Classic Hummingbird Cake with Pineapple Flowers and Hummingbird Cookies

Hummingbird Cake

Today I am introducing the famous hummingbird cake to you. There is a simple reason for that. It has to do with the fact that I love animals and birds in particular. Since I was born in Uruguay in Latin America, I had the privilege of watching these tiny birds close to our house. I find it extremely fascinating how these birds need to constantly eat as otherwise they wouldn’t survive. Every 15 minutes they need to drink nectar. Since these birds are so pretty, I decided that my cake definitely also need hummingbirds on the outside, clearly displayed. So I figured that I would dry some pineapple slices and use them as flowers the hummingbirds would be drinking from. The hummingbirds are made from sugar cookies. So I warn you, if you make my version of this cake, it will require a lot of work. I believe it is so worth it, but you are free to make it without the fancy decorations. Because, who doesn’t like hummingbird cake?

Hummingbird Cake

Origianally the hummingbird cake is from Jamaica. However, it became really famous in the U.S. after a lady submitted it to the Southern Living Magazine. I therefore would say that it is an American recipe. Since my blog features recipes from North America as well as Latin America, I figured that this cake would be perfect. Especially considering that I spent three years of my childhood in the U.S. and another in Canada after high school.

Hummingbird CakeThe hummingbird cake is similar to a banana bread, but has this exotic pineapple flavor added. It also reminds me of a carrot cake as the layers are pretty dense, yet they are held together by refreshing cream cheese frosting. Preparing the cake layers themselves actually doesn’t even require a mixer, you can whisk together the ingredients with a simple whisk. However, you will need to pull out a mixer once you beat the heavy cream into whipping cream. If you decide to decorate the cake as I did, this will require some work to dry the pineapple slices to get them to look like flowers and for making the hummingbird sugar cookies and decorating them with royal icing. But even though the decorations do require a lot of work, the good thing is that this cake gets better on the second and third day. Heck, I even ate from it after a week and it was delicious. Just be sure to chill it in the fridge. So let’s get going with banana and pineapple flavor, some pecan crunch and soft cream cheese frosting to make this the perfect summer cake.

Hummingbird Cake

Traditional Hummingbird Cake

Serves: One 20 cm/8inch ∅ springform
Prep Time: 2hr Cooking Time: 3hr + 35min + 8min Total Time: 6hr

This traditional hummingbird cake contains a batter with banana and pineapple and is frosted with cream cheese frosting. The sugar cookie looking like humming birds can be omitted as well as the dried pineapples to represent the flowers.


  • Dried Pineapple Flowers (best prepared at least a day beforehand)
  • 1 fresh and ripe pineapple

  • Hummingbird Sugar Cookies (best prepared at least a day beforehand)
  • 150 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams of regular sugar
  • 100 grams of cold butter
  • 2-4 tablespoons of cold water

  • Royal Icing for the Hummbingbird Cookies
  • 150-200 grams of icing sugar
  • 30 grams of egg white (approximately one egg)
  • Different food coloring

  • Cake Layers
  • 150 grams of pecan nuts or walnuts
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 220 grams of fresh or canned pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 grams of neutral oil (e.g. canola or sunflower)
  • 100 grams of white sugar
  • 50g grams of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, see here how to make your own
  • 370 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • A good pinch of salt

  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 250 grams of heavy cream
  • 150 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, see here how to make your own
  • 500 grams of cream cheese



For the pineapple flowers cut off the bottom and top of the pineapple so that it can stand on the cutting board. Then slice off the skin, also removing the "eyes". Cut half of the pineapple into thin slices without removing the center and pat dry. Reserve 220 grams of the remaining pineapple for later and cut into cubes.


Heat the oven to 90 degrees and place the thinnly sliced pineapple slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dry in the oven for three hours, flipping at least once half way in. If your flowers appear to be still wet, dry longer. Once done, press into a muffin tin once you take them out of the oven to bend the leaves a bit and get a more typical flower shape. If you don't have a muffin tin, you may also use glasses or similar. You can dry them further at room temperature. If making long in advance, keep in an airtight container.


