Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hummingbird cake

Slice of cake

Sometimes, life gets in the way of blogging, and sometimes, it just drives a big ol' truck full of bricks in front of you and says "uh-uh, nope, nice try, maybe later." That's certainly been true lately -- I did a bunch of baking in the second half of April, but I could barely fit in the baking, let alone the writing about it, around preparations for our big trip so my husband could run the Big Sur Marathon. But we got it all done, and we made it out there, and he did it, hurray!!! ...And then I brought back the West Coast Plague, so I've been in bed most of the week.

But anyway, enough about that, 'cause you're not here to read about me. You want to know about cake. I made this cake for Easter, having never ever eaten hummingbird cake before, let alone made one. It came out pretty good, though -- it's a lot like banana-nut bread, except in a lighter cake form, with cream-cheese frosting, and with occasional bites that are extra-sweet-and-yummy from the pineapple (it's subtle, but it's in there). I don't have a lot of reasons to make a layer cake, but I'd certainly keep this one in the rotation -- it was a nice chance of pace from the usual chocolate or vanilla.

Cake Cut cake

Hummingbird Cake
From Cook's Country

16 oz canned crushed pineapple in juice
3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
4 overripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 c chopped pecans
2 tsp vanilla

20 tbsp butter, softened
5 c confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
20 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/2 c chopped pecans

1. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
2. Over a saucepan, drain the pineapple well in a mesh strainer. Cook the juice over medium heat until reduced to a third of a cup and set aside.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Whisk in the oil. Stir in the bananas, pecans, vanilla, pineapple and pineapple juice. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, until toothpicks come out clean. Let cool in pans on racks for 20 minutes, then de-pan and cool completely.
6. Beat together the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the cream cheese a bit at a time, then beat for a couple of minutes, until thoroughly combined.
7. Level off the cake layers with a large serrated knife if necessary, then frost. Top with remaining chopped pecans.

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