Hummingbird cake

Thought to have been invented in Jamaica, probably in the late ‘60s, this cake is well loved in the Southern States of America and rightly so. With such an incredible flavour this cake is perfect for special occasions.

A slice of homemade hummingbird cakeIngredients

  • 1 cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1 x 425g tin of pineapple chunks
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g pecans


  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 150g butter, (at room temperature)
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line two 23cm round cake tins.

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and a large pinch of sea salt.

Peel the bananas and mash them up with a fork in another bowl. Drain and finely chop the pineapple and add to the bananas with the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, then fold into the dry mixture until smooth.

Finely chop the pecans and gently fold in, then divide the batter evenly between your prepared tins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until risen, golden and the sponges spring back when touched lightly in the centre.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the soft butter. Beat until pale and creamy.

Add the cream cheese, finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon and add a squeeze of juice, then beat until just smooth – it’s really important not to over-mix it. Keep in the fridge until needed.

To assemble the cake, place one sponge on a cake stand and spread with half the icing. Top with the other sponge, spread over the rest of the icing, then sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired.