When I have to bake a cake for someone special, my go-to cake is a hummingbird cake. It’s signature ingredients are banana, pineapple, cinnamon, and cream cheese frosting. I baked it for a friend’s birthday several years ago and it was polished off, every last bite! The recipe comes from Saveur magazine which you can find here; hummingbird cake recipes originate from Jamaica, and the cake “was named after the bird because it was sweet enough to attract hummingbirds” (source here).
Some additional notes:
For less sugar, follow the ingredients as written except instead of 1.5 cups of white sugar, use only 1 cup of white (also keep the brown sugar as 1 cup). Of course, if you like your cake sweet follow the ingredients exactly as written. Make sure your bananas are ripe but not too ripe; spotted bananas but not totally brown ones. You can mash bananas with a fork or whisk (kid-friendly activity).
While in the oven, you can peek on the cake once it starts browning, usually at 30 min. I usually bake it for only 40-45 min in my oven because for some reason it takes less time than the recipe calls for. The last time I baked this, I ended up covering the cake with aluminum foil at the 30-min mark. Like most cakes, you can do a toothpick or knife test by pricking through the cake in the center and seeing if the utensil comes out clean.
Pecans are great for extra texture and for those not allergic to them. I don’t like anything “in” the cake that’s crunchy, so I sometimes decorate the cake with pecans on the top and side. Crushing the pecans is another kid-friendly activity. You can crush pecans by putting them in a plastic bag and taking a heavy spoon to them. Pecans take it to a whole different level!
Can you smell that warm cinnamony, banana and pineapple smell? I think I have a leftover piece in my fridge for a midnight snack. Nom nom nom.