Hummingbird Sheet Cake

An easier way to make a classic Southern cake.

Southern Living Hummingbird Sheet Cake

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Active Time:
45 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins

A cinnamon spice cake studded with sweet tropical pineapple and banana, a generous scattering of pecans and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting—it’s easy to discern why Hummingbird Cake has remained a steadfast favorite among Southern dessert enthusiasts for generations.

What sets this version apart aside from its perfect balance of tender cake and silky frosting is what goes on top. The flowers, made of dried pineapple, are a not-so-subtle nod to the deliciousness that lies beneath. Dried pineapple rings are also an effortless way to decorate the classic cake, no piping required. Simply ​fill the center of each ring with small white pearl sprinkles and garnish with mint to resemble leaves—a great task to get the kids involved with.

If you have trouble finding whole dried pineapple rings at the grocery store, both Amazon and sell them online.


Hummingbird Cake

  • Baking spray

  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached cake flour

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , softened

  • 3 large eggs , at room temperature

  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 small bananas , mashed (about 2/3 cup)

  • 1 ( 8-oz. ) can crushed pineapple in juice , undrained

  • 1 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 ( 8-oz. ) pkg. cream cheese , softened

  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Additional Ingredients

  • Dried pineapple rings

  • White pearl candy sprinkles

  • Fresh mint leaves


  1. Prepare the Hummingbird Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with baking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

  2. Beat granulated sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

    Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition, about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to medium; beat in vanilla and mashed bananas until combined, about 30 seconds.

    Gradually add flour mixture in thirds, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Use a spatula to fold in pineapple and pecans.

  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven until golden around edges and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

    Add cream cheese; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla; beat until well blended, about 30 seconds.

    Reduce speed to low; beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add kosher salt and remaining 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and beat until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Chill until ready to use.

  5. Spread frosting over cake. Form flowers on top of cake with dried pineapple rings. Fill center of each flower with white pearl sprinkles; garnish with mint leaves.

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