Sara Foster's Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake

Makes one 8 or 9-inch 3 layer cake


For the Cake

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup canola or other vegetable oil

3 large eggs, beaten

2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4)

One 8-ounce can cushed pineapple with juice

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

For the Frosting

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened

6 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon bourbon

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

Prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease and flour three 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl and stir to mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together the canola oil and eggs until combined. Add the bananas and crushed pineapple with juice and stir to mix.

Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula just to combine. Stir in the vanilla and the pecans.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake on the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edges of the pans before turning the cakes out onto baking racks to cool completely before frosting.

Prepare the frosting: Cream the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and beat until all is incorporated. Beat in the bourbon and vanilla to combine.

Assemble: Once the cakes have cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to slice off the rounded top portion of each cake to make a flat, even surface. Discard the trimmings. Place one layer, cut side down, on a large plate or cake stand. Spread evenly with about one third of the frosting and sprinkle with about one third of the pecans. Repeat with the remaining layers.

If not serving within 2 hours, store in the refrigerator, then remove the cake about 1 hour before serving and let come to room temperature.