This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Hummingbird Cake

Food

We first discovered the delightful Julia Busuttil when she generously contributed the most delectable Hummingbird cake for our epic cake table at the Rooftop Cinema screening we hosted recently.  Julia’s cake was the first to go – this lady can BAKE!  An Italian teacher by day, self taught culinary whizz by night, Julia has the most brilliant food blog called OSTRO which you should most definitely check out.  We are so chuffed to be sharing four of Julia’s most amazing home made cakes with you each Tuesday in May.

6th May, 2014

Ingredients for the Hummingbird Cake. Recipe by Julia Busuttil. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files.

Julia topping the Hummingbird Cake with pecans. Wooden Cake Stand from Country Road. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files.

A slice of the delicious Hummingbird Cake by Julia Busuttil. Kami Mug from Mr Kitly, Oslo Copper Pink Tableware fork from Third Drawer Down, No 14 Vienna Chair from Thonet.  Photo – Eve Wilson.Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files.

The spectacular Hummingbird Cake by Julia Busuttil. Wooden Cake Stand from Country Road. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull for The Design Files

Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro
Tuesday 6th May 2014

A  cake that has pineapple, bananas, pecans, cinnamon, and cream cheese frosting may appear to be a little confused. But somehow it works, and really well! Hummingbird cake emerged from a kitchen in North Carolina, America in the late 70’s, and is really a banana cake turned up a notch (or three)! With gems of pineapple studded throughout, and the crunch of the lightly toasted pecans, not to mention the frosting, this cake wins friends!

I’ve tasted some very sweet versions of this, but if you find the right balance, it is one of the best cakes you will ever eat!  It’s a big statement, but once you try it for yourself, I guarantee you will be a hummingbird cake advocate too.

You can make it as easy or as complicated as you like – just one cake smothered with cream cheese frosting is lovely for a simple afternoon tea, or a few cake layers, filled with extra pineapple, banana and frosting for something special. I love how impressively tall the layered cake looks, especially once you cut into it. This recipe makes enough for three cakes. You can halve the quantity if you’re after something a little more modest.

If you’ve decided to fill the cake with the extra banana and pineapple, the cake will be even more delicious the following day!

ingredients

For the cake

3 eggs
200ml olive oil
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
380g self-raising flour
300g caster sugar
140g pecans, lightly toasted, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
320g fresh pineapple
3-4 really ripe bananas, mashed

For the frosting

100g unsalted butter, softened
400g cream cheese frosting
500g icing sugar, sifted

For the filling

80g reserved fresh pineapple reserved, drained really well
1 ripe banana, mashed

To serve

Pecans, lightly toasted

 

METHOD

For the cake

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line three 20cm round cake tins.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, and vanilla until well combined. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pecans and cinnamon and stir to combine. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and beat well.

In a food processor, blitz the pineapple until crushed, but not yet pureed. Reserve 80g for the filling and put the remainder into the cake mixture, juice and all! Add the banana too and mix until thoroughly combined.

Divide batter into the three cake tins and bake in the oven until a skewer or tooth pick comes out clean when placed in the centre of the cake. Leave to cool a little in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before assembling.

For the filling

Mash the banana and combine in a bowl with the reserved 80g of crushed pineapple.

For the frosting

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and there are no lumps. Slowly add the icing sugar until well incorporated.

To assemble

Place one cake on the bottom of a serving plate or board. Spread with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting and distribute half of the filling mixture on top. Repeat with the next cake layer, making sure the cakes are in line with each other. Finish layers with the third cake.

Place a big spoonful of the cream cheese frosting on the top of the cake and with a palate knife, slowly work your way down and around the cake. This is the first layer of frosting (a.k.a. crumb coat), to smooth it all out and pack down the crumbs, so don’t be too pedantic. Once the whole cake is thinly covered, pop the cake in the fridge for about an hour or until the icing has firmed a little.

Finish the cake with the final layer of frosting. Top with lightly toasted pecans.

HUGE THANKS Julia Busuttil of OSTRO for sharing her amazing sweet recipes with us this month, and to Eve Wilson for the gorgeous shots! 

View Comments

Similar Stories

Food

Lemon Cake with Whipped Ricotta & Lemon Curd

SO SAD to be saying goodbye to our amazing contributor Julia Busuttil today!  We have loved sharing her incredible cakes with you this m...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

Food

Chocolate Almond Cake with Roasted Rhubarb

Another total crowd pleaser from Julia Busuttil of OSTRO today!  Julia’s chocolate almond cake is in all honesty the most deliciou...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

Food

Polenta and Olive Oil Cake with Vin Santo Pears

Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

This Week

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey
2:04

Inside Look

Behind The Scenes At The NGV’s Epic New Picasso Exhibition

Exhibition designer Allie Mactier takes us through one of the National Gallery of Victoria's biggest exhibitions ever.

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras
  23 hours ago

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

Architecture

A Timeless Renovation Incorporating Three Eras Of Design History

The Autumn House by Studio Bright unites a Victorian terrace with its 1980s renovation by architect Mick Jörgensen, in one contemporary des...

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Kuku Yalanji Artist Tiarna Herczeg Creates Colourful Maps Of Country

The emerging artist shares how they found their creative voice and intuitive painting style, as their latest solo show opens in Sydney.
Christina Karras
  7 hours ago

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Similar Stories

Food

Lemon Cake with Whipped Ricotta & Lemon Curd

SO SAD to be saying goodbye to our amazing contributor Julia Busuttil today!  We have loved sharing her incredible cakes with you this m...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

Food

Chocolate Almond Cake with Roasted Rhubarb

Another total crowd pleaser from Julia Busuttil of OSTRO today!  Julia’s chocolate almond cake is in all honesty the most deliciou...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

Food

Polenta and Olive Oil Cake with Vin Santo Pears

Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net