Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hummingbird Cake

Southern Living published the first Hummingbird Cake recipe in 1978 and it's been a southern staple ever since. The fruit makes this cake super-moist and we all know how awesome cream cheese icing is! This cake isn't super sweet either. In fact, I may have eaten it for breakfast...

My take is a little less time-intensive than some versions of the recipe but just as delicious (ask my co-workers who sampled it this week!). I've also substituted Splenda for sugar and added nutmeg for an extra kick so give it a try and see what you think. 

What You'll Need:
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup Splenda for baking
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 medium bananas, diced
3 large eggs
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup vegetable oil 
8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1 package instant vanilla pudding 
2 cups milk

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 tablespoons milk

What to Do:
Mix the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the fruit, eggs, oil and vanilla. You can add the pecans to the cake mix or save them to sprinkle over the top of the cake. Mix everything until just incorporated. 

Generously coat four 8-inch cake pans or two 13x9 in sheet pans with Crisco (yes, you have to use Crisco) and flour. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until your utensil of choice comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then completely on a rack. Refrigerate the cake at least 2 hours before assembling to keep it from crumbling when you frost it (I promise you'll thank me).

Meanwhile, make the pudding according to the instructions on the box and chill. Mix the icing ingredients adding milk to thin it out to your liking. Chill the frosting until about 30 minutes before you use it to let it soften.

To assemble, layer pudding between cake. Be careful not to add too much or it will squish out when you ice it! If you're using 13X9 pans, you can cut each layer in half to make a larger 4-layer cake OR you can make two small cakes like I did. Each pan will make a mini 4-layered cake.  Frost cake with two, thin layers, refrigerating in between layers. Top with pecans if you'd like. 

This is a great dessert to make ahead of time and assemble just before serving. And perfect for Easter or Mother's day. 

This recipe is dedicated to my loving grandmother, Sarah, who loved the Spring and adored hummingbirds. 

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