Sunday, September 13, 2015

Vegan hummingbird cake

Hummingbird cake is one of my favourite cakes, so I am surprised not to have baked it (or at least not posted about it) in the 4.5 years of this blog. I clearly have some catching up to do!

Apparently hummingbird cake is particularly popular in the Southern United States. My memories of it are Australian and come from my mother, who made a delicious banana-pineapple cake when we were growing up. For those of you who aren't familiar with the hummingbird concept, it is a moist banana-pineapple cake that can also include cinnamon and pecans. It is often served with a cream cheese frosting and perhaps for that reason, I think of it as a cousin to carrot cake. (Alternatively, I may link hummingbird and carrot cake because they are probably my two favourite cake varieties.)


This version is true to the original concept but veganised. I left out pecans because I prefer the cake without them, and left out cinnamon because I forgot it. That omission is probably for the best, because Mr Bite is not a big cinnamon fan and I was rewarded by him praising this cake highly. I won't risk tampering with it by adding cinnamon in the future!

I made the icing using soy-coconut yoghurt, lemon juice, coconut oil and icing sugar. The result is surprisingly cream cheese-like, although I won't claim it passes as a traditional cream cheese icing. However, there is a tang to the sweetness that gives a similar effect.

A bonus of this cake is there is no electric mixing required, and you do not need to measure or mix wet and dry ingredients separately. I do like a one bowl cake! This isn't technically one bowl because you'll need to mash the banana before mixing it in, but it's very close.

I scattered rose petals on top of this for visual appeal, but they are obviously optional. I also kept the icing minimal so if you want a thicker layer, I recommend doubling my ingredients below.

Hummingbird cake
A vegan take on the classic banana-pineapple combination
Makes 1 medium cake to serve around 8

Author: Bite-sized thoughts

For the cake -
235g (1-3/4 cup) plain flour
50g (1/4 cup) coconut sugar
70g (1/3 cup) granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla
1 large banana, mashed
125ml (1/2 cup) pineapple juice
110g (1/2 cup) crushed or chopped pineapple
85ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil

For the icing (double ingredients if you want a fully iced cake as this will make enough for the top but not sides) -
125g (1 cup) icing sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) coconut oil, melted
30ml (2 tbsp) non-dairy yoghurt of choice
5ml (1 tsp) lemon juice
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla

Preheat your oven to 180'C / 350'F and prepare a medium round cake tin.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt). Add the wet ingredients (vanilla, banana, pineapple, oil) and stir through.

Transfer the batter to your prepared tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

When the cake is cool, make the icing by whisking all icing ingredients together. Spoon over the top of the cake and allow to drizzle down the sides.

What are your favourite cake varieties?


  1. I always got confused with hummingbird and lumberjack cake (though I remember loving both). I'd have to leave out the pecans too as the kids would probably just pick them out but I love nuts in cake.

    1. I hadn't heard of lumberjack! I just looked it up and it seems as if it features apples and dates rather than banana and pineapple. I will have to try that out though as I enjoy those fruits in baking too :-)

  2. I am very fond of hummingbird cake - have actually posted about one ages ago and not made it then which is very sad - it always seemed a cafe cake rather than one that my mum made so you are lucky to have grown up with the home made version. I love the rose petals on top - I have some rose petals but never think to just scatter them on a cake

    1. The cafe hummingbird cakes are always impressive works of art - so I can see why you might associate it with cafes rather than home baking! Our home ones were simpler but we were certainly still fortunate to have them :-)

  3. I haven't heard of this cake before, but that icing sounds incredible. Could I just eat it out of the bowl? ;)

  4. I love how this can be made in one bowl. And hummingbird cake is one of my favourites too. But I wouldn't mind a bit of cinnamon in mine! I think you came up with a fantastic veganised cream cheese frosting! xx

    1. I would probably like it with cinnamon too, truth be told ;)

  5. Yum. This sounds great. I love the moistness and the icing:) on a hummingbird cake. I do like nuts in it though:)


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