Hummingbird Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Classic hummingbird cake recipe

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
900 Calories
51g Fat
108g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 900
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 51g 66%
Saturated Fat 16g 79%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 602mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 108g 39%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 7g
Calcium 96mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This hummingbird cake is always a hit with families or for any celebration. It's a moist cake flavored with cinnamon, pineapple, pecans, and bananas and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

The cake originated in Jamaica in the 1960s and was part of an Air Jamaica tourism campaign. It was named the "doctor bird cake," after the national bird of Jamaica. The doctor bird is a member of the hummingbird family. You'll enjoy a little tropical vacation with a cake you can make anywhere and anytime. Wouldn't it be perfect at a bon voyage party for friends who are going on a Caribbean cruise?


  • For the Cake:
  • 3 cups/13 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (well-drained)
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 2 cups banana ( firm ripe, chopped)
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 cup pecans (chopped, toasted, if desired)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this hummingbird cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for classic hummingbird cake
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

    Grease pan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together into a large mixing bowl several times.

    Sift flour, sugar, salt
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Add the eggs and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are moistened.

    Add eggs
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Stir in vanilla, drained pineapple, and 1 cup pecans.

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Stir in the chopped bananas.

    Stir in chopped bananas
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pans.

    Spoon batter
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Bake the layers in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn them onto cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

    Cool on rack
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Make the Frosting and Assemble

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer; beat until smooth and creamy.

    Combine cream cheese and butter
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined.

    Add confectioner's sugar
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Stir in vanilla.

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Frost the tops of all three layers of the cake and then stack them.

    Frost the tops
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Frost the sides of the cake.

    Frosting cake
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Sprinkle the top of the cake evenly with the 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans.

    Sprinkle the pecan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

    Slice of cake
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska


  • To toast the pecans, spread them in a dry skillet over medium heat; cook while continually stirring until the nuts are lightly browned and aromatic. Remove to a plate at once to stop the cooking process. 

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