First: after my grandmother developed dementia, I would go get slices of her favorite cake, this kind, whenever I wished I could reach her. I grew to like it quite a lot in that time.
Second: it is attributed to the American South, but. *shocker*
It actually hails from Jamaica, where it once was served without any frosting at all.
Mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and cinnamon, all mixed together in a butter-less batter.
Supposedly, the cake draws us in like nectar does to hummingbirds.
Sweet, tangy, warm, and soothing – and on to the next thing.
One Year: Creamy Roasted Carrot and Red Pepper Soup
Two Years: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake
Three Years: Moroccan-Inspired Grated Carrot Salad
Four Years: The Best Granola
Five Years: Salty Brown Butter Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Six Years: Marbled Banana Walnut Loaf
Hummingbird Sheet Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Southing Living
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 15-oz can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained, divided
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup reserved pineapple juice
3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan and set aside. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla and bananas, along with 8 oz of pineapple with juices. Strain the rest of the can of pineapple to reserve the juice for the frosting (this should equate to about 1/3 of a cup). Stir in toasted pecans. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pan on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare frosting.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until combined. Alternate beating in spoonfuls of pineapple juice and confectioner’s sugar until the frosting is velvety and fluffy. Frost the cake when it is completely cool, and serve. Cake will last up to three days.