Last week, I went to another brilliant Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club, and have been terribly slack in posting about it – apologies!
Held at a gorgeous farmhouse near Tintagel, the Cornwall and North Cornwall branches of CCC came together for a 4th of July all-American spectacular. Just look at this spread of cakes – and that was before everyone had even arrived!
I decided to make a Hummingbird cake – apparently Southern Living magazine’s most requested recipe, so it must be a true American classic!
I was a bit worried someone else would do the same, but luckily they didn’t. For those of you who haven’t heard of or tried a Hummingbird cake, it’s basically a super-charged banana cake, with added pineapple, pecans, cinnamon and cream cheese icing – an inspired combination!
This is probably one of my favourite things I’ve baked recently, as all the elements just work really well together – the bananas taste delicious and make it smell heavenly when it’s baking, same for the cinnamon which I love in pretty much anything; the pineapple makes it extra-moist, the pecans add a nice texture contrast, and cream cheese icing is my all-time favourite frosting.
Hopefully everyone else who tried a bit liked it – I took a slice home with me at my boss’s request, and even his banana-hating son approved so it must have been pretty good!
Just in case the giant flag the pony made to go in my cake wasn’t enough to let people know what it was, I made a little hummingbird to go on top, although my lack of artistic skills may have just left everyone more confused…
Hummingbird Cake (adapted from Southern Living magazine)
- 360g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 400g sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 250ml vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g can crushed pineapple
- 100g chopped pecans
- 450g chopped over-ripe bananas (3 large bananas)
- 500g cream cheese
- 250g butter
- 250g icing sugar
Start by greasing and lining four 7″ sandwich tins – I only have two so I baked in two batches. Sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla and stir into the dry ingredients, until just combined. Fold in the banana, pineapple and pecans and stir to make sure they’re all distributed evenly, then divide the mixture between the pans and bake at 180 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until risen and springy to the touch.
For the icing, beat the butter to soften, then add the icing sugar and half the cream cheese. Using an electric mixer, beat for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy and no lumps remain, then quickly add in the rest of the cream cheese and beat until just combined. Chill in the fridge until thick enough to spread.
To assemble the cake, level off each of the cake layers, then stack with a layer of cream cheese icing between each, and cover with the rest of the icing. Keep in the fridge until half an hour or so before serving.