An American Classic... The Hummingbird Cake
This American obsession is making a big splash in Australia recently, and I'm keen to try my hand at it! Pineapple, Banana and a whole lot of spice! It sounds right up my alley doesn't it? But this cake has been a worthy adversary for me over the past weeks, which I honestly didn't expect, it seemed like a straight forward, fruit cake recipe to me!
ATTEMPT NUMERO UNO: Too wet, because the batter was too thin all my chunky ingredients sank to the bottom of the batter and were the last to fall out of my mixing bowl and into the cake tin, so they were all clumped in the centre which made it really messy to cut, and the rest of the cake quite boring.
ATTEMPT NUMERO DUO: My second attempt was better, but came out of the oven under-cooked! Due to having too much flour in my batter (overcompensation for my last trial) my skewer test came out clean, so I removed it from the oven, let it cool.. iced it, only to find when I cut into it that it was raw in the centre.
ATTEMPT NUMERO TRE: Soo close, yet so far. I found the right ratio of wet to dry ingredients, it baked through, it was chunky, it was beautiful. But it was bland! It needed more spice, and the strong banana and pineapple flavour I was looking for just wasn't there. Perhaps because I left them in large chunks and didn't work them into the batter more?
ATTEMPT NIUMERO QUATRO: husband: "are you making hummingbird cake AGAIN?"
I doubled the spices, and I split the fruit into two halves. I kept half chunky, and worked half into a paste to ensure the flavour spread through the batter.. And the results... exactly what I had been searching for. Finally! A Hummingbird Cake to share with all of you.
MY TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE
#1 Grease the base and sides of your cake tin, then place a circle of parchment paper in the base, and strips around the edges. The butter under the parchment paper will hold it in place and prevent it from slipping when you pour in your batter.
If you’re also worried about your baking paper sticking to the cake a little, you can go one step further by greasing the baking paper and sifting a thin layer of flour onto it.
#2 To ensure that your eggs are mixed through your batter evenly, whisk them lightly with a fork before adding them to the batter! This way, you won't end up with streaks of egg white through your batter and avoid eggy chunks in your finished product.
#3 Beware the skewer test. In my many trial runs making hummingbird cake, I struggled to get the actual baking part of the recipe right! Because it's so choc full of fruit, the skewer test can be deceiving, sometimes you'll hit a chunk of banana and the skewer will come out dirty even if the cake is cooked, and other times, you think the skewer is 'clean enough', but it's actually under-cooked! My advice, worry about under-cooking and not over-cooking. You can't fix it if it's under-cooked, but the pineapple syrup will fix it if it's over-cooked.
#4 Cream cheese icing can be hard on cheap/weak electric beaters as it's so thick. To make it a little easier on your beaters, bring your ingredients to room temperature and add your liquid (vanilla essence) before you hit it with the beaters.
#5 We've cut the crust off the top of your cake in order to add our pineapple syrup, so be thorough when icing the top of your cake, because it's not just there for looks, or extra sweetness, it's also there to re-seal your cake and protect it from drying out.
#6 The amount of frosting this recipe makes is enough to ice the top of your cake, but not the sides. If you want to ice you cake entirely, I suggest doubling the frosting part of this recipe.
Click the 'yum' button below to save this recipe to your Yummly app.
Be sure to send us a photo of your batch and let us know how ‘yummy’ it was!