Dayna Hoskin really knows how to bake up a storm.
~Best Recipes

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.

#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.

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Yield: 9Pin it


prep time: 45 minscook time: 1 hour and 15 minstotal time: 1 hours and 60 mins
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?


3 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
445g tin of pineapple pieces (strained, reserve juice)
2 eggs
100g chopped walnuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Pineapple Syrup
remaining pineapple juice
1 cup caster sugar

100g cream cheese
55g unsalted butter
1 cup icing sugar
dash of vanilla essence

+100g chopped walnuts


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Prepare a 9-ich (23cm) diameter cake tin. Set aside

Sift flour, salt, cinnamon and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Add brown sugar and combine thoroughly with a knife.

Using a blender, emulsify half of your strained pineapple and your bananas.

Using a manual/hand potato masher, mash the remainder of your strained pineapple and bananas roughly.

Create a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in 100g crushed walnuts, oil, lightly whisked eggs, bananas, pineapple juice and pineapple.

Spoon mixture into your pre-prepared cake tin.

Place into a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Place remaining Pineapple Juice into a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 cup of caster sugar and allow to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Remove from oven place in the fridge to chill while you prepare your icing.

Place cream cheese, vanilla essence, and butter into a small mixing bowl.

Cream together with electric beaters until you see a slight colour change, then gradually add your icing sugar. Beat on high until your icing is smooth in consistency.

Retrieve your cake from the fridge and using a bread knife, take the top off your cake to ensure you have a flat surface to work with, and to remove the hard top from the cake.

Slowly pour your pineapple syrup over the cake, let sit for 10 minutes while it soaks in.

Roughly spread your icing atop your cake.

In a mixing bowl, crumble up the off cuts of your hummingbird cake, and the remainder of your chopped walnuts, toss together with your fingers, and sprinkle around the edge of your cake. 


9-inch (23cm) diameter cake tin 
large mixing bowl
food processor/blender 
hand masher 
electric beaters 
bread knife
parchment or baking paper
wooden spoon

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