Hummingbird Cake

I know I need to work on my cake decorating skills, but I don't wanna! The icing part has always been one of those areas of pastry I just can't deal with in a patient manner. However(!), yesterday's icing adventure was cool and calm... Mainly because I wanted it to be speedy so I could get back to binge-watching "Last Chance U" on Netflix. Which, btw, if you haven't seen it, but enjoy the odd football documentary, it's totally worthy of your attention. The other reason I chose speed over perfection is that I know myself. I have spent 31 happily embarrassing, frustratingly proud years with my personality. In other words, I have come to terms with the fact that if I strive for perfection, I will inevitably disappoint myself. Disappointment leads to frustration, frustration leads to madness, madness leads to temper tantrums, temper tantrums lead to sore feet (you know, from stomping my feet in a very quick "Flashdance" style rage). 

I succeeded in circumventing that horror show yesterday by accepting my lack of practiced skill, and produced a decent enough, "homemade" looking Hummingbird Cake. Sure its not smooth, its purple instead of blue, and the ombre I attempted is almost non-existent, but I am working on it. How's that for personal progress, Dr. Psychologist-Man?

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Hummingbird Cake is a southern dessert that involves your too-ripe-to-eat bananas, a can of crushed pineapple, and just the right of amount of spices. Slather layers of the moist (only appropriate use of the word) cake with a classic cream cheese frosting, and the masses will cheer your name for centuries to come. It's such a simple treat and perfect punch of sweet for the end of summer. :::insert cry face:::

Happy Eating!


The Recipe: Hummingbird Cake


The Bits and Bobs:

for the cake:

4                                        ripe bananas, mashed (should yield about 2 cups worth)

1- 8oz can                          crushed pineapple in juice

3                                        eggs

2/3 cup                              coconut oil, melted (or if you'd rather vegetable oil)

3/4 cup                             sugar

1 cup                                  brown sugar

2 tsp                                  vanilla extract

3 cups                                all-purpose flour

1 tsp                                   baking soda

1 1/2 tsp                              cinnamon

1/2 tsp                                all spice

1/2 tsp                                salt

OPTIONAL 1 1/2 cups toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts

for the frosting:

16oz                                    cream cheese, at room temp

3/4 cup                               unsalted butter, room temp

5 cups                                  powdered sugar

1 tbsp                                   milk (any kind)

2 tsp                                    vanilla extract

pinch                                   salt

The How-Tos:

for the cake:

Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease and lightly flour two 9 inch pans. **You can use three pans for slightly thinner layers and taller cake**

In a big bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients and the sugars. Dump in the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt and whisk until well combined. Fold in the toasted nuts if using. 

Distribute batter evenly between the pans and bake in oven for 25-28 minutes, rotating half way through bake time. A knife or toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack in the pans before turning out.

for the frosting:

Using a hand or stand mixer, whip together the cream cheese and the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the milk and vanilla. Adding the sugar in batches, whip until well combined and smooth. Allow to set up slightly in the fridge for about 10 mins before decorating your cooled cake layers.