Hummingbird Bundt Cake

March 22, 2017

Spring is officially here. Why not celebrate its arrival with a Hummingbird Bundt Cake? The sweet flavours of pineapple and banana make the perfect Spring time treat.

If you live in the US Spring heralds the arrival of hummingbirds. These delicate and gorgeous creatures migrate back more than 500 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Many of them returning to the same gardens they previously nested in. After such a long journey the birds are hungry and looking for the nectar that sustains them. Here in the UK there are no hummingbirds in sight. We do have signs of Spring everywhere. Flowers are bursting into bloom and birds are gathering material for their nests. Bird song is an accompaniment to lighter and brighter mornings.

What could be a more apt cake for spring than a Hummingbird bundt cake? This cake is a tradition in the American South. The recipe has been appearing in American magazines since the seventies. There are many names for it, “Doctor Bird Cake,” “A Cake That Doesn’t Last,” “Tropical Treat Cake and the more popular Hummingbird cake. The original recipe probably came from Jamaica. The Red-billed streamertail, a type of hummingbird, is Jamaica’s national bird. Often known as the doctor bird because of the way it probes a flower with a long beak as if examining a patient. The bird became associated with the cake as it is so sweet with the banana and pineapple it will attract a hummingbird.

Hummingbird bundt cake

Hummingbird Bundt Cake

I love Spring, it brings a sense of renewal. The cold grey darkness of the winter is over and there is the promise of regrowth and sunny days ahead. It is a time to start getting outside more and making the most of the sunshine. Whilst is is warmer the wind can still be cold and a cup of tea with a slice of cake is a welcome afternoon treat. My baking days are a Sunday. It is a day when I have a slight chance to relax. Saturdays are for house work and the rest of the week I am at work. Sundays I like to spend in the kitchen, cooking and baking for the week ahead. When thinking of a cake that was perfect for Spring I remembered making Hummingbird Cupcakes. These light and sweet cakes were perfect for Spring. I wanted to adapt the recipe to use my bundt cake tin which has been sitting in my cupboard for ages. I made a marble bundt cake with it a long time ago. The flowery shape of the tin is perfect for a Spring treat.

Hummingbird bundt cake

The mix of pineapple and banana in the cake makes for a wonderful moist cake which is perfect with a cup of tea. In the original hummingbird cake recipe the frosting is layered between the cake.  For the bundt cake frosting on the top is perfect. The cake is topped with a cream cheese icing and pecan nuts which give it a little crunch. The pecans are lightly toasted to enhance their taste. If you do not have pecans use walnuts instead.

Hummingbird Bundt Cake Recipe


  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious cake with banana and pineapple, perfect for a Spring day


  • 500g pecan nuts
  • 1kg plain flour
  • 680g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 bananas
  • 400g tin crushed pineapple
  • 180ml sunflower oil
  • 1½ tsp vanilla essence

For the glaze

  • 110g cream cheese
  • 700g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essense
  • 2 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4
  2. Chop the pecans into small pieces. Place them in a large pan and cook for 8 minutes until toasted
  3. Mash the banana
  4. In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  5. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, pineapple, oil and vanilla and stir until smooth
  6. Grease a large bundt tin
  7. Sprinkle the pecans into the top of the bundt tin, keeping aside some for decoration
  8. Add the cake batter to the bundt tin over the pecans
  9. Cook for an hour or just over until a skewer inserted in the mixture comes out clean
  10. Leave to cool for fifteen minutes then turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely
  11. To make the icing mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla essence and 1 tbsp milk until smooth
  12. Add the remaining milk slowly whilst whisking until smooth
  13. Pour the icing over the cake and decorate with the remaining pecans.

Why not pin the recipe to make later?

Custard Tarts

Have you ever tried hummingbird cake before? Let me know below.

Read more:

6 responses to “Hummingbird Bundt Cake”

  1. Galina V says:

    Most beautiful cake, Alison, I imagine the pineapple makes it very moist. Pinned it on my Bundt cakes board.

  2. Anne Kepner says:

    That’s great! I like to eat pineapple and banana, and I find recipe to make hummmingbird bundt cake – The sweet flavours of pineapple and banana make the perfect Spring time treat. I think my family love it. Thanks for your post.
    I try to make it at weekend when we go to picnic.

  3. Oh how scrumpious! send some my way 🙂

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