For the hummingbirds mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl and add the butter cut into cubes. Rub into crumbs quickly. Then add two tablespoons of water and work into a ball. Add further water if need be. Cover and chill at least for thirty minutes or overnight.


Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out hummingbirds. I looked for a symbol on the Internet, cut out the paper and used that to cut out the birds in the dough. Mine were pretty large (8cm) and I only made five. In the end I only needed three.


Bake for about 10min at 180 degrees Celsius, depending on size.


For the royal icing mix about 150 grams of icing sugar with egg white and beat a few minutes with a mixer until it is glossy and the consistency is similar to toothpaste. You may need a little more egg white or icing sugar, depending on the weather. Color parts in different colors and fill into separate piping bags or bags with a cut-off corner. Decorate the humming birds the way you like. If you need further help with decorating, you may wish to check out this post. Let dry for a few hours or overnight.


For the cake layers line the bottom of two 20cm/8inch springforms with parchment paper. Roughly chop the pecans and roast for about 8-10min at 150 degrees Celsius in the oven. Increase oven temperature to 180 degrees.


Mash the bananas with a fork in a large bowl. If they happen not to be ripe enough, add them to the pecan nuts until brown on the outside. Add all wet ingredients from the pineapple until the vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. Then add all remaining ingredients until combined.


Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 35min or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. If you are only using one springform, the baking time may differ, I assume something like 50min. Let cool completely.


For the cream cheese frosting whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until stiff. Only add the cream cheese briefly until combined. Cut the cake layers in half and frost each layer with cream cheese. You should have enough frosting to also frost the outside of the cake. However, this is a semi-naked cake, which means that you will still see the cake layers. Chill the cake.


Shortly before serving decorate with pineapple flowers and glue the hummingbirds with a tiny bit of the frosting onto the cake.

Hummingbird Cake

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  • Reply
    Wednesday July 29th, 2020 at 11:01 PM

    Das Wie sieht so lecker aus und die Kolibris lassen die Torte richtig süß aussehen. Da bekomme ich richtig Lust, auch einmal der einzuweisen. Leider bin ich nicht so ein Konditor, der das auch nur im entferntesten drauf hat, außerdem weiß ich jetzt schon, bei mir würde das total schiefgehen. Aber die Idee ist einfach einmalig.

    Was nur gut wäre, wenn man die englischen Sprache aus dem Blog hier entfernen würde, also so etwas wie ingredients, serves, leave a reply, comments, you might also like…
    Hier wird einfach zu viel Deutsch und Englisch durcheinandergewürfelt.

    • Reply
      Thursday July 30th, 2020 at 06:32 AM

      Danke für die Komplimente, dass du dir die Torte nicht zutraust, finde ich schade.
      Übrigens liegt es am sogenannten “Blogtheme”, dass so viel auf Englisch ist, ich muss mich da nochmal schlau machen wie ich das ändern kann. Mich stört das übrigens auch, aber es lässt sich nicht mal eben ändern.

  • Reply
    Thursday August 20th, 2020 at 12:07 PM

    Hallo Jenny,
    wow, Kompliment, die ist wunderschön geworden!
    Das mit dem Ehrgeiz und mal etwas ausprobieren wollen kenne ich auch. Torten bieten sich da ja eh an, und Deine Kombination mit den ananas-nussigen Böden, der Frischkäsecreme (mag ich meist nicht so, aber in der Kombination stelle ich sie mir passend vor) und dazu die viele Deko – klasse!
    Mir fehlt oft die Zeit und die Geduld für solche Kunstwerke, aber langsam kriege ich auch wieder Lust, mehr Torten zu backen. Wie Du schreibst, man muss sie ja nicht an einem Stück fertig machen, und sie halten sich im Kühlschrank ein paar Tage.
    Liebe Grüße

    • Reply
      Friday August 21st, 2020 at 07:20 AM

      Liebe Barbara, das hätte ich nicht besser sagen können. Melde dich gerne, solltest du sie machen.

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