunks
- 300g walnuts (150g for inside the cake, 150g for decoration)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 200g very cold cream cheese
- 50g unsalted butter
- 400g icing sugar

Preheat your oven to 170C/150 fan and line three sandwich tins with baking parchment.
Put the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until all ingredients are well incorporated together.

Slowly add in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and vanilla extract and continue to beat until everything is well mixed.

Stir in the chopped pineapple and walnuts by hand using a wooden spoon or spatula.

Divide the batter into the three cake tins, smooth with a spatula and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The delicious cakes should come out golden brown, coming away from the edges and springy at your touch.

Once completely cool, take the cakes out of their cake tins and choose the one with the best and most even top for the highest tier.
Take one of the other two layers and turn it upside down onto your serving plate.
To make the cream cheese frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together on a medium speed until well mixed. Gradually beat in the cream cheese until thick, but try not to over beat as it will become runny. (If so, you'll need to add more icing sugar.)

On the upside down sponge, use a palette knife to layer on a thick coating of frosting and do the same with the next two sponges.

Once you have added a layer of frosting in between each sponge and on top, slide into the fridge for 10-15 minutes, (with the extra frosting on the side) to harden up.

Then take the cake out again and use a palette knife to cover the sides of the sponge in thick sweeps. (This takes a while to cover up completely!)

In a bowl, crumble up some of the chopped walnuts with a rolling pin to make some finer pieces and then use your hands to coat the sides thoroughly.

Add a few whole walnuts on the top of the sponge, dust on a little ground cinnamon and then you are ready to dig in!

Simple, scrummy and actually very easy to make, plus it's also a perfect solution to wow your friends and family.
Hopefully your will power will be better than mine... Still no guilt at all after 4 mammoth slices!
(Safe to say, it was a great day!)



  1. Any cake smothered in cream cheese is a friend of mine!

    Beautiful baking as usual! You seriously need to open your own little shop one day :)

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    1. Don't worry I definitely will, one of my life wishes! When it happens, I promise a free bun on me :) xx

  2. I haven't baked from my hummingbird book in SO long i need to change that! have you got the new one? i'm enjoying the new GGBO at the moment! also love your new blog design!

    1. Truthfully I wasn't a big fan of the Hummingbird book, I found the cupcakes always came out a little bit odd... But the Hummingbird Cake recipe I must admit is a winner!
      Thanks Dominique :) xx

  3. Wow; that looks delightful!! :)

    -Joy Michelle
    The Joyous Living

  4. Ooh I'd love to work in a boarding house it sounds like one of those things you have to do, must be really interesting (but tiring!). This cake looks deliciousxx

    1. *also I really like your header/blog design, it looks really goodxx

    2. Thanks Paprika! I wanted something that made the photographs pop a little bit more, so think it works a treat!
      It was such an incredible experience, but basically being a 24/7 Mum to 20 children was hardwork to say the least. Worth it though! xx

  5. Oh goodness me, you've just had all the women in my family drooling at the screen!!
    Pineapple in a cake sounds like such a great idea - perfect to remind me of Thailand
    x x x

    {The Lobster & Me}

    1. I'm more jealous of your trip you lucky thing! xx

  6. Ooo my goodness, those walnuts look amazing plastered on that cake, which in itself already looks delicious!!
    Loving the new website as well btw, looks great!!

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog }



  8. Ooh I used this recipe for my flatmates 21st last year, it's delicious! I like that you covered the whole side in nuts though, I just used a few around the top and bottom. I bet it added a great crunch!

    B xxx

    1. Beautifully crunchy! Its a cracking cake isn't it?! So happy someone else tried it too :) xx

  9. ahh everything you make looks so good! that cake would be gone in my house by the next day

    A Day in the Life


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