Old Fashioned Hummingbird Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

This old fashioned hummingbird cake is so good. It never lasts long at my house. I read somewhere it is called hummingbird cake because it is so sweet the hummingbirds will eat it! Hummingbird cake will quickly become one of your favorite cakes.  This recipe is definitely a classic. This cake is perfect for any occasion and I think the cream cheese frosting makes this cake!

Hummingbird Cake Ingredients Needed: 

All-purpose flour

White sugar

Baking soda


Ground cinnamon


Vanilla extract

Oil (I used Canola)

Crushed pineapple


Pecans, chopped

As you can see from the ingredients it’s a simple cake but it is loaded in flavor. The pineapple and the bananas is what makes this cake. So many people enjoy this cake for Easter but we love it for Thanksgiving too.

I like to keep this cake in the fridge since it is made with fruit.

Some of our favorite reviews: “I baked this cake just as the recipe called for. Excellent! I wondered what it would be like the next day as banana cake gets better in the fridge overnight. I never got the chance it was gone in no time! Thanks for this recipe.” – Nancy

“After looking at this recipe for about a year I finally made it last week. Oh my goodness it is wonderful. Now that the trial run is out of the way…haha!….this will be dessert for thanksgiving!…I’ve passed the recipe on. Thank you!!!” – Lynn

“This is the BEST cake I have ever made using this recipe! I have made it several times since I caught this recipe a few months back and am going to make it for Easter…” – Linda

“Served this cake at Thanksgiving dinner and my family loved it!” -Sandra

Full recipe in recipe card below.

 Hummingbird Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

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Hummingbird Cake

The Southern Lady Cooks
This is an old fashioned recipe and a wonderful cake.
5 from 33 votes
Course Cake
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cake


Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups oil I used Canola
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 2 cups bananas mashed or about 3 large bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter or margarine or 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons
  • 3.5 cups confectionery sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  • Combine flour, sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon. Mix together with whisk. Add eggs, vanilla extract, oil, pineapple, bananas and pecans and mix with a spoon until all ingredients are wet.
  • Spray 3 (9 inch) round cake pans or a 9 x 13 inch pan. Add batter and bake in preheated 350 degree oven 30 to 35 minutes until cake is done in center.
  • Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Directions

  • Whip all frosting ingredients together with mixer until smooth and of spreading consistency.


You can make this in a 9X13 or a 3 layer cake. You may have to adjust your cooking time, but just watch for the center to be done. 
I keep this cake in the fridge or a cool place. 
Keyword Hummingbird Cake
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Recipe Rating


  1. Jean Philbrook says:

    This cake is the best. My friends ask me to make it for all holiday occasions. Sooo moist and tasty.5 stars

  2. I’m sure someone has already asked this question somewhere down the line but I couldn’t find it in the comments so I guess I’ll have to ask it again….Do you use salted or unsalted butter in the frosting?

    1. It doesn’t matter, I’ve used both and couldn’t tell one ounce of a difference. Thanks!

  3. Mercy Stone says:

    I have made this cake for my family for Easter the past few years. Big hit every time! This year however, much of my family have cut out refined sugar. Do you have a recommendation on an alternative?5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      No I sure don’t, we have only ever made it this way.

  4. Amazing cake, it’s now a family favourite here in Shropshire, England and requested for most birthdays. Thank you for sharing! Is this cake suitable for freezing, without the cream cheese frosting? Thank you.5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      So glad you’re enjoying this cake! I’ve never frozen it, but I think it would freeze fine without the frosting. Thanks!

  5. could you tell me how ripe the banana’s are suppose to be? With banana bread they have to be very ripe. I prefer not to ripe and wasn’t sure what stage of ripeness to use. As I am on a fixed income now I can’t afford to waste it. Thanks so much for your help with this. The pig pickin cake is the same recep. I have used. My granny passed it down to me when I was little. She passed when I was 9 but I remember what a great cook she was & her love. Always great a cake at any time of the year! Thanks for posting such great recp.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      It really doesn’t matter. They just need to be ripe enough to mash them. Thanks!

  6. I baked this cake just as the recipe called for. Excellent! I wondered what it would be like the next day as banana cake gets better in the fridge overnight. I never got the chance it was gone in no time! Thanks for this recipe.5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      So happy your family enjoyed this cake, Nancy, and thank you for your wonderful comment. Happy to have you on the site. Have a great weekend.

  7. Hi does this get baked in glass pans or dark non stick? Thank you!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I have dark pans and that is what I use but I think it could be baked in either.

  8. Love the Hummingbird Cake. Made it a number of times for church lunches. Everyone loves it here in Canada!!5 stars

  9. The Southern Lady says:

    I hope your mother has a wonderful birthday, Reed, and I hope she enjoys the cake.

  10. Loved this cake recpie! Mr V…just purred, as he was saying purrrfect cake, the best ever! Whether it came from New Orleans or a southern grandma…it’s fantastic, and super easy! Love that combo…;) tyvm!

