This might just be the easiest Hummingbird Cake recipe ever.

Ann Taylor Pittman

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Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe Summary

active:
20 mins
bake:
35 mins
microwave:
6 mins
cool:
1 hr 25 mins
total:
2 hrs 26 mins
Yield:
1 (8-inch) cake
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It's no question that Hummingbird Cake is a beloved Southern classic; in fact, the original Hummingbird Cake first made its debut in Southern Living in 1978, the recipe submitted by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. Since then, we've come back to this dynamic spice cake year after year; our Test Kitchen has continued to get creative with the recipe, devising Hummingbird Cupcakes and a Hummingbird Bundt. And now, we come to you with a new Hummingbird recipe that's bound to be a household favorite: Hummingbird Snack Cake with Brown Butter Frosting.

This one-bowl wonder combines bananas, canned pineapple, cinnamon, allspice, and pecans to create a super-moist, fruity cake that can be enjoyed at any time of day. The sponge bears resemblance to a dolled-up banana bread; when topped with an irresistible brown butter frosting, this snack cake is a unique treat that packs just the right balance of sweet and spiced. Browning the butter in the microwave saves you a pan to clean up. The butter will pop and spatter, so weigh down the parchment that covers the bowl with a plate. Bonus: The parchment also keeps the plate clean.

Ingredients

Cake
Frosting

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Mash bananas in a large microwavable bowl until nearly smooth. Stir in pineapple, oil, and vanilla. Crack egg into bowl. Pierce egg using tip of a whisk, and lightly beat into pineapple mixture. Whisk in granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. Fold in flour, cinnamon, and allspice. Fold in pecans. 

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  • Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 33 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool in pan 5 minutes. Using parchment paper overhang, lift Cake from pan and transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely, 1 hour.

  • While Cake bakes, prepare the Frosting: Wash and dry the microwavable bowl. Place butter in bowl. Cover bowl with a sheet of parchment paper; place a microwavable plate on top of parchment to cover bowl. Microwave on HIGH until butter is amber colored, 6 to 9 minutes (butter will pop as it browns). Remove from microwave, and cool 20 minutes. Transfer bowl to refrigerator, and chill until butter starts to solidify, about 1 hour.

  • Remove butter from refrigerator; add whipping cream to bowl. Beat mixture using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Spread Frosting over cooled Cake.

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