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finished hummingbird cake with pressed edible flowers and the secret ingredient, Duke's Mayo

My Favorite Hummingbird Cake Has A Secret Ingredient

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: about an hour plus time to cool the cake layers and chill the assembled cake
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cake, Serves 8-10 1x
  • Category: cake, birthday
  • Method: baking


Super moist cake layers flavored with bananas, pineapple and pecans, covered in vanilla-studded cream cheese frosting



For the Cake:

  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (165 grams) lightly packed dark brow sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (about 4 large bananas, 425 grams) mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup (125 grams) toasted finely chopped pecans

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 8 cups (955 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • Maybe a splash of milk

To Decorate:

  • A handful of toasted pecans, finely chopped
  • A few edible flowers or fresh herb sprigs


  1. Place racks in the upper third or center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease (or spray with nonstick baking spray) three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper rounds and lightly grease the paper as well. (Prepping the cake pans definitely feels labor intensive but I promise it will pay off in the long run with cakes that will easily release from the pans.)
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mash bananas. Add sugars, Duke’s mayonnaise, eggs, vanilla extract, and crushed pineapple (with the juices from the can) and whisk together well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine. Make sure there are no hidden streaks of flour hiding on the bottom of the bowl. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  5. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans. Place the three cakes on two rack in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If the toothpick comes out of the cake wet with batter, give the cake another few minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 20 minutes before inverting the cake layers onto wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Once the layers are completely cooled, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze overnight. The layers are easiest to frost when chilled.
  7. When ready to frost, make the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with electric hand beaters), beat cream cheese until it’s softened and spread around the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the butter. Beat until just combined. Add the vanilla extract (or paste) and powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until well combined and smooth. Add a small splash of milk if necessary to make the frosting more spreadable.
  8. To assemble the cake, place one chilled cake layer top-side-up on a cake round of cake plate. Spread with about 3/4 cup of frosting all the way to the edge of the cake round. Place another cake layer top-side-up and repeat with about 3/4 cup of frosting. Place the last cake layer bottom-side-up on top of the cake and frost the top and sides in a generous layer.
  9. Sprinkle the top rim of the cake with toasted pecans and dot with a few edible flowers. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Store any leftovers well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to four days.