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MMMH...Delicious Jamaican
Hummingbird Cake

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Hummingbird Cake Recipe | Photo Credit: Cake Recipe | Photo Credit:

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

The decadent, fruity dessert is very popular in the southern states of the USA especially. But, did you know that it has its origins on the island of Jamaica? The first recipe was included in a press kit from Jamaica to the US to encourage tourists to visit the island.

The cake took on a life of its own, and not long after, variations of the cake began popping up across the United States.

What is Hummingbird Bird Cake?

The cake is made from, bananas, pineapples, orange flavourings and the optional guava jelly. In the United States though, the guava jelly is swapped for cream cheese frosting and pecans. But I’ll be sharing the Jamaican version with you. It is a little less fanfare than the American version but I guarantee, its simplicity does not take away from its delectable taste.

Why is it called Hummingbird Cake?

The cake was named for our National Bird, The Hummingbird or as we call it locally, the “doctor bird”. No, there are no birds in the cake. It is called Hummingbird cake because it is believed to be just as sweet as the nectar that Hummingbirds drink.

What does Hummingbird cake taste like?

The banana flavour is really pronounced in the cake, however, the pineapples add moisture and a slight tang to the cake that works well with the nutmeg and other spices as well.

Does Hummingbird cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes, it is best to keep the cake refrigerated after a day or two as the recipe includes fruit. So now that you know all about the Hummingbird Cake, it’s time to make one of our own!

Jamaican Hummingbird Cake Recipe


  • 2 overripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 Crushed Pineapple
  • 6 ozs butter
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1 tsp Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Orange Flavouring
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 cup Orange Juice
  • Optional: ¼ cup Guava Jelly


  1. In a bowl, add your eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and orange flavourings and combine thoroughly.

  2. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder and set aside.

  3. Blend your bananas with the orange juice until smooth.

  4. Grease 8″ baking pan and set aside.

  5. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).

  6. Using a mixer, beat your wet batter until the eggs are fully incorporated into the batter. It should be light and smooth.

  7. Add your dry batter, banana mixture and crushed pineapples to the wet batter and mix until all the ingredients are properly incorporated into the batter.

  8. Pour the batter into the baking pan (or pans) and place them in your oven.

  9. The recommended baking time is 25 minutes. One sure way to know your cake is cooked through is to lightly touch the centre of your cake. If it springs bake up immediately, then, remove your cake from the oven and allow it to cool. It is good to go.

  10. This is where the icing/frosting usually commences, which is totally up to you, however, you can have it just as is.

  11. Or, whisk guava jelly until it's smooth and spread on the top of your cake for an even sweeter finish.

The recommended serving size is whatever makes you content. Happy eating.

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References & Sources For Hummingbird Cake

  1. Hummingbird Cake Recipe -,

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