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Hummingbird Cake

This nut-free recipe for Hummingbird Cake is full of pineapple, banana, and sunflower seeds!  

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

History of the Hummingbird Cake

The hummingbird cake is a popular dessert that originated in Jamaica in the 1950s.

It is said that the cake was named after the island’s national bird, the hummingbird, because it is sweet and irresistible, just like the bird itself.

The cake is made with a combination of bananas, pineapples, and pecans, and is typically topped with a cream cheese frosting.

It has become a favorite in many countries around the world, and is often served at special occasions such as birthdays and weddings.

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

Some people also enjoy it as a delicious treat on a hot summer day.

There’s so much flavor you won’t miss the nuts! 


I’m allergic to nuts.  I mean, I can have peanuts because technically they’re a legume, but almonds, walnuts, cashews… they make me swell up and honestly I don’t want to know what happens after that.

Since Hummingbird Cake traditionally has nuts in it, I’ve never tried it because of that.

I was recently at an event where the Hummingbird Cake was made by Dog Tag Bakery.  

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

DTB is a nut-free bakery and when I realized that the cake would have no nuts I jumped at the chance to try it!

This recipe actually is the same recipe they use at Dog Tag Bakery!  

I’m so blessed to know the pastry chef there and she was so gracious to share it with me!  Thank you, Rebecca!

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

Holy cow… I’ve been missing out in my life!!  

The combination of the banana and pineapple together make the Hummingbird cake incredibly moist and flavorful.

Add the crunch of sunflower seeds and the richness of the cream cheese frosting and  OH MY this cake is out of this world!

Making this cake was fun too.  

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

It was the first cake I assembled at my photographers studio so it was a challenge to decorate it without all my tools at home.

Fanette of Frenchly Photography did an amazing job capturing the beauty of this Hummingbird Cake!

The recipe that Rebecca gave me didn’t include a recipe for frosting.  So, I used my pipeable cream cheese frosting recipe and doubled it to have enough to finish off the cake.

Happy Baking!

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Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

Hummingbird Cake

Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes



  • 1005g cake flour
  • 1065g sugar
  • 14g salt
  • 14g baking soda
  • 8g ground cinnamon
  • 366g eggs
  • 511g vegetable oil
  • 560g crushed pineapple, drained before weighing
  • 32g vanilla extract
  • 1136g banana, mashed
  • 295g sunflower seeds


  • 16oz full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp for 30 minutes before using
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp heavy cream, as needed
  • Sunflower Seeds, for decoration



  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line, grease and flour 3 8in round cake pans.
  2. Weigh the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the eggs and oil.
  4. Sift the dry mixture into the bowl with the eggs/oil. Mix on low for 1 minute, making sure the bottoms and sides of the bowl have been scraped so all the dry is combined into the wet. Do not over mix!
  5. Fold in the banana and pineapple. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the sunflower seeds and mix an additional 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl.
  7. Measure 1660g of batter for each prepared pan.
  8. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a tooth pic comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  9. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes until removing to cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the slightly room temperature butter and cream cheese just until combined.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar then measure out 5 cups. One cup at a time, add the sugar and slowly mix to combine. Do not mixer longer than it takes to combine.
  3. Pour the vanilla evenly over the frosting and mix slowly to combine.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on high for 5-7 seconds. STOP MIXING!
  5. Test the consistency of the frosting, if it is too thick add a teaspoon of heavy cream and mix only until incorporated. If the frosting is too soft, chill for 20 minutes before frosting.


  1. Trip the hump/top of each cake so they are relatively level.
  2. Place the first layer of cake on the cake stand and spread frosting evenly over the top. Add the second layer and repeat. Finish by placing the their layer, cut site down, on top.
  3. Frost a very thin crumb coat over the outside of the cake. Chill cake for 30 minutes. (Leave frosting in cool place while the cake chills).
  4. Once the crumb coat is chilled firm, frost the sides and top of the cake.
  5. Using a star tip, pipe swirl dollops of frosting around the outside top edge of the cake.
  6. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on each swirl to garnish.
  7. Chill until ready to serve. When ready to serve, remove from fridge for 20 minutes before cutting.


Recipe courtesy of Dog Tag Bakery.

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