Hummingbird cake

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Foto's: Francois Oberholster
Foto's: Francois Oberholster
Bake this classic favourite and garnish it with a crown of pineapple flowers – all in just three steps.

Makes 1 x 23cm double-layer cake

Preparation time 35 minutes

Baking time: 45−60 minutes

Oven temperature: 180°C


• 2 eggs

• 250ml (200g) light brown sugar

• 125ml canola oil or melted coconut oil

• 5ml rum (or vanilla essence)

• 125ml mashed ripe banana

• 220g (½ tin) tinned crushed pineapple, plus syrup

• 50g mixed nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

• 60ml coconut, toasted

• 312.5ml (175g) cake flour

• 2.5ml baking powder

• 2.5ml bicarbonate of soda a pinch of salt

• 5ml cinnamon

• 2ml each ginger and mixed spice

Preheat the oven. Line a 23cm springform pan with baking paper and grease with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. Mix the oil, rum, banana, pineapple, nuts and coconut in a bowl. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices into a separate bowl. Fold the banana mixture and flour mixture, alternately, into the egg mixture until combined and then pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 45–60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely and slice in half.

Pineapple flowers

This is easier than it looks, provided you are patient and cut paper-thin slices.

• 1 ripe pineapple

Peel the pineapple and remove any eyes (dark pieces). Cut 12 thin slices (use a mandolin if possible) from the pineapple. Pat the slices dry with a clean cloth and place them in the cavities of a greased muffin pan. Dehydrate in the oven at 120°C (use the fan if your oven has one) for about 1 hour. Check occasionally to make sure the flowers don’t stick. To ensure that the bottom of the pineapple slices also dehydrate properly, remove the ‘pineapple cups’ and continue baking them upside down on the back of the muffin pan. The flowers don’t have to be bone dry, but must keep their shape.

Cream cheese frosting

• 125ml butter, softened

• 500ml icing sugar, sifted

• 500ml medium-fat cream cheese

• 5ml vanilla essence

• 15ml lime or lemon juice

• zest of 1 lime or lemon

Beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, vanilla essence, lime juice and zest. Beat until just combined – don’t mix too much or the mixture will curdle. Spread the icing in the middle of the two cake layers and stack them on top of each other. Also spread the frosting on the sides and top, then garnish with the pineapple flowers.

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April 2023

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