This hummingbird cake is tender, slightly sweet and made right in your cast iron skillet. It is an easy dessert to prepare and the taste is heavenly!
Kitchen tools don’t have to be expensive or have a big name attached to them to be useful and indispensable. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you probably already own one of my favorite kitchen tools, a cast iron skillet.
Why Use A Cast Iron Skillet?
One of the best things about cast iron skillets is that they heat evenly. Even heating means that your proteins will brown better and your vegetables will cook faster without having to constantly monitor your heat source or rotate pans.
Cast Iron can also easily be transferred from your stovetop to your oven because it can handle the high oven temperatures, it is naturally nonstick, and it is easy to clean.
All of this makes the cast iron perfect for frying and for baking recipes like this Hummingbird Cake.
Where Did Hummingbird Cake Get Its Name?
The true origin of the cake is unknown. The first known printing of the recipe was by Southern Living Magazine in 1978 which was given the recipe from Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, however, the recipe author gave no indication of how she came up with the name.
Some believe that with the tropical flavors (pineapple, bananas, and coconut) the origin may be the Caribbean as the Hummingbird is the national bird of Jamaican.
Other ideas suggest that the cake draws people in like a hummingbird is drawn to sweet nectar or that people hover around the cake like a hummingbird hovers as it feeds or that the cake is so sweet, it will make you hum with delight. Pick your favorite theory and run with it. This cake is a must try!
How To Bake This Skillet Humming Bird Cake?
I believe that if you are going to invest in baking a cake and consuming cake calories, then using the best ingredients possible is a must. The outcome will be worth it!
For this cake you will need:
- Crushed Pineapple
- Apple Sauce
- Vegetable Oil
- Granulated Sugar
- Unbleached Super Fine Cake Flour
- Large Eggs
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 12 inch cast iron skillet
- Mixer (stand is easiest)
- Offset Spatula
- Colander or Strainer
While cast iron skillets generally do not need to be sprayed, I chose to spray mine with non-stick spray to ensure an easy cake slice removal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine crushed pineapple (drained), bananas, apple sauce, and vegetable oil. Using apple sauce will not only add moisture, but it will help keep the fat content to a minimum.
Add the granulated sugar and eggs and beat until combined; stir in the vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk together the the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients followed by the shredded coconut.
Not all Hummingbird cake recipes add shredded coconut to the batter. I personally love the texture that the coconut adds to the batter, it adds a subtle crunch in each bite of the baked cake.
I used Bob’s Red Mill cake and flour and unsweetened coconut for this recipe. This will be the only cake flour I ever use! It is made with low-protein, milled and sifted to a silky fine texture that will bake super soft and tender cakes (or any baked good for that matter) that has the perfect crumbly texture that all superior cakes should have.
Between the banana and pineapple, the apple sauce and the feathery light flour, this cake practically melts in your mouth.
While you prepare your batter, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After mixing, pour the batter into a 12 inch cast iron skillet and bake it for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake looks golden. Allow the cake to cool completely.
Despite the tenderness, this cake is the ideal vehicle for cream cheese frosting. For the frosting, I whip together Neufchatel cheese, a little butter, and powdered sugar. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and top with chopped walnuts or you can use toasted pecans if desired. Add more shredded coconut on top too!
Does A Hummingbird Cake Need To Be Refrigerated?
Any cake that uses a cream cheese frosting should definitely be refrigerated. Store this cake covered in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature just before serving.
Can A Hummingbird Cake Be Frozen?
You can freeze this cake for sure. My preference is to freeze the naked, unfrosted cake by wrapping it well in plastic wrap. When the cake is needed, bring it to room temperature then prepare the frosting just before serving.
This Hummingbird cake has a unique flavor that almost reminds me of banana bread. While the pineapple and banana are not separate pronounced flavors, they work harmoniously to bring you this slightly sweet, hearty yet subtle cake.
If you like this recipe see also:
- 3 bananas
- 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ½ cups Bob's Red Mill Super Fine Unbleached cake Flour
- ½ cup Bob's Red Mill Unsweetened Coconut
- Spray a 12 in cast iron skillet, pour, cake at 350 for 40-45 minutes
- 1 8 oz package Neufchatel, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 inch skillet with non stick spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the pineapple, bananas, applesauce, oil, and sugar. Beat until combined.
- Add eggs one a time, stir in vanilla.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and flour. Slowly add dry ingredients to we ingredients just until blended, do not over mix.
- Fold in coconut.
- Pour batter into the skillet and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Remove the cake from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool completely.
- While cake cools, prepare the frosting. In a bowl, beat together the cheese and the butter until creamy and smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until frosting is a spreadable consistency.
- Spread frosting over cooled cake and top cake with chopped walnuts.
If your frosting is too thick to spread, add a little heavy creamy to think out the frosting.
Amount Per Serving Calories 1420Total Fat 61gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 41gCholesterol 223mgSodium 992mgCarbohydrates 213gFiber 3gSugar 165gProtein 12g