I’m pretty sure that a how-hungry-will-this-make-you score should be posted at the beginning of each Southern Delicacy column, just as a warning if we’re approaching mealtime when you happen to be reading. Of course, since they’d all rate a 10 out of 10 on the danger scale, it might not be that helpful. Still, I’ll warn you: today’s focus on the sweet Southern favorite Hummingbird Cake is entirely delicious!
Call Me Cupcake
A traditional Hummingbird Cake has incredibly moist layers packed full of banana, pineapple, and coconut, with the nutty crunch of pecans and the slightly sour and salty finish of cream cheese frosting. Might sound a bit too healthy for dessert, but we promise, this one packs a sweet punch! My friend described the taste as a cross between banana bread and carrot cake!
Hummingbird cake ingredients via Hungry Gems
Like many Southern favorites, Hummingbird Cake has a confusing history. It’s also known as “granny cake” or “cake that don’t last,” and some sources have it originating in Australia or Jamaica. The first known publication, though, was in a February 1978 edition of Southern Living. Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, submitted the recipe, and it has grown to be SL’s most-requested recipe of all time. (And it’s won many blue ribbons at country fairs along the way!)
Hummingbird cake slice via Desserts for Breakfast, hummingbird cake with pecans via Call Me Cupcake, hummingbird cake slice via Sugar & Spice by Celeste
The original recipe published in SL actually called for twice the amount of frosting that their current recipe uses (wow!), but like I said, this one’s still for the sweet tooths among us. In fact, some say the Hummingbird Cake got its name because it’s as sweet as the sugared water that attracts its flying namesake.
On the left, hummingbird cupcake with pineapple almond butter cream cheese frosting via The Cupcake Project, and on the right, hummingbird cupcake with sweet cream cheese frosting from Crave Cupcakes
The other theory about the name is that each bite makes you hum with delight :)
Hummingbird bundt cake from Southern Living, hummingbird cake pops via Broma Bakery, hummingbird mini cheesecakes via Mangoes and Palm Trees
With its sweet flavor and sweet history, Hummingbird Cake is a perfect pick for Southern showers and weddings. We love the new formats above, especially the Hummingbird Cake Pops!
Hummingbird layer cake via Southern Weddings, edible flower bitesize hummingbird cakes via Sweet Life, hummingbird cake with dried pineapple flowers via Martha Stewart, hummingbird cupcakes topped with dried pineapple flowers via Seeded at the Table
Though I firmly believe that something so delicious doesn’t even need to be pretty, we loved the addition of dried pineapple flowers to the beauties above. They’d make a hummingbird proud, don’t you think?
Desserts for Breakfast
Now that your mouth is officially watering, tell me, have you tried Hummingbird Cake? Will you include it at your big day or a shower along the way?