Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hummingbird Cake

Early February seems like a lifetime ago, but that was when I came upon the recipe for this hummingbird cake. I had cut the page from Living magazine years ago and stored it in my magazine recipe files. When I saw this cake again, I decided at that moment that it would be my birthday cake this year. Little did I know that when my birthday arrived in late March, grocery shopping would be a completely different situation than what we all usually experience. I had no idea that I would be lucky to procure a fresh pineapple, canned pineapple, confectioners’ sugar, and even flour. This month, things seem to be settling a bit in availability of groceries. Although, some items are still either difficult to get or hit or miss at best. I am thankful that once upon a time, I made homemade confectioners’ sugar from granulated sugar in the blender just to see what I thought of the result. The result was great. It can be done if I find myself in need of it when there is none at the store. Recently, I’ve made homemade cold-brew coffee and oat milk, and now I wonder why I wasn’t always making those things myself. Both are quick, easy, and involve a lot less packaging when made at home. Scarcity at the stores brought about a positive outcome in those cases. But for this cake, getting all the ingredients wasn’t a sure thing. It felt like winning a prize to finally have everything I needed collected and ready for baking. The photo of this cake in the magazine is one of those food images that has been stuck in my memory since first seeing it. I knew that someday I would attempt the oven-dried pineapple flowers that decorate the top. Surprisingly, they were easier than expected, and I’m glad I went ahead with the project. My birthday this year was a necessarily quiet, little celebration at home, but there was cake! 

I made the pineapple flowers a couple of days in advance. You begin by cutting away the pineapple peel and cutting out the eyes all around. Then, the pineapple was turned on its side and sliced as thinly as possible. The slices were placed on baking sheets and dried in a 225 degree F oven for an hour or a bit longer. After 30 minutes, the slices were flipped, and the baking sheets were rotated. The dried slices can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. The cake itself is similar to my favorite carrot cake recipe, but there was mashed banana instead of grated carrots. The batter also included cinnamon, crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and unsweetened shredded coconut. I was able to get canned pineapple chunks but not crushed pineapple. So, I chopped up the chunks until they were similar in size to crushed. The frosting was a simple cream cheese frosting with just vanilla for flavor. I actually only made half the amount of frosting called for in the recipe, and it was plenty for my taste. The best part, of course, was setting the pineapple flowers on top. 

As a bonus, my kitchen smelled amazing while the pineapple flowers dried in the oven. And, any extras are delicious with yogurt for breakfast. While this year won’t be remembered as my favorite birthday given the circumstances, this cake might be my favorite birthday cake ever. I hope you’re finding everything you need or overcoming grocery shopping challenges however you can, and I hope you’re still celebrating every occasion in whatever ways are possible.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 


  1. What a beautiful cake Lisa...and I am loving the way you made flowers using pineapple...
    Have a great weekend and be safe!

  2. Lisa, I can't believe how realistic your flowers look! At first, they looked like hibiscus flowers. It is frustrating how some items at the supermarket are not readily available- I've been ordering some unusual items, like vanilla powder, from Amazon.(As for toilet paper, forget about it)!

  3. I was so surprised to find out that those garnishes are pineapple! I thought for sure they were flowers!

  4. Oh, my gosh, how gorgeous! I've made pineapple flowers before, but they were nowhere this impressive! Beautiful cake (delicious, too!).

  5. Love the look of those pineapple flowers! And I'm with everyone else -- what a gorgeous looking cake. Delish, too, I'll bet. Thanks!

  6. I don't think you can imagine how much I adore this cake...

    honestly, I am in complete awe and at some point I need to try this technique...


Blogging tips