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

Are you looking for more delicious cake recipes? I think you’ll love my Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Best Chocolate Cake, Coconut Cake, and Best White Cake.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©

Hummingbird Cake is a favorite cake recipe of my family. My grandmother would make it for special occasions, especially around Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, or spring birthdays. It was always front and center at any family gatherings or church socials. Topped with delicious Cream Cheese Frosting and full of banana, pineapple, and roasted pecans, Hummingbird Cake is a Southern classic cake recipe.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©

How to Make Hummingbird Cake

Ingredients for Hummingbird Cake

To make this favorite cake, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – Use a light all-purpose flour. You can also substitute it with cake flour.
  • Granulated sugar – I use granulated white or raw cane sugar. Use your favorite sugar replacement for baking.
  • Baking soda and Baking powder – both are used in this cake recipe.
  • Salt – I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. If you substitute with Morton’s Kosher salt, fine sea salt, or table salt, you will only need half the amount of the salt called for in the recipe. 
  • Ground cinnamon – adds a warm cozy flavor to the cake.
  • Eggs – Use room temperature eggs as they incorporate the best into the cake batter.
  • Vegetable oil – makes for a moist, tender cake. You can substitute with melted coconut oil, avocado oil, or even melted and cooled butter.
  • Vanilla extract – Use your favorite store-bought pure vanilla extract or homemade.
  • Bananas – Fresh bananas are mashed and incorporated into the cake batter. They add richness and moisture to the cake.
  • Crushed pineapple – The pineapple adds so much fresh flavor to the cake.
  • Roasted pecans – the toasted pecans add texture and flavor to the cake. However, I generally omit if serving where there could be a nut allergy or sensitivity.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  2. Whisk Dry Ingredients. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix Wet Ingredients. Cream the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped roasted pecans in another large bowl.
  4. Stir. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Bake. Then, divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake 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. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.
  6. Cool the cake layers. Remove from oven once done and cool in the cake pans for about 10 minutes. Then, turn the cakes onto a wire rack to allow the cakes to cool completely.
  7. Frost and serve. Once the cakes are completely cool, frost them with Cream Cheese Frosting. I usually make my frosting while my cake is in the oven. Then serve and enjoy!

Origins of Hummingbird Cake

As far as the original maker of the 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 a great favor by allowing our imaginations to conjure up 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.

Role of Oil in Cakes

Cakes using oil in the recipe tend to bake higher, stay moist and tender longer, and result in a cake with an even, open crumb and a coarser texture than those using butter.

How Long Does Hummingbird Cake Last?

I prefer to store this cake in the refrigerator since it contains fruit and is topped with cream cheese frosting. In the fridge, it will last up to a week.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe | ©

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

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

4.94 from 30 votes
Hummingbird Cake is a classic, Southern cake recipe. Made with bananas, pineapple, and pecans and topped with a cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24


  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (396 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2.8 g) kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (3.9 g) ground cinnamon
  • 3 large (150 g) eggs
  • 1 cup (198 g) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons (9.4 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can (249 g) crushed pineapple,, undrained
  • 3 (454 g) bananas, ripe, mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup (114 g) roasted pecans, finely chopped
  • Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Prep. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  • Whisk Dry Ingredients. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream Wet Ingredients. 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.
  • Bake and cool. 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. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Frost. Frost with cream cheese frosting.
  • Store. Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or a cake dome for up to a week.


Nutritional information is for cake only without frosting.


Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 46IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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.

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review


  1. 5 stars
    This cake is amazing! I’m completely grain free and I substituted King Arthur Paleo Flour (1 for 1). My family said it’s their new favorite cake and it was so moist they had no idea it was GF (other than the fact I ate some!). I later tried it with a buttercream frosting which was good, but if you like cream cheese it’s just not the same. I also only have 2 cake pans so I cooked longer and it worked wonderful!

    1. I’m so glad you found a way to make this cake with your diet restrictions. I’m so glad it worked so well for you. Thanks for telling us how you make it.

  2. Hi Robyn! My husband’s birthday is tomorrow and he requested something with banana, so I thought to myself, “hummingbird cake it is!” Do you think this recipe would work well in a 9×13 pan? I’m not sure I want fuss with a layer cake but I’m worried it might be too much batter. On a side note, I have been using your chocolate cake recipe for many years (it’s the ONLY recipe I’ll use) and it comes out wonderfully every time in all pan sizes!

    1. Karen, I’m afraid this recipe would be too much batter for a 9×13 pan. I think it would be fine in a half sheet pan (18×13 inches). I’m happy you love that chocolate cake recipe. Hope your husband has a very happy birthday!

  3. The origin of this cake is from Jamaica.
    In 1968, the Jamaican Tourism Board sent this cake recipe all over America in press kits.
    The kits were aimed towards American tourists that were looking for a tropical vacation.
    The cake is called “Doctor Bird Cake,” as the hummingbird tends to each flower, just like a Dr would it’s patients. (*The hummingbird is the Jamaican National bird.)
    The recipe was created to suit kitchens and spices of American kitchens before it was sent in the press kits. ( There are no Pecan Trees in the Caribbean! I imagine they would use cashew, IF nuts were used at all.)
    The same recipe was printed in Southern Living 10 years later.
    I am currently simmering some pineapple to make jam to add to the creme cheese frosting. I find it adds a great touch of flavor.
    I cool it first, of course(pineapple, lemon juice and white sugar.)
    I will also add some ‘Mixed Spice,’ which is used in Jamaican baked goods. You can use fresh grated Nutmeg, Allspice, Clove and a little Anise, if you have, or like it. A little goes a long way. I live in the Caribbean, so I have access to fresh Nutmeg and spices

    My mother made this cake pretty much for every birthday growing up in the States.
    So,I am making this cake today for my husbands birthday tomorrow, and he’s never had it before!
    He loves banana bread and carrot cake is his favorite, so I imagine he’s gonna love it.

    1. Thanks so much for this, Gina. I hope your husband has a very happy birthday and enjoys his cake!

  4. 5 stars
    If only pictures are allowed . Thanks loads for the recipe , it was amazing and moist and we loved it . Our first time to have it and won’t be the last for sure . May I ask you where did you get the white peaded plates ? Would love to gift it . Thanks

  5. We needed a smaller cake. I made 1/3 and baked in one 9″ pan. What a treasure!! It was a clear winner and we voted to continue baking one layer since it is so rich and delicious that it’s hard to stop going back for seconds. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  6. Hi, Robyn. A friend introduced me to your treasure trove of cake recipes. You’re TERRIFIC! According to a VERY Southern member of my extended family, the name of the cake comes from the shape of the pecans. Frances Reynolds (Mayfield, Georgia) would cut whole pecans cross-wise — roughly four slices to the nut so the slices were fairly thick. The shape of those slices when baked in the cake look like a hummingbird on the wing, at least to her and the local “church ladies” (and me, when she introduced me to the cake back in the 1970s). Since they take up more room in the measuring cup, Frances would likely use 1.5 cups of pecan slices to the 1 cup you call for. She owned a pecan grove, so she had lots of pecans to put to use!

  7. Hi making this for my family. I do have a question  My grandson has an egg allergy and for a chocolate zucchini cake in place of each egg I use 1 Tablespoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Do u have any idea if this will work?

    1. I’ve not tested an egg replacement in my Hummingbird Cake yet, Carol. If you try this with your egg replacement, please let me know how it turns out as I’d love to know. Thanks so much!

  8. Hi Robyn Ive made this cake a few times and everytime a success. My mum, family and colleagues at office loves it!

    1. Hi Ashley,
      I’ve never used whipped cream frosting on this cake, so I don’t know. Not sure how it would work. Thanks!

  9. I have made this cake couple times my grandson is coming up on a birthday and this is his favorite cake so therefore I won’t be making it for his birthday