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If you’re craving something sweet, unique, and perfectly sized for one or two, this Mini Hummingbird Cake is the answer. A scaled-down version of the beloved Southern classic, it combines the moistness of bananas and pineapples with the crunch of pecans, all enveloped in a creamy cream cheese frosting. The beauty of this mini cake recipe lies in its simplicity – mixed by hand in a single bowl and baked in a small dish. It’s an ideal choice for an intimate dessert or a special treat, capturing the essence of a traditional hummingbird cake in a smaller, equally delightful form.

Explore our selection of small cake recipes, ideal for one or two servings. Delight in the rich Red Velvet Cake, the fruity Blueberry Cake, the classic Pound Cake, the decadent Texas Sheet Cake, and the sweetly spiced Apple Cake.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. Simple to Make: No fancy equipment needed – just one bowl and a spoon.
  2. Perfect Size: This mini cake is ideal for small households, avoiding leftovers or waste.
  3. Deliciously Moist: Bananas and pineapples ensure a wonderfully moist texture.
  4. Balanced Flavors: The cream cheese frosting complements the sweet tropical flavors beautifully.
  5. Versatile: Excellent for a cozy dessert, afternoon snack, or a special treat.

What Is A Hummingbird Cake?

The most popular version of this cake was submitted to Southern Living magazine in 1978 by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. The recipe featured a three-layer cake filled with pineapples and bananas and topped with a pecan-topped cream cheese frosting.

Today, this cake has evolved with various interpretations. Many recipes now incorporate ingredients like coconut, shredded carrots, or even dried fruits, adding their unique twist to the classic.

Interestingly, the origins of the Hummingbird Cake might trace back to Jamaica, predating its American popularity. There, it was known as the Dr. Bird Cake, named after the Swallow-Tail Hummingbird, Jamaica’s national bird. This exotic and flavorful cake, regardless of its true origins, has become a staple in Southern cuisine and continues to charm dessert lovers worldwide.

a mini hummingbird cake in a small blue baking dish next to an orange napkin and a yellow flower.

Hummingbird Cake Ingredients

ingredients to make a hummingbird cake on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredient Notes

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small hummingbird cake recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour, measured accurately using a scale or the spoon and level method for the best results.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cake.
  • Cinnamon: Adds a warm, mellow flavor that complements the fruits.
  • Baking soda: Helps the cake rise and become fluffy.
  • Vanilla extract: For an extra layer of flavor.
  • Salt: Just a pinch to enhance all the other flavors.
  • Egg: One egg binds the ingredients and adds moisture.
  • Oil: Use either vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil. Oil makes the cake extra moist.
  • Pineapples: For this recipe, you have two options for the pineapple: either crush fresh pineapple or use about 2 ounces (1/3 cup) of drained canned pineapple. If you’re using canned, an 8-ounce can works well. After draining, you’ll be left with just over 2 ounces of crushed pineapple. Remember to keep some of the drained juice aside for the frosting. The leftover juice can be enjoyed as a drink or used in another recipe. Don’t let the remaining crushed pineapple go to waste either – it’s great stirred into cottage cheese, added as a topping on salads, or served over fish tacos.
    • To effectively drain canned pineapple, transfer it from the can into a fine-mesh sieve placed over a small bowl. Press gently on the pineapple using the back of a spoon. This will release the juice into the bowl below.
    • If you’ve got leftover pineapple, consider using it in Ambrosia or in a Pineapple Lime Jello Salad.
  • Banana: One ripe banana for sweetness and moisture. Got extra bananas? Use one in Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Banana Upside Down Cake, or Banana Cream Pie.
  • Pecans: While it’s optional to use toasted pecans, doing so is highly recommended for this small hummingbird cake recipe. Toasting enhances their texture, ensuring they remain crisp even when mixed into the batter. Extra pecans can be used in a mini German Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake Cupcakes, or in a mini Pecan Pie.
    • For this recipe, you’ll need just ¼ cup of pecans. Toasting them on the stove is a quick and effective method. Set your stove to medium-high heat and place the pecans in a pan. Toast them for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them, as they can easily scorch. Once toasted, let them cool, then crush them using a rolling pin or the bottom of a drinking glass.
    • If you’re toasting a larger quantity of pecans, use the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and toast the pecans for 5-6 minutes. This method is great for preparing a batch for future use.

For the Frosting

  • Butter: Softened, forms the base of the frosting.
  • Cream Cheese: Adds a rich, tangy flavor. Any extra cream cheese can be used to make Oreo Balls, Lemon Cheesecake Mousse, or a small batch of Jalapeño Poppers!
  • Powdered Sugar: Sweetens and smoothens the frosting.
  • Pineapple Juice: For a hint of tropical taste.
  • Pecans (for garnish): Adds texture and decoration.

Recipe Variations

  • Tropical Hummingbird Cake: Stir in a small handful of shredded coconut into the batter for a tropical flavor burst. This addition enhances the cake’s island-inspired taste and is perfect for those who love a bit more texture.
  • Chocolate Chip Hummingbird Cake: For chocolate lovers, sprinkle some chocolate chips into the batter. This twist brings a delightful chocolatey surprise to each bite, making it a hit for both kids and adults.
  • Lemon Zest Hummingbird Cake: Add the zest of one lemon to the batter for a fresh and zesty flavor. This version is ideal for those who appreciate a subtle citrus note in their desserts.
  • Nutty Variation Hummingbird Cake: Swap out pecans for walnuts or almonds, or even a mix of nuts for a different nutty profile. This variation is great for experimenting with different textures and flavors.
  • Spiced Hummingbird Cake: Incorporate a pinch of nutmeg or ginger into the batter for an extra warm and cozy spice. This version is especially comforting in colder weather and adds an aromatic depth to the cake.

Each of these variations adds a unique twist to the classic hummingbird cake, catering to different tastes and preferences, and making the recipe even more versatile.

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How To Make A Hummingbird Cake

These step-by-step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make a mini hummingbird cake. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

For the cake

  1. Preheat the Oven: Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Prepare a 5×5-inch baking dish by lightly greasing it with either softened butter or baking spray. Set the dish aside for later use.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. This step ensures that all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the cake.
a clear mixing bowl filled with flour, salt, and baking soda.
  1. Add Wet Ingredients: To the dry mixture, stir in the egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Follow by adding the crushed pineapples and mashed banana. Combine everything until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
hummingbird cake batter in a mixing bowl on top of a brown table.
  1. Fold in Pecans: Gently stir in the pecans into the batter. The batter will be quite thick at this stage, which is perfect for the texture of the cake.
pecans added to a hummingbird cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Bake the Cake: Pour the thick batter into your prepared baking dish. Bake it in the preheated oven for 30-33 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, indicating it’s perfectly baked.
hummingbird cake batter in a square blue baking dish next to an empty mixing bowl.
  1. Cool Before Frosting: After baking, it’s crucial to let the cake cool down to room temperature before adding the frosting. This ensures the frosting doesn’t melt and retains its texture when applied.
an unfrosted hummingbird cake in a square pan on a baking sheet.

For the Frosting

  1. Cream Butter and Cream Cheese: Begin by adding both butter and cream cheese to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat these ingredients on high speed until they are thoroughly combined and have a smooth consistency.
  2. Incorporate Powdered Sugar: Gradually add sifted powdered sugar to the mixture while continuing to beat at a low speed. Sifting the powdered sugar is an important step as it removes any lumps, ensuring a smooth frosting. Continue mixing until all the sugar is fully incorporated into the cream cheese and butter blend.
  3. Add Pineapple Juice: Finally, mix in the pineapple juice. Continue to whip the frosting until it reaches a smooth and fluffy texture. This addition of pineapple juice not only enhances the flavor but also contributes to the perfect frosting consistency for your mini hummingbird cake.
cream cheese frosting in a mixing bowl next to an electric mixer.

To Frost the Cake

  1. Select Your Frosting Method: There are two ways to frost this cake. The first and easiest method is to apply the frosting directly onto the cake while it’s still in the baking dish. This allows you to serve it right from the dish, making for easy presentation and cleanup. The second option involves a bit more care: once the cake has cooled, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Then, carefully invert it onto a cooling rack to cool completely. After it has fully cooled, spoon the frosting over the top of the cake, using a rubber spatula to spread it evenly.
frosting being spooned over the top of a baked cake.
  1. Add Garnish and Serve: For an extra touch, garnish the frosted cake with additional pecans. This not only enhances the presentation but also adds a delightful crunch. Once garnished, slice the cake and serve at room temperature for the best flavor and texture.
a square piece of hummingbird cake on a white plate with a pecan on the top of the cake.

Expert Tips

  • Accurate Measurement of Ingredients: For consistent and reliable results, use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients. This precision is key in achieving the desired texture and flavor of the cake.
  • Avoid Overmixing the Batter: Mix the batter just until you can no longer see streaks of flour. Overmixing can lead to a cake that’s tough and dense instead of light and fluffy.
  • Use the Correct Pan Size: The success of this cake relies heavily on using the right size baking dish. A 5×5-inch baking dish is ideal, offering a base area of 25 square inches. Alternatively, you can use two 10-ounce ramekins, each measuring about 4 inches in diameter and 1 3/4 inches tall. Proper pan size ensures even baking and optimal texture.
  • Drain the Pineapple Thoroughly: Make sure to drain the pineapple well. Excess moisture from the pineapple can result in a cake that’s too wet.
  • Cool the Cake Completely Before Frosting: Allowing the cake to cool to room temperature before frosting prevents the frosting from melting and ensures it sets properly on the cake.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients for Frosting: Ensure that both the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before making the frosting. This helps in achieving a smooth and spreadable consistency.
  • Adjusting Frosting Consistency: If your frosting appears too runny, add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired thickness is reached. Alternatively, chilling the frosting briefly can also help to firm it up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should a hummingbird cake be refrigerated?

Yes, it’s essential to refrigerate any cake topped with cream cheese frosting. Properly stored in the refrigerator, the cake will remain fresh for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze hummingbird cake?

Definitely! Hummingbird cake freezes exceptionally well. To freeze, wrap the unfrosted cake securely and store it in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, just thaw in the refrigerator.

How can I make hummingbird cupcakes?

You can easily turn this hummingbird cake recipe into delightful cupcakes. Follow the same recipe, pouring the batter into cupcake liners. Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 22-25 minutes. This approach is perfect for serving individual portions at gatherings or for a convenient snack.

Can I make hummingbird cake without pecans?

Walnuts are a great substitute or leave the nuts out entirely for a nut-free hummingbird cake.

a fork with a piece of hummingbird cake on the tip next to a larger plate with slices of cake.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this mini hummingbird cake or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Mini Hummingbird Cake

4.93 from 28 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cool: 10 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
This tropical Small Hummingbird Cake recipe is a wonderfully moist cake made with a banana, pineapples, and chopped pecans. It's a delicious scaled down version of a southern classic and is frosted with an irresistibly rich cream cheese icing!

Ingredients 
 

For the Cake

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup drained canned crushed pineapple , (2-ounces). Reserve 1 ½ teaspoons of the juice for the frosting.
  • 1 medium ripe banana , mashed
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans , toasted

For the Frosting

  • ¼ cup butter , room temperature (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar , sifted
  • teaspoons pineapple juice
  • chopped pecans , for garnish
Save this Recipe!
Get this recipe sent to your inbox, plus get weekly recipes from us – all for free.

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Oven: Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Prepare a 5×5-inch baking dish by lightly greasing it with either softened butter or baking spray. Set the dish aside for later use.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. This step ensures that all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the cake.
  • Add Wet Ingredients: To the dry mixture, stir in the egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Follow by adding the crushed pineapples and mashed banana. Combine everything until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
  • Fold in Pecans: Gently stir in the pecans into the batter. The batter will be quite thick at this stage, which is perfect for the texture of the cake.
  • Bake the Cake: Pour the thick batter into your prepared baking dish. Bake it in the preheated oven for 30-33 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, indicating it's perfectly baked.
  • Cool Before Frosting: After baking, it's crucial to let the cake cool down to room temperature before adding the frosting. This ensures the frosting doesn't melt and retains its texture when applied.

Make the Frosting

  • Cream Butter and Cream Cheese: Begin by adding both butter and cream cheese to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat these ingredients on high speed until they are thoroughly combined and have a smooth consistency.
  • Incorporate Powdered Sugar: Gradually add sifted powdered sugar to the mixture while continuing to beat at a low speed. Sifting the powdered sugar is an important step as it removes any lumps, ensuring a smooth frosting. Continue mixing until all the sugar is fully incorporated into the cream cheese and butter blend.
  • Add Pineapple Juice: Finally, mix in the pineapple juice. Continue to whip the frosting until it reaches a smooth and fluffy texture.

Frost the Cake

  • Select Your Frosting Method: There are two ways to frost this cake. The first and easiest method is to apply the frosting directly onto the cake while it's still in the baking dish. This allows you to serve it right from the dish, making for easy presentation and cleanup. The second option involves a bit more care: once the cake has cooled, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Then, carefully invert it onto a cooling rack to cool completely. After it has fully cooled, spoon the frosting over the top of the cake, using a rubber spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Add Garnish and Serve: For an extra touch, garnish the frosted cake with additional pecans. This not only enhances the presentation but also adds a delightful crunch. Once garnished, slice the cake and serve at room temperature for the best flavor and texture.

Video

Notes

  • Accurate Measurement of Ingredients: For consistent and reliable results, use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients. This precision is key in achieving the desired texture and flavor of the cake.
  • Avoid Overmixing the Batter: Mix the batter just until you can no longer see streaks of flour. Overmixing can lead to a cake that’s tough and dense instead of light and fluffy.
  • Use the Correct Pan Size: The success of this cake relies heavily on using the right size baking dish. A 5×5-inch baking dish is ideal, offering a base area of 25 square inches. Alternatively, you can use two 10-ounce ramekins, each measuring about 4 inches in diameter and 1 3/4 inches tall. Proper pan size ensures even baking and optimal texture.
  • Drain the Pineapple Thoroughly: Make sure to drain the pineapple well. Excess moisture from the pineapple can result in a cake that’s too wet.
  • Cool the Cake Completely Before Frosting: Allowing the cake to cool to room temperature before frosting prevents the frosting from melting and ensures it sets properly on the cake.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients for Frosting: Ensure that both the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before making the frosting. This helps in achieving a smooth and spreadable consistency.
  • Adjusting Frosting Consistency: If your frosting appears too runny, add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired thickness is reached. Alternatively, chilling the frosting briefly can also help to firm it up.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 641kcal, Carbohydrates: 79g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 312mg, Potassium: 218mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 62g, Vitamin A: 645IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe adapted from Southern Living

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31 Comments

  1. Karen says:

    Just made this and it turned out perfectly! I didn’t have “crushed pineapple” so I used one 4 oz. lunch box container of pineapple tidbits. I crushed them with a fork and proceeded with the recipe, draining as directed. It is a moist cake with great flavor.

  2. Dolly says:

    This mini hummingbird recipe turned out really well in the air fryer.It was moist & delicious. Will be coming back for more recipes. Thanks.

  3. Ideliz says:

    It does have a good flavor and crumb. But if your fruits are very sweet hold on sugar. Use only half cup. Mine was too sweet.

  4. Rose says:

    This was my first hummingbird cake, so I had no idea what to expect. It came out great. Again the boyfriend loved it Will make again. I love the variety of recipes with no waste.