Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hummingbird Cake

My birthday is in March.  Making my birthday cake is a pleasure.  I start thinking about it a couple of months in advance.

I naturally prefer chocolate desserts, but this year and last year, I changed it up a bit.  Last year I made carrot cake cupcakes, and this year I made a hummingbird cake.  Yum!

I have made some cakes for my friends' birthdays as well.  I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting for one friend.  For another friend, I made a chocolate cake with caramel frosting.  

I asked for a cookbook called American Cake for Christmas from my parents, and they graciously obliged.  The cherry upside-down cake I made shortly after Christmas came from this book.  Both of these recipes were fantastic, and the book is very fun and interesting.

The book divides the cakes up into eras and provides a little history about each cake.  The hummingbird cake was developed as a marketing effort by the Jamaica Airlines.  The pineapple, bananas, and cinnamon are supposed to expose Americans to Jamaican flavors and encourage tourism to that beautiful country.

It was initially baked in a tube pan.  A few years later, it was published as a layer cake in Southern Living.  This version also had cream cheese frosting and added pecans.  Two wonderful additions in my book.  

The cake ingredients are 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups white sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 large eggs, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, 1 cup chopped pecans, and 1 cups mashed bananas.  I also used a few more chopped pecans as garnish.

The frosting ingredients are 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and pinch of salt.

I lined the bottom of three nine inch round cake pans with a circle of parchment.  I then greased and floured each pan.  I'm thorough.  I added the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.  I whisked the dry ingredients together.

I added the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla.  I mixed the batter together.

I then mixed in the mashed bananas, pineapple, and chopped pecans.

I evenly divided the batter into the three pans.  I baked the cake for 18 to 22 minutes at 350 degrees.

I let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing the cakes and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the cakes were completely cooled, I made the cream cheese frosting.  I creamed the cream cheese and butter together for less than a minutes.

I mixed in the salt and half of the confectioners' sugar.

I mixed in the vanilla and the remaining confectioners' sugar.

Frosting the cake was my favorite part.  I layers a dollop of frosting between each layer.

I then smoothed out a layer of frosting on the top and sides.  I went a little two heavy in the middle layers, but the outside layer was a little thin.  It was still beautiful

I garnished the top circumference with chopped pecans.

I don't want to brag about my own skills, but this was a pretty amazing cake.  

It was tender, moist, and flavorful.

The bananas, pineapple, and cinnamon made the cake feel taste wonderfully topical.  

The pecans gave the cake some crunch and nuttiness.  

It was very scrumptious and toothsome.  

It was sweet and decadent.

The frosting was taste, creamy, and smooth.  Eating this cake gave me a great deal of pleasure.  I give it two thumbs up!

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