  11. After looking at this recipe for about a year I finally made it last week. Oh my goodness it is wonderful. Now that the trial run is out of the way…haha!….this will be dessert for thanksgiving!…I’ve passed the recipe on. Thank you!!!5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Happy you like the cake Lynn and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  12. Donna Watkins says:

    This sounds amazing and will be my desert for Thanksgiving this year. But if I make it in a tube pan how long would you recommend baking it?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I would cook the same amount of time and just check to make sure center is done.

      1. Do you think it would work with gluten free flour?

      2. The Southern Lady says:

        I’ve never used gluten-free flour in this recipe. I can’t advise. Thanks!

  13. My mother used to make this cake and another of her favorites was 7-Up Cake. I love them both. They are somewhat similar and equally as delicious. Thanks for sharing your love of cooking and good food.5 stars

  14. A true southern cake right out of st Charles hotel Nola no sub’s in this recipe keep it original

    1. I am from NOLA too and my husband worked at the St. Charles Hotel. I don’t remember if the recipe is the same as I lost it during Katrina but I am delighted to have this one.

  15. This is the BEST cake I have ever made using Judy’s recipe! I have made it several times since I caught this recipe a few months back and am going to make it for Easter…5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much Linda! This will make a great cake for Easter. So happy you are enjoying this recipe and thank you for letting me know.

  16. No m’aam, the Hummingbird cake was developed by the chef at the Hummingbird Hotel on St Charles Avenue in New Orleans. It was built in 1947 and had a 24 hour restaurant. The hotel closed about 10 years ago.5 stars

  17. Paula Apon says:

    Family favorite, have made this for over 25 years and still love it.

  18. Would self rising flour work just as well? Then the baking soda and salt could be left out, right?

  19. Could I use butter, instead of the oil??

  20. Olga Duarte- LAREDO TEXAS says:

    Tried this cake without the cream cheese frosting and it delicious. Thank you.5 stars

  21. I’m allergic to bananas..could you leave those out?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I have never tried it without the bananas.

    2. Nacy killian says:

      My foster momma was allergic as well..I tried without and it was not worth eating. I may experiment with carrots for her and fake banana flavoring.5 stars

  22. Stephanie says:

    Pecans are hard to get. . could I use peanuts or other nuts instead?

  23. Made this cake yesterday it was great!!!5 stars

  24. Linda Bond says:

    I made this cake and must of the best cakes I have ever ate and my friends all approved. It seems I will be making this for a lot of outings, as told by my friends. LOL! Moist and the cream cheese frosting is perfect for this cake.

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe Judy!5 stars

  25. I made this cake twice within the last week and used 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar. It may have been the humidity, but frosting was just right! Love this cake. Also, have substituted Stevia in the Raw for sugar in many cakes – only difference is the Stevia cake is about 1/4 inch shorter.5 stars

  26. Kim on Oct. 15, 2013 says:

    I had trouble with the frosting….it was gritty and thin. I could not get it to the right consistency so I could spread it on the cake. It was runny and would not stay on, so we just let it run and added extra (with a spoon) to each piece of cake. They ate it all so it must have been good even it it it was not pretty. 🙂

  27. I just made this delicious cake? Do I need to store it in the refrig due to the cream cheese frosting?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, I would refrigerate or put in a cool place, Lisa.

  28. Julie Cavalier says:

    My husband is a diabetic and I was wondering how can I make it a diabetic cake?

    1. Annie Virella says:

      I use the equivalent with Splenda.

      1. Julie Cavalier says:

        Thank you. Can I also use Splenda in the cream cheese frosting as well?

  29. Wilma, I have an old recipe for fruit cake you soak cheese cloth is rum, wrap it and store 4/5 weeks from my gramma…message me if you want it <3

  30. Rita Weiner says:

    I only have 2 (9″) pans. Can I use another type of pan?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You could make it in a 9 x 13.

    2. Rita, I made a Hummingbird Cake today and I used a tube baking pan. This cake goes to my grandson. He does not care for bananas or pineapple but loves this cake. I do not always tell him what the ingredients are in something.


  32. I made it for myself for my birthday and I ate the whole thing. The batter made 1.5 cakes. It was so yummy!5 stars

    1. So happy you enjoyed this for your birthday and hope it was a good one. So happy you enjoyed the cake, too. I love it myself.

  33. Chuck Taylor says:

    This is a very old recipe from many many years ago. It’s very good, light and tropical. I really like it! Thanks!5 stars

    1. Thank you, Chuck, for saying this cake is “Light”. I put that on my Facebook page and was practically attacked by people saying it was a very dense, heavy cake. I would totally describe it as light.

  34. Served this cake at Thanksgiving dinner and my family loved it!5 stars

  35. Can you make this glutin free by using glutin free flours if so what mixture do I use thanks Diane

  36. I have heard of a hummingbird cake but have never had one. It sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  37. nicoleschumacher391987856 says:


    OMG Thank you! I never heard of that cake, but I love it already! I will replace the pecans with walnuts (pecans are hard to find here). Undrained pineapple: So you add them with the juice they’re in?

    Greetings from icy Germany,


    Am 30.11.2012, 00:56 Uhr, schrieb The Southern Lady Cooks

    1. That’s what I called it got it a very long time ago ….made without frosting as a bundt cake still very good.

  38. I have made this cake before and it is to die for… very good.5 stars