Depending on whom you talk to in my family the proper name of this rich, moist cake is either Hummingbird Cake or Dr. Bird Cake. My recipe is based on one from a fundraising cookbook published in the late 1970’s where it is called “Dr. Bird”. Either way, the recipe is an old favorite that I have modified over the years and is a perfect cake to contribute to a cookout, potluck or baking for the weekend when “company” is expected.
Like a carrot cake, it tastes better the second day. It works well as a layer cake (as I made here) or baked in one large pan (9”x 13”) or even in a Bundt or tube pan; simply adjust the cooking time. You’ll also need only half the frosting if baking in a 9”x 13” pan.
Dr. Bird (or Hummingbird) Cake
- 3 cups plain flour, sifted and then measured
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cup oil (vegetable or canola)
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup crushed pineapple
- 2 cups ripe, mashed bananas (about 2 large)
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup+ finely chopped pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 recipe cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
Cut rounds of parchment for 3, 8” or 9” cake pans. Grease and flour the inside rims of the pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and oil, mixing well. Then beat in each egg, add the buttermilk and the vanilla. Stir in the bananas and the pineapple.
Pour batter evenly into each pan and bake in preheated oven approx. 30-34 minutes. Remove to racks to cool.
After the cake layers are cooled completely, spread frosting over the top of the first layer and sprinkle with ½ the nuts. Add the next layer, frost and sprinkle with rest of the nuts. Add final layer and frost the entire cake. If you like you can sprinkle the frosted cake with more nuts.
Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 – 5 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¼ cup orange or lemon juice
Cream butter and cream cheese in mixing bowl and add in powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time until you have used 4 cups. Add in the vanilla and the juice. Then add in 1 more cup (more or less) of powdered sugar and keep beating it on medium high. Add in a little more powdered sugar, if necessary, to get the frosting to the consistency you like.