Hummingbird Cake with Cream-Cheese Icing



“If you don’t get rid of those disgusting bananas in the freezer, I will make you eat them all!” screeched my mother this morning, as she was cleaning out the deep freeze. I have a habit of storing overripe bananas in the freezer and my mum hates them (she doesn’t hate bananas, she just hates the fact that there is less room for her ‘essentials’, such as meat and frozen peas). If there are ripe bananas happily decomposing in the fruit bowl on the kitchen table, I look at them once and it breaks my heart to throw them away.

Overripe bananas are best to use in cakes and pancakes and keeping them in the freezer is a great way to have them on hand when you need them. Simply leave them out overnight or defrost them in the nuking machine microwave.


To make my mother happy, I decided to bake a cake with a few blackened bananas that were taking up her precious freezer space. Hummingbird Cake is a moist cake with bananas, pineapple, coconut and walnuts. It is one of the easiest cakes to prepare and it is delicious on its own, but paired with Cream-Cheese Icing, this cake is the perfect choice for afternoon tea or for a birthday party.


Hummingbird Cake with Cream-Cheese Icing

(adapted from a recipe by Valli Little found in Delicious magazine April 2003)

250g self-raising flour, sifted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

250g brown sugar

50g dessicated coconut

50g walnuts, finely chopped

440g can crushed pineapple, well drained

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs

200ml vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Icing

100g cream cheese, at room temperature

50g unsalted butter, softened

225g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 22cm (9 inch) square cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and cinnamon. Add the sugar, coconut, walnuts, pineapple, banana, eggs and oil and give it a good mix.
  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed in the middle.
  4. Allow the cake to stand in the tin for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
  5. For the icing, combine the cream cheese, butter, icing and vanilla extract in a bowl. Using a hand-held mixer, beat until smooth. Spread on top of the cooled cake.

7 Responses to “Hummingbird Cake with Cream-Cheese Icing”

  1. What a wonderful cake and so beautifully photographed!

  2. OH thank GOD! I have been looking with disdain at 2 black bananas left over from one of Mr Stickyfingers’ cycling training rides for ‘Around the Bay in a Day’. On Sunday I will be at a BBQ while he peddles the 250km in his lycra ensemble – probably for 10hours – CRAZY MAN – and I need to bring something sweet along. Problem solved. Respect.

  3. Truffle, thank you! :)

    Stickyfingers, give it a go! It’s lip-smacking delicious! (and I hope you save a piece for Mr. Stickyfingers – he deserves it after 250km!)

  4. An all-time-fav cake! I love love this cake!

  5. tried this today, was fab :) amazed at how wonderfully easy it is too! thanks for sharing!

  6. 6 Fran Rowe

    I found your site while looking for a Hummingbird cake recipe having misplaced my old favourite. Your recipe was great … and I’ve came back looking for more great ideas. Great site.


  7. 7 Jacqui Y

    Thank you again for this recipe!!!!
    It’s just the best!

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