Classic Hummingbird Cake with Coconut

This Classic Hummingbird Cake with Coconut is a Southern delicacy with a banana cake batter, pecans, pineapple, and in my version, coconut! With the addition of cream cheese frosting makes this practically irresistible. Classic Hummingbird Cake with Coconut | A dense, banana cake chock full of pecans, coconut and pineapple and slathered in cream cheese frosting!


Classic Hummingbird Cake with Coconut

The ol’ ball and chain has a huge list of dislikes. Banana bread? No way. All quick breads and muffins are persona non grata. So a banana cake is out. Nuts, coconut, pineapple? All three rank high on the fake “I’m deathly allergic” list. So I’ve been saving this hummingbird cake recipe for my book club gathering, where I could share with my more tolerant girlfriends. As you might guess, they all raved about this amped up banana cake!Classic Hummingbird Cake with Coconut | A dense, banana cake chock full of pecans, coconut and pineapple and slathered in cream cheese frosting!


A Southern Tradition

This classic hummingbird cake worked his way up to the deep south via Jamaica. The banana cake base is rich and dense, made with oil instead of butter. But it’s all the extras that make this cake a standout. Like my classic carrot cake, I love my hummingbird cake loaded. And though coconut is not traditional, it works beautifully! Katie and I both enjoyed every morsel of the leftovers, though, like her dad, she picked out all the nuts. Sigh. Time for a batch of chocolate chip cookies. The family never complains about those!  I think this Real Deal Southern Caramel Cake is another winner–no nuts in sight!

Is there an ingredient you do not want in your cake?? Bill still brings up the time we dined at the now defunct Lumiere in Vancouver. I told him he wouldn’t even notice the beets that were in their chocolate cake. Apparently, I was horribly mistaken! I’ll never live that one down.

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Classic Hummingbird Cake with Coconut | A dense, banana cake chock full of pecans, coconut and pineapple and slathered in cream cheese frosting!

Classic Hummingbird Cake with Coconut

Serves 12 servings     adjust servings

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr

A classic Southern dessert with bananas, pecans, and pineapple. I added coconut just because! Adapted from Southern Living.


For cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 l eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (use ripe bananas)
  • 1 (8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

For Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pecans, coconut, to garnish, if desired.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line bottom of each pan with parchment paper and spray parchment with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla, and stir until combined. Fold in bananas, pineapple, coconut, and pecans. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Place pans on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks, and cool completely. Remove parchment paper.
  4. While cake is cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until it's all incorporated. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. Place one layer on a serving plate. Top with one-fourth of frosting. Repeat procedure once. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with pecans or coconut, if desired.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 1054kcal Calories from fat 563
% Daily Value
Total Fat 63g 97%
Saturated Fat 20g 100%
Transfat 1g
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 460mg 19%
Carbohydrate 120g 40%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 87g
Protein 9g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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  1. Mmm, how delicious! We all love coconut in our home!

  2. Coconut is definitely a favourite. This is a very beautiful layered cake, Liz.

  3. I have to admit I’ve never tried a hummingbird cake!! I love coconut though and this sounds so good.

  4. Beautiful!! I would be afraid to have it around if there wasn’t a crowd to serve. I wouldn’t trust myself as it looks incredibly delicious (and like it came from a fine bakery)!

  5. just because it has coconut in it I want some!

  6. A sensational cake!

  7. Wow! Such a palatable cake recipe! Can’t wait to give it a try, Liz! Do the bananas need to be ripe?

  8. Wow, this cake would qualify as a master piece for any celebration. You are a great baker.

  9. Don’t worry–you can send all your quick breads and muffins and nutty cakes down to me! In case your book club friends develop allergies too :). This cake sounds absolutely divine!

  10. I’ve always wanted to try this cake and yours is so pretty! Love the history too 🙂 Pinning! It looks fantastic.

  11. I love this cake Lizzy, never I made I have to try your recipe some day, look delicious!!

  12. Dear Lizzy, I only learned of a Hummingbird cake a few years ago and was drawn to the recipe by the name. It is a wonderful cake and I am sure all in your book club loved it! It looks delish. xoox Catherine

  13. What a beautiful cake! I’m in lust! I’m like you, give me the works! 😀 Can’t wait to try this Liz!

  14. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a hummingbird cake! Love the coconut in yours. Yum!!

  15. I’d hummmmmm all up in this bird’s cakey business, that’s for dang sure!

  16. This cake looks super moist. I can’t think of anything that I would not like in a cake. Love the nuts, pineapple, coconut… yum!

  17. The cake looks irresistible!!!!

  18. What a gorgeous cake, we would totally love this recipe. I laughed out loud when I read “the ol’ ball and chain”!!!! We had my best friend and husband over for dinner snd I served a banana cream pie, entirely forgetting that he “doesn’t eat nuts”, it had some ground pecans in the crust. That guy cleaned off the crust and left it for dead on his plate! I should be grateful that he didn’t just push it away after one bite, it’s happened before!

  19. Love coconut! After lemon, it might be my favorite flavor in desserts. And with a slice of this in front of me? Well, it’d definitely be the flavor of the day! This looks wonderful — thanks.

  20. Your cakes are baked goods are always so stunning and delicious, and this hummingbird cake is no exception. I love all the ingredients you have used here. Wonderful share.