Desserts,  The Blog

Hummingbird Cake {with Pineapple Flowers}

Hummingbird Cake with Pineapple Flowers

She requested a Hummingbird Cake.  

It was about six months ago and it went something like this.  Oh. My Word!  You have GOT to make a Hummingbird Cake and share it on Lemony Thyme.  And with me.  Of course you have to share it with me.

On that day, I had never heard of a Hummingbird Cake.  Which made it all the more intriguing.  A quick Google search and I quickly learned that one Mrs. L.H. Wiggins shared this recipe with Southern Living magazine in 1978.  If it’s still popular 35+ years later, it was high thyme to share it here.

Hummingbird Cake Ingredients

Weeks went by, then months since Bethany requested a Hummingbird Cake.  As her birthday month grew closer I developed a new enthusiasm for making what I would now call a classic cake.

When I find myself wide awake between 3:30 and 4:30 am (I blame it on age), instead of tossing and turning in frustration…I pick up my phone and surf Pinterest.  And that is where I discovered Dried Pineapple Flowers.  While I had good intentions of taking pictures every step of the way…day light was dwindling and I still had a Hummingbird Cake to bake.  Annie’s Eats has this gorgeous how-to tutorial which is precisely what I followed.

Recipe note:  the instructions call for cutting the pineapple very thinly, so that it’s almost transparent.  I attempted this first with my mandolin but I struggled to get full slices.  I used a sharp knife and cut them as thin as I could.  Not transparent but thin, which required a little extra time in the oven.  Then they continued to air dry overnight.

Dried Pineapple Flowers1
Dried Pineapple Flowers2

Back to this heavenly Hummingbird Cake.  I adapted this recipe from Paula Deen.  It’s basically a banana flavored spice cake that is super moist yet light.  Cream cheese frosting gives it a carrot cake feel and adding chopped pecans was spot on.

Happy Birthday Bethany.  As always, happy to share your day with you and always happy to share my newest recipes. xoxo

Hummingbird Cake
Hummingbird Cake1
Hummingbird Cake5
Hummingbird Cake4

Bethany and I have a lot in common.  We face most Mondays with enthusiasm and drive towards making Healthy Choices.  Often by mid-week this is us.  Just one of the many reasons I love this girl.

Birthday Cake

Hummingbird Cake {with Pineapple Flowers}

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes


For dried pineapple flowers…

  • 1 fresh pineapple

For Hummingbird Cake…

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks butter softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas about 4 medium
  • 1 8- ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

For cream cheese frosting…

  • 2 sticks butter softened
  • 2 8- ounce block cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


For dried pineapple flowers…

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut top off fresh pineapple. Then peel it and remove eyes. Thinly slice pineapple, so it is almost transparent. Lay slices on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turn over slices and back for an additional 30 minutes or until they begin to dry and lightly brown on edges. Remove from oven and transfer slices to a muffin tin, so they take on the shape of flowers. Allow to continue to air dry overnight.

For the Hummingbird Cake…

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 9-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Reserve.
  • In a large bowl, beat together sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk, beating until just combined after each addition. Then add in the bananas and pineapple and beat until combined.
  • Equally divide cake batter into prepared pans. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

For cream cheese frosting…

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until creamy. Gradually add in the confectioners sugar; beat until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting between each layer, then spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Press chopped pecans into frosting on lower half of cake. Arrange pineapple flowers in desired pattern.


  • libby

    It was my pleasure. If it weren’t for your suggestion I may never had experienced such a delightful dessert. Definitely a keeper….just like you. xo

  • Bethany

    I am here to tell you, this cake tastes as amazing as it looks! I am so honored that you made this cake for me…and ironically the year that it was first shared with Southern Living is the same year I was born. I think it was meant to be that this is my new FAVORITE Cake…scratch that, favorite dessert EVER!!!

    Lemony Thyme, you never cease to amaze. Thank you for such a wonderful birthday cake!!!

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