Friday, November 29, 2013

Hummingbird Cake

While my parents were away last week, my aunt and uncle invited my brother and me over for dinner one night. As usual, I volunteered to make something for dessert. We happened to have some overly-ripe bananas lying around and I wanted to use them. However I didn't want to just make a banana loaf, not that it isn't yummy, but I wanted to try something different. When I went to my favorite and typed in "banana" into the search box I scrolled through quite a few recipes for different variations of banana loaf before I came across one for "hummingbird cake".

The recipe appealed to me because it was simple, easy, and had a twist using crushed pineapple and chopped pecans. Also, the idea of baking it in a bundt pan made for a nice presentation. Of course the cream cheese icing on top also scored points in my book.

The cake turned out moist and delicious and everyone enjoyed it after dinner. According to my aunt, who later phoned my mom, my uncle really loved it and has been taking it to work with him as well. Although I liked how it looked coming out of the bundt pan, I think I may use a regular 9" x 13" pan next time because it took a long time to bake all the way through and that resulted in the outside being a little too crusty for my liking. Despite that fact, I was still satisfied and based on their comments it seemed everyone else was too.

Hummingbird Cake

For the cake:
  • 1½ cups pecans, chopped
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1¾ cups mashed banana (approximately 3-4 large bananas)
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • ¾ cups canola oil
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
For the cream cheese icing:
  • 4 oz (½ cup) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  1. In the oven or on the stove, gently heat the pecans for 5-8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 
  3. Add the eggs, mashed banana, pineapple, oil, and vanilla. Stir just until all of the ingredients are combined. (The batter will be lumpy)
  4. Gently stir in one cup of the chopped pecans.
  5. Grease a large bundt pan with butter or non-stick spray and pour the batter into the pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 60-80 minutes, or until a knife poked all the way to the bottom comes out clean. (Mine took the full 80 minutes) If the top starts to brown too quickly cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes before carefully loosening the cake and flipping it over. Allow the cake to finish cooling for about an hour on a wire rack.
  8. Meanwhile, blend the ingredients for the icing. Add more milk if desiring a more liquidy consistency. 
  9. Once the cake has cooled, pour the icing over top and sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans. 

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