27 March 2013

Hummingbird Cake, an Easter Tradition

Easter in our house means lots of things, all of them bringing the family together. Sometimes it's a camping trip, other times it's picnics. Almost always, regardless of where we are, it means Hummingbird Cake for dessert on Easter Sunday.

The first time I had this beautiful cake was an Easter Sunday, many, many years ago. My step-sister Liz brought the dessert, a magnificent cake, topped with dozens of tiny chocolate and candy coated Easter eggs for the kids.

Oh my was that cake good. Moist. Rich. Light and full of a wonderful flavour. And it's been an Easter tradition ever since.

So, with Easter Sunday just a few days away, I brought out the recipe yesterday to check I had all the ingredients ready for baking on Saturday night. The boys' eyes lit up when they saw what recipe I was looking at, they love Hummingbird Cake too.

So I thought I'd share the recipe with you, and a little of the story behind our Easter tradition. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Hummingbird cake

3 cups plain flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
2 cups diced bananas (about 3 regular bananas)

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Prepare three 22cm round cake tins by greasing well, lining the base with baking paper and flouring the sides.  Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup chopped nuts and bananas. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake  25 to 30 minutes; cool in pans 10 minutes then turn out onto cake racks to cool completely. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped nuts.

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
500g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and butter; beat until smooth. Add icing sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.

Store this cake in the fridge as it has cream cheese frosting. Let it come to room temperature to serve.

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