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Hummingbird cake

Hummingbird cake is a banana-pineapple spice cake common in the Southern United States. Ingredients include flour, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, ripe banana, pineapple, cinnamon, pecans, vanilla extract, eggs, and leavening agent. It is often served with cream cheese frosting [1][2][3] The cake has been a tradition in Southern cuisine since the mid-19th century.[4]

Hummingbird cake
Hummingbird cake - homemade.jpg
Alternative names Doctor Bird Cake
Type Cake
Place of origin Jamaica
Main ingredients Flour, sugar, vegetable oil, Bananas, pineapples, pecans, vanilla, eggs, spices
Cookbook: Hummingbird cake  Media: Hummingbird cake


Created on the island of Jamaica, the Hummingbird Cake was named after the island's national bird, where it is also known as the Doctor Bird cake (Doctor Bird is another name for the island's national bird). In 1979, the Jamaica Tourist Board exported the recipe for the Hummingbird Cake off the island of Jamaica, along with other local Jamaican recipes in media press kits sent to the USA. The marketing was aimed at American consumers to get them to come to the island. As printed in the March 29, 1979 issue of the Kingston Daily Gleaner (Jamaica): “Press kits presented included Jamaican menu modified for American kitchens, and featured recipes like the doctor bird cake, made from bananas.”[citation needed]

One of the first known publications of the recipe in US print, as written by L.H. Wiggin, was in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living. The cake won the Favorite Cake Award later that same year at the Kentucky State Fair.

It was selected Southern Living's favorite recipe in 1990 and was noted as the most requested recipe in the magazine's history.[5] The cake typically has two or three layers with pecans (or walnuts), mashed bananas, crushed pineapple and cream cheese frosting.


  1. ^ Long, Anne (5 July 1979). "Old-fashioned pickle recipe uses cassia buds". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Schaarsmith, Amy McConnell (1 June 2006). "Consider the cupcake: A plea to return to the joys of home baking". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Hummingbird Cake a Texas Treat". The Pittsburgh Press. 24 February 1991. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Country Living Great Cakes: Home-Baked Creations from the Country Living Kitchen. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. 1 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "6 Ways with Hummingbird Cake". Southern Living. Retrieved 14 August 2014.