Hummingbird Cake

20 Jun

Just spotted this recipe on Saveur magazine’s web site — some great Southern recipes can be found there. This recipe seen below was provided by Mammy’s Cupboard restaurant in Natchez, MS. We first discovered hummingbird cake during our time in the Magnolia State. Some say it reminds them of carrot cake … I say it’s a cross between coconut cake and pineapple upside down cake. Yankees find it similar to the traditional Italian creme cake. Regardless of the origins, it is darn good. Do yourself a favor and make a homemade cake for a change. You deserve it and your Granny will be proud!

3 tsp. butter, softened
3 cups plus 3 tbsp. flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1⁄2 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs, well beaten
6 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed
1  8-oz. can crushed pineapple
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp. almond extract
1⁄2 tsp. coconut extract

14 oz. cream cheese
8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease each of three 9″ round cake pans with 1 tsp. of the butter, dust each with 1 tbsp. of the flour, tapping out excess, and set aside.

2. Combine the remaining 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add oil and eggs and mix well. Add bananas, pineapple, coconut, pecans, cinnamon, and vanilla, almond, and coconut extracts, and mix well. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 25–30 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly, remove cakes from pans, then set aside to cool completely.

2. For the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, almond, and coconut extracts in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth, then reduce speed to medium-low and gradually beat in sugar.

3. Assemble and frost cake, spreading 1 1⁄2 cups of the frosting evenly between the three layers of cake and use the remainder to frost top and side of cake completely.

Note: Saveur is a terrific magazine for foodies and very reasonably priced.

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