Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hummingbird Cake

Happy Easter everyone! Like I had mentioned in my earlier post, I got to make a lot sweet treats for our Easter family gathering. I must say, it was a baker’s heaven! Another treat I made was this wonderful Hummingbird cake from Joy of Baking. Hmm… why is it called hummingbird? It certainly doesn’t include any birds of the sort, BUT! One story I read online was that it is called Hummingbird cake because the cake is so heavenly sweet that it can make these little birds very happy! Well, I am no bird myself, but it did make me happy! The combination of banana and pineapple (I actually pureed fresh pineapple) was very nice. I am always nervous to make whole cakes rather than cupcakes because of the cake deforming phase, but this came out very nicely (just need to spray the cake pan very well). Hope yours turns out well!
Again, hope you had a lovely weekend and may you be blessed with the love of God!

 Hummingbird Cake

1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup safflower, corn, or canola oil
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 - 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, do not drain
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium sized bananas)

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box (about 3 2/3 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Pecan halves, for garnish (optional)

Hummingbird Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. 
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop finely.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
In another large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped pecans. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25 to30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting. 
Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the finely chopped pecans.
To assemble: Place one cake, top side down, onto your serving platter. Spread with about a third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake layer, top of cake facing up, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Can garnish with pecan halves. Refrigerate the cake for about one hour so the frosting has time to set.
Serves 10 - 12 people.

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

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