Recipes

Vegan Hummingbird Cake

Beautifully moist, this summery cake is reminiscent of carrot cake with a tropical twist!  Filled with coconut, pineapple and banana, this cake is a delicious upgrade of your classic banana bread recipe. 

I love banana bread. It’s always delicious and provides a perfect solution to overripe bananas. As lovely as my usual banana loaf recipe is however, recently I began to wonder if I could level up my banana bread game…  

Enter, “Hummingbird Cake“. 

Being British I had never heard of Hummingbird Cake, it really isn’t a thing over here. Having tried it now I can say what a travesty that is as Hummingbird Cake is surely the ULTIMATE banana bread recipe. This is one of the most beautifully flavoured cakes I have ever had. Banana + coconut + pineapple = pure bliss. 

So, what is Hummingbird Cake?

Hummingbird cake is thought to have been invented in Jamaica, probably in the late ‘60s. However, due to it’s popularity in the Southern United States a lot of people assume it is an American recipe. This may be as the first printed recipe for Hummingbird cake was by Mrs L H Wiggin who supplied the recipe to Southern Living magazine in February 1978. 

The Hummingbird cake is  made with oil rather than butter, and contains more fruit than flour. Naturally this made it perfect for adapting to a vegan recipe. This cake is a real treat and I definitely recommend you give it a go!

 So, what do you need? 

All you need for this recipe is: 

Cake Ingredients: 

  • 250g Plain flour
  • 80g Coconut flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of All-spice
  • 100g chopped Walnuts
  • 120ml Coconut oil (liquid form)
  • 180ml Coconut milk
  • 100g Brown sugar
  • 100g Granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe Bananas
  • 130g tinned Pineapple

Topping Ingredients:

  • 85g Icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Pineapple juice
  • 20g chopped Walnuts

How to Make a Vegan Hummingbird Cake 

Step 1 – To a large bowl, add the plain flour, coconut flakes, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, all-spice and chopped walnuts then whisk together.

Step 2 – To a separate bowl, add the coconut oil, coconut milk, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract then whisk together.

Step 3 – Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a standard 1lb loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches) with some coconut oil (or any other neutral oil you have) or line the pan with parchment liner

Step 4 – Mash the banana and drain and chop the pineapple. Make sure to save the drained pineapple juice for the icing later.

Step 5 – Add the wet ingredients into dry ingredients sand whisk until completely combined. Then add the banana and pineapple and whisk.

Step 6 – Spread batter evenly in pan then place in oven for around 40 minutes. Make sure to check it at the 30 minute mark by poking the centre with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, then it’s done, if not return to oven to continue baking.

Step 7 – Remove loaf tin from oven. Carefully lift the cake from the tin and place on wire rack to cool.

Step 8 – Mix together the pineapple juice and icing sugar to make the icing for the cake. Pour over the icing evenly then top with chopped walnuts.

Step 9 – Allow the icing to set then enjoy!

Top Tips

  1.  Even if your loaf pan is non stick, I recommend lining the bottom of it with a parchment loaf tin liner. Not only does it make it easier to get the loaf out of the pan it speeds up clean-up!
  2. You can use the toothpick test to confirm your cake is cooked properly. Stick the toothpick in the centre and if it comes out clean then its done. Remember, the timings given here are estimates and the speed your loaf cooks may be slightly different so rely on this test for success. 
  3. The more brown the banana the better your cake (honestly)! 
  4. Doubling up the mixture can stretch towards three loaf cakes (as seen here)! 

 

Vegan Hummingbird Cake

Recipe by Daphne HartCourse: DessertCuisine: VeganDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Beautifully moist, this summery cake is reminiscent of carrot cake with a tropical twist! Filled with coconut, pineapple and banana, this cake is a delicious upgrade of your classic banana bread recipe.

Ingredients

  • Cake Ingredients
  • 250g Plain flour

  • 80g Coconut flakes

  • 3/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda

  • 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon of All-spice

  • 100g chopped Walnuts

  • 120ml Coconut oil (liquid form)

  • 180ml Coconut milk

  • 100g Brown sugar

  • 100g Granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract

  • 2 ripe Bananas

  • 130g tinned Pineapple

  • Topping Ingredients
  • 85g Icing sugar

  • 2-3 tablespoons of Pineapple juice

  • 20g chopped Walnuts

Directions

  • To a large bowl, add the plain flour, coconut flakes, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, all-spice and chopped walnuts then whisk together.
  • To a separate bowl, add the coconut oil, coconut milk, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract then whisk together.
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a standard 1lb loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches) with some coconut oil (or any other neutral oil you have) or line the pan with parchment liner.
  • Mash the banana and drain and chop the pineapple. Make sure to save the drained pineapple juice for the icing later.
  • Add the wet ingredients into dry ingredients sand whisk until completely combined. Then add the banana and pineapple and whisk.
  • Spread batter evenly in pan then place in oven for around 40 minutes. Make sure to check it at the 30 minute mark by poking the centre with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, then it’s done, if not return to oven to continue baking.
  • Remove loaf tin from oven. Carefully lift the cake from the tin and place on wire rack to cool.
  • Mix together the pineapple juice and icing sugar to make the icing for the cake. Pour over the icing evenly then top with chopped walnuts.
  • Allow the icing to set then enjoy!

Notes

  • Although this recipe specifies coconut milk, substituting another unsweetened vegan milk of your choice should be fine.
  • As a delicious alternative to walnuts, try pecans instead!
  • Classic forms of this recipe top the cake with cream cheese frosting. If you have access to vegan cream cheese this could be an extra special topping to add to your hummingbird cake!
  • Double up the recipe to have enough mixture for a layer cake version.

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