hummingbird carrot cake

The Secret Behind Hummingbird’s Famous Carrot Cake

Views: 0

Welcome to the amazing world of Hummingbird Cake. It combines flavors in a special way, creating a dessert loved by all. Known in the South as a top pick, this cake has won over carrot cake fans globally.

Why is this carrot cake so unique? Its story starts with a closely guarded recipe. Passed down over the years, Mrs. L.H. Wiggins shared it with Southern Living in 1978. It’s now the magazine’s number one recipe.

So, why ‘Hummingbird Cake’? The name itself is mysterious and enticing. It’s said its roots come from the Jamaican Tourist Board, which promoted a cake named after the Jamaican hummingbird, the Doctor Bird. The modern version we enjoy today was first seen in Southern Living, winning over the dessert world.

What makes Hummingbird Cake standout are its ingredients. Pineapple and bananas blend for a moist base, coconut adds a twist, and nuts offer a nice crunch. A rich cream cheese frosting ties it all together. The key here is the use of oil, making the cake tender and moist.

Whether for a special event or a treat, Hummingbird Cake is sure to delight. We’ll explore its rich history, unique features, and why it remains a favorite. Let’s dive into the world of this beloved carrot cake.

The Origins of Hummingbird Cake

The story behind Hummingbird cake starts with the Jamaican Tourist Board in 1968. They introduced a cake made with bananas, pineapples, and coconut, calling it doctor bird cake. It was named after Jamaica’s famous hummingbird. This special cake was designed to be tasty and to use up overripe bananas.

In 1978, Mrs. L.H. Wiggins shared a special recipe in Southern Living magazine. It looked different from the original doctor bird cake. Her version became really popular and is the one we eat today. Similar cakes were already well known in the southern United States before Mrs. Wiggins’ recipe. People love the cake for its mix of flavors; it’s sweet and tropical.

The Jamaican Tourist Board played a key part in making the Hummingbird cake known. They called it the doctor bird cake because of the doctor bird, or Jamaican hummingbird. This bird is very colorful and beautiful. The colors and flavors of the cake reminded people of the bird and of Jamaica’s beauty.

“The doctor bird cake was a tropical delight that captured the essence of Jamaica. Combining the sweetness of bananas, tanginess of pineapple, and richness of coconut, it transported people to the sunny beaches and lush landscapes of the Caribbean. It was a true feast for the senses.”

The cake became a hit, not just with Jamaicans but with tourists visiting the island. Everyone loved its unique mix of flavors. Soon, the cake’s recipe traveled back to the United States. It quickly became a favorite in the southern states.

But it was the publication in Southern Living that really popularized the Hummingbird cake. The magazine printed Mrs. L.H. Wiggins’ recipe. Readers immediately fell in love with the cake. After this, it became known all across America. Today, it’s an iconic dessert in the South.

A Taste of Tradition

The Hummingbird cake is more than just a cake. It brings together flavors from the Caribbean and the South. It’s a cake that tells a story. A story of people sharing their food and creating something new together.

Key Ingredients Flavors Texture
Bananas Tropical sweetness Moist and tender
Pineapple Tangy and juicy Delicate crumb
Coconut Nutty and aromatic Rich and luscious

This cake is not just delicious; it has a great mix of flavors and textures. The frosting is made with creamy cheese. It gives the cake a special tangy touch.

People love to eat this cake at big events or as a simple pleasure. It makes them think of the past. It’s a cake that has a long and tasty story. A story that keeps being passed on to new generations.

The Irresistible Characteristics of Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake stands out for being moist and tender, creating a delicious sensation as it melts in your mouth. It uses oil, not butter, making it moist and adding a touch of richness. This change in ingredients is the key to its amazing texture.

The unique mix of pineapple, banana, and coconut gives Hummingbird cake its special taste. These tropical fruits blend perfectly, making the cake a joy to eat. It’s a flavor explosion that delights anyone who tastes it.

The cake also includes nuts like walnuts or pecans. These nuts add a delightful crunch to the soft, moist cake. A bite of this cake offers a perfect balance of textures, making each slice more enjoyable.

Hummingbird cake is usually made with layers and topped with cream cheese frosting. This frosting adds a luxurious touch to the already-moist cake. Together, the frosting and cake make a dessert that’s hard to resist.

Share a Hummingbird cake at your next event and watch it disappear. Its unmatched texture, delightful flavors, and creamy frosting will impress your guests. They might even ask for the recipe.

moist and tender cake

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease three 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
  3. Add 3 large eggs and 1 ½ cups of vegetable oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well combined.
  4. Stir in 2 cups of diced pineapple, 2 cups of mashed bananas, 1 cup of shredded coconut, and 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts.
  5. Divide the batter equally among the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once the cakes are completely cooled, frost each layer generously with cream cheese frosting.
  9. For the cream cheese frosting, beat 8 ounces of cream cheese, ½ cup of unsalted butter, 4 cups of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  10. Garnish with additional chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired.
  11. Serve and enjoy!


The Hummingbird cake is a delicious treat loved worldwide. Its exact start is unknown, but this carrot cake variant is well-known and loved. It mixes pineapple, banana, and coconut for a very moist and tasty cake.

This cake is not just for any day but for big events too, showing off in the Southern states. The soft, moist texture comes from using oil in the mix. This makes it even more appealing.

Adding cream cheese frosting takes the cake to a new level. It makes a perfect mix with the cake’s sweetness. Each bite is a feast of wonderful flavors.

To sum up, the Hummingbird cake is a dessert to cheer for. Its story, yummy taste, and feel make it a classic. It’s a must-have for any sweet lover everywhere.


What is the history of the Hummingbird cake?

In 1978, Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, sent the first Hummingbird cake recipe to Southern Living. It became their most-loved recipe. Yet, not a lot is known about Mrs. Wiggins, which makes the cake story even more interesting.

Where does the Hummingbird cake originate from?

The Hummingbird cake’s roots go back to 1968. The Jamaican Tourist Board named a cake with similar ingredients the “doctor bird cake.” Later, in 1978, Mrs. L.H. Wiggins shared the layered version in Southern Living. Before that, similar cakes were enjoyed in the southern U.S. at events like county fairs.

What are the key characteristics of Hummingbird cake?

The Hummingbird cake is loved for its moist texture, made so by oil in the batter. Pineapple, banana, and coconut give it a delicious mix of tastes. Chopped nuts provide a nice crunch. Typically, it’s a layered cake covered in cream cheese frosting.

Source Links


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *