Kwanzaa Inspired Hummingbird Cake

This Southern favorite has tons of flavor with cinnamon, pineapple, bananas and toasted pecans. A traditional hummingbird cake has three layers, so go for it if you're feeling adventurous!

3/4 cup pecans, plus more for garnish (garnish optional)

1 cup unbleached flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups chopped bananas

1 15-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

For the frosting: 1/2 pound Neufchatel cheese, softened

For the frosting: 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

For the frosting: 2 teaspoons vanilla

For the frosting: 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake pecans on a sheet pan for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool, then chop coarsely. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans then coat lightly with flour. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in oil, milk and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry until flour is completely moistened. Fold in bananas, pineapple and chopped pecans. Spread the batter in the prepared pans. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes before removing from pans. Let cool completely.
  2. Use electric mixer or stand mixer to beat Neufchatel cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated, then high until fluffy. Spread bottom layer with 1/3 of frosting, then top with second layer and frost top and sides of cake. Decorate with pecan halves.

Tips & Notes

Keeps, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 days.


Yield: 12 servings