The Crowd Pleaser | Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

When my lovely friends Joe and Kylie invited me to their place for a casual BBQ on Sunday afternoon, as always, I offered to bring some form of sweet treat. I was told that approximately sixteen people were going to attend, so I knew I had to make a huge cake or slice of sorts in order to feed the masses. The weather on Sunday was glorious and to maximise my time outside in the sun and minimise my time inside the kitchen, I chose to bake one of my most requested and loved recipes – hummingbird cake.

I love this recipe as it appeals to my inner lazy baker since it’s a one-bowl recipe, but also, it seems to please the fussiest of people! I’ve had people who claim to hate most of the ingredients in this cake (namely banana), but in my experience with this cake, they always seem to manage to lick their plates clean! Even my friend Joe exclaimed “You know Linda, I really hate nuts in cake, but damn, this is awesome!”

So, if you’re a lazy baker like me and have to cater for a large group, give this cake a go and trust me when I say, anyone and everyone will love it!

Hummingbird Cake

Adapted from a recipe I shared on  my old blog, Butter Sugar Flour :)

Serves 16.

375g self-raising flour, sifted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

375g brown sugar

75g desiccated coconut

100g walnuts, finely chopped

660g crushed pineapple, well drained

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

3 eggs

300ml vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Icing

100g cream cheese, at room temperature

50g unsalted butter, softened

225g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or seeds from a vanilla bean.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a large slab pan (approximately 30cm x 20cm x 5cm).

2. In a large bowl, combine flour and cinnamon. Add the sugar, coconut, walnuts, pineapple, banana, eggs and oil and give it a really good mix.

3. Spread the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed in the middle (if the cake ends up browning too quickly during cooking, cover with foil).

4. Allow the cake to stand in the tin for 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

5. For the icing, combine the cream cheese, butter, icing and vanilla using a hand-held mixer or freestanding mixer. Beat until smooth. Spread on top of the cooled cake.

[Print recipe]

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i’ve not once had hummingbird cake. always intrigued me, and would secretly hope my KY cousins would make it some day for us northerners. though now that my fiancée and i have lived in the south for over a year, i think we’ve been adopted and can try our own hands!



I have used your recipie many a times and it never fails. For an interesting addition I sometimes use macadameia nut oil to give a nutty flavour to the cake.

I’ve never even HEARD of Hummingbird Cake, but it’s definitely intriguing! Sounds kinda like an “everything but the kitchen sink” sort of cake. Mmmm. Now I’m off to convert all your crazy measurements! ;)

Hi just visited your blog for the first time. I’m cleary the food cupboard and have all the ingredients, so this is what we’ll be doing this afternoon. Have had the Hummingbird Cake before and just LOVED it. Cx

I have friends who say they hate coconut! Maybe this cake can transform them ;) Thanks a lot for the recipe, your pictures are gorgeous as always!

Oh myyyy, this looks so good! The frosting part is killing me.


Your hummingbird cake is a consistent winner in my household It never fails and I am always greeted with “Yums” and “Ohs” and “Ahs” I’m trying your passionfruit and raspberry marshmallows this eveninig. Hope all is well in your life


A question to make a “slab” hummingbird cake for 16 or thereabouts what size slab tin would I require?

oooooh, I’m a completely lazy baker. definitely will have to give this recipe a try. beautiful photo, m’dear.


Thanks everyone!

Fran, for this cake, my slab pan is approximately 30cm x 20cm x 5cm. I have amended the recipe to show this too. Happy baking! :)

i’ve never had hummingbird cake before. by the name, i thought it might have honey. i dunno why…just an instinct…hehe


Nice new blog you have here, Linda.
Loving this simple recipe! I love making simple yet delicious sweet treats!
Will definitely keep this recipe bookmarked!

I’m always feeding a crowd so I’ll keep this one. Really inspired by your lovely images. I’m dipping my toe in the DSLR water and veering towards Nikon (for no particular reason than stubborness as everyone seems to have Canon!). Any advice from an expert user gratefully received.

Ooh, I’ve never had hummingbird cake (but I am a world-class sucker for cream-cheese icing). I just discovered your blog from “Slow Like Honey,” and I can’t wait to read more about what’s cookin’ in your kitchen!

This looks delish! I’ve never had hummingbird cake…but I’m trying it now! Love your new blog :)

I’ve also never had a hummingbird cake, though I’ve heard about it…is sounds delicious to me!

I LOVE hummingbird cake!
i made it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and it was just absolutely amazingly moist & full of flavour, teamed with creamcheese makes it a winner :)


Thanks everybody, I’m thrilled it turned out well for you (if you gave it a go)! :)

Sally, email me any questions and I can try to help

Meister, Amanda from Slow Like Honey is my homegirl from the States. She and I are huge fans of cream cheese icing!

such a fun blog!!! just stumbled upon it today!!!
i need to make this recipe STAT!

looking forward to more of your posts!


Hummingbird slice made and in freezer for next week’s christening of baby Mary . This cake freezes well

i love that photo, and anything with cream cheese icing is awesome

Sharon Kavanagh

Found this while searching for “Crowd pleaser cakes”. Have just made it for the second time. It’s absolutely gorgeous. We don’t generally have “Hummingbird” cake in Ireland so it’s a real treat. Thanks for posting the recipe!

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Fran Rowe

Linda’s hummingbird cake is a staple in my household. Works every time and a great crowd pleaser ! thanks Linda

was working and suddenly I visits your site frequently and recommended it to me to read also. The writing style is superior and the content is relevant. Thanks for the insight you provide the readers!

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