Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Hummingbird Cake is a classic, Southern cake recipe. Made with bananas, pineapple, and pecans and topped with a cream cheese frosting! 

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©

Hummingbird Cake is definitely a favorite cake recipe of my family. My grandmother would make it for special occasions, especially around Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day or spring birthdays. It was always front and center at any family gatherings or church socials. Full of delicious banana, pineapple, and roasted pecans, Hummingbird Cake is one of those cake recipes that is just a Southern classic.

As with so many Southern recipes, I’m not certain where the name of this cake originated. Although it is certainly filled with such sweetness that you can only enjoy just a little bit of it at a time, which again makes it perfect for serving at large gatherings like church socials and potluck dinners. Thankfully though, no birds are harmed in its making or consuming.

Although, I do remember my sister-in-law, Karen, making a hummingbird cake a few years ago for my mother-in-law’s birthday. Even though my my youngest nephew, who I believe was about four at the time, helped her make the cake he stood close by to my mother-in-law as she blew out her birthday candles. Then, he ever so gingerly leaned over and advised her to be careful of the birds. I always think of him when I make this cake now and I can’t help but smile.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©

As far as the original maker of hummingbird cake, it was submitted to Southern Living magazine for the February 1978 issue by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. Even though she provided her lovely recipe, she did not include the story behind it or its name. Some would say that is a loss, but I think Mrs. Wiggins did us all a great favor by allowing our imaginations to conjure up all sorts of stories as sweet as her delicious cake.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©

Be sure to add this cake recipe to your must-make list for your next get together. It is sure to delight as well as quickly disappear. Remember to cut the slices thinly as it is rich and as sweet as southern sweet tea.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©

Here’s the Hummingbird Cake recipe my family has used for years. It’s a bit different from Mrs. Wiggins original, but I sure love the changes.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©
Yield: 12

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Total Time 35 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Hummingbird Cake is a classic, Southern cake recipe. Made with bananas, pineapple, and pecans and topped with a cream cheese frosting!
4.89 from 18 votes
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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup roasted pecans finely chopped
  • Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped pecans in another large bowl. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Evenly divide the batter between the three prepared pans and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

Robyn xo

Hummingbird Cake Recipe - Hummingbird Cake is a classic, Southern cake recipe perfect for serving at so many special occasions or when entertaining. Get this heirloom Hummingbird Cake recipe for your next event. //

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published in 2011.

82 comments on “Hummingbird Cake Recipe”

  1. I have already made this cake so many times and it always comes out perfect!
    Super moist and delicious you can’t go wrong with this cake. It is my most requested cake. My aunt was famous for this cake but unfortunately passed away before I got the recipe. Robin I’m so glad I found your recipe. I will be making it for my nieces bridal shower, by her request. I know everyone will love it, and I will be making cupcakes for the guests to take home as one of the gifts.

    • Malinda,
      I love to hear when other families like these recipes as much as my family does. I wish your niece all the best in her new marriage. xo

  2. I’ve made this cake and everyone loved it! I would like to make it when I go to Aspen,Co to visit my son & daughter in law. Do you know what adjustments I would have to make because of the higher elavation? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

    • Hi Gail,
      I am so happy you enjoyed the cake! It’s one of our favorites too!
      I think you will need to make some adjustments for elevation, but I don’t know what they are. There may be information about baking at high elevations online or from other comments that may help.
      I hope you have a great trip!
      Thanks so much! xo

    • I found this on facebook, I hope it helps…Hummingbird Cake (for high altitude)

      3 C. flour
      1 3/4 C. sugar
      3/4 tsp. baking soda
      1 tsp. salt
      1 tsp. ground cinnamon
      2 C. mashed ripe banana (3 to 4 lg.)
      3 room temp. eggs, lightly beaten
      1 1/2 C. canola oil
      1, 8 oz. can unsweetened, undrained, crushed pineapple
      2 tsp. vanilla extract
      1 C. chopped walnuts
      3 T. water
      In lg. mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients.
      Add eggs, bananas, oil, pineapple, water, and vanilla.
      Beat until combined. Stir in walnuts.
      Pour into 3 greased and floured, 9 inch round, baking pans.
      Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
      Cool on rack for 10 min.; them remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
      Frost with cream cheese frosting and top with chopped walnuts and toasted coconut.

  3. Has anyone made omitting pecans? My daughter has a nut allergy and wonder how it comes out without pecans. Thanks! 

  4. Interesting reading about this delightful cake.

    Rating: 5
  5. Wonderful and very moist awesome Sunday dinner cake !!! 

    Rating: 5

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