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Hummingbird cake

This cake really is as pretty and as delicious as it sounds! Moist with plenty of pineapple and banana, textured with coconut and pecan pieces, then speckled with flecks of raspberry.

If all that isn't delicious enough its smothered in a zesty orange and cream cheese frosting.

Ok, this isn't a classic hummingbird cake as it has the addition of raspberry and coconut, but in my opinion it really is all the better for it!

You've probably guessed from the main flavours that this cakes origins are firmly rooted in the Caribbean, some say the cake is as sweet as nectar and could attract hummingbirds. Others attribute the name to the cakes colours being reminiscent of a hummingbirds plumage, either way you're going to love it!

Here's how.....


300g self raising flour

300g golden caster sugar

250ml sunflower oil

1 tsp baking powder

3 large free range eggs

50g desiccated coconut plus extra to decorate.

2 tbsp freeze dried raspberry pieces (optional)

150g finely chopped drained pineapple

2 very ripe mashed bananas

80g chopped pecans or walnuts plus extra to decorate

zest from 1 large orange

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

Frosting ingredients

200g soft room temperature butter

50g cream cheese

500g sifted icing sugar

zest from 1 large orange

edible flowers to decorate (violas, and lavender are great but totally optional.)

Cake Method

  • Grease and line two 20cm loose bottom cake pans

  • pre-heat the oven to 175c

  • add flour, baking powder, sugar, spices, nuts, raspberry and coconut to a large mixing bowl and roughly mix.

  • add beaten eggs, pineapple, mashed banana, orange zest and sunflower oil to the dry ingredients and fold together well.

  • share mixture between two baking tins and bake in a pre-heated oven (175c) for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

  • allow to cool on a wire rack thoroughly before frosting. I find wrapping the cake in cling film once cooled and frosting the next day gives the best results.

Frosting method

Temperature is key with buttercream; adding different ingredients of differing temperatures causes curdling!

Top tip time.....Always use butter that you could spread on rubbish white bread without breaking it!

You'll need an electric hand or stand mixer fitted with beaters (not whisk) attachment for this. (Unless of course you have bionic arm muscles!)

  • add soft butter to a large mixing bowl and whisk for a good 5 minutes. the butter should turn very pale.

  • now add 1/2 the sifted icing sugar and beat for at least 5 minutes before adding the remaining icing sugar. The mix will be stiff now.

  • add room temperature cream cheese and beat on high for a further 5 minutes. If you find the mix too stiff just add further teaspoons of cream cheese and beat until you have a good spreadable consistency.

  • add orange zest and beat.


  • Spread the top of both cakes in a generous layer of frosting and sandwich together.

  • Smother the sides in frosting and 'pebbledash' sides in coconut.

  • Decorate the top, scattering with pecan pieces, edible flowers and dried raspberry.

Keeps well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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