For those of you who aren't familiar with this dessert, it's sort of a combination of ambrosia and carrot cake...the tropical but often packaged components of ambrosia combined with the hint of spice and cream cheese frosting of carrot cake. That description doesn't do it justice at all, though. While the ingredients by themselves are humble, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The origin of the cake's name is debatable; some say it's called hummingbird cake because it is so good it makes you hum with pleasure. In my opinion, the more convincing explanation is that it is sweet enough for hummingbirds, who are apparently very picky eaters; they only drink nectar that is at least 10% sugar.
I can guarantee this recipe is more than 10% sugar.
But take heart! One thing I like about this cake is that even though it's chock full of fat, sugar, and refined carbs, I can half-convince myself it's healthy because of the large quantity of fruit and nuts it also contains. Also, cake is good for your soul, so this has that going for it. I say eat up.
adapted from Southern Living
makes one three-layer cake (about 16 servings)
per serving: 536.3 cal, 23.4g fat, 78.8g carb, 3.5g fiber, 6.0g protein, 15+ weight watchers (hey, it's cake)
1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple
1 c chopped toasted pecans
3 large bananas, mashed
1 (8-oz) package light cream
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
16 oz powdered sugar
1/2 c toasted coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans and coat with flour.
Whisk together first six ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in large bowl, then mix together all other cake ingredients (eggs through bananas) in medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir together until combined.
Pour into prepared pans and bake approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes then flip onto wire rack. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer medium speed until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth and creamy.
Spread frosting between cake layers and on top and sides of cake. Top with toasted coconut.
|Forgive the background...this was for an office birthday!|