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Slices of frosted layer cake on blue background, whole cake in white cake stand

Hummingbird Layer Cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cooling time: 60
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Beautiful layers flavored with banana, pineapple, cinnamon, and walnuts are combined with sweet cream cheese frosting. A fantastic classic cake that keeps well and can be frozen!



For the cake:

  • 3 cups (405g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240g) sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar 
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (340g) mashed bananas
  • 1 cup (200g) very finely chopped pineapple, canned or fresh (see Notes below)
  • 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted (see Notes below)

For the Cream cheese frosting:

  • 8oz (225g) regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (see Notes below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract


For the cake layers:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
  2. Prepare the cake pans (two 9-inch or three 8-inch with removable bottoms) by spraying or buttering them and lining the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. 
  3. In a large bowl (you can use the stand mixer) beat oil and sugars for 2 minutes. 
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. 
  5. Add bananas, pineapple, and vanilla and mix well but don’t beat much. 
  6. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt) and add them in 2 parts. I have them measured and sift directly over the batter. 
  7. Incorporate very well but be careful not to overbeat at this point so the cake bakes tender. Beating the dry ingredients too much results in tougher cakes. 
  8. Add nuts and mix it all with a spatula. 
  9. Divide evenly among the prepared pans and bake for about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the pan/s and your oven. The cake surface should be dry but shiny and a tester inserted in the middle should come out clean. 
  10. Let cool completely on wire racks. I carefully remove them while still very warm and let cool. 
  11. If you baked one cake and need to cut it in half make sure it is cold as it will be much easier.
  12. Fill and frost cooled cake with frosting below. See Notes below.
  13. Refrigerate leftovers, covered.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese in a bowl with the soft butter until very creamy and no lumps remain. 
  2. Gradually add sugar and vanilla until you have a thick, very creamy consistency, good enough to spread. You might need more sugar, up to a half-cup or so. 
  3. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Beat again before using to attain a creamy consistency.


Pineapple: I use canned most of the time (if not always) because it's available year-round and the flavor it gives is amazing! Fresh pineapple has way less flavor and lacks that smoky quality. But you can absolutely use fresh, make sure it's very ripe and use the center, tender part.

Nuts: I suggest you lightly toast them. It's an extra step but worth it. Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C, put the walnuts or pecans in an oven pan and bake for about 5-10 minutes, until fragrant but not too dark. Let cool completely before using.

Powdered sugar: the final amount depends on how thick you want the frosting and the water content of your butter mainly. So the amount given is estimated.

Frosting: make sure the cake is cold as it will be much easier to fill and frost. You can fill it with as much frosting as you want, but keep in mind that it is very sweet so it doesn't overpower the flavors of the actual cake.

Pan sizes: with this recipe, you can make two 9 or 10-inch layers, three 8-inch layers, a 9x13 inch sheet cake, 2 medium loaf cakes or one 9-inch plain tube pan cake (I don't recommend bundt pans as they usually have patterns and this batter might stick).

Freezing: the layers can be frozen, well wrapped, for a month. Defrost at room temperature but don't let it get to room t° before filling and frosting. The frosting can be frozen also, but it's not the exact same texture afterward.


  • Serving Size: 1/10
  • Calories: 863
  • Sugar: 74.9 g
  • Sodium: 344.4 mg
  • Fat: 44.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 110.9 g
  • Protein: 8.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 103.1 mg

Keywords: hummingbird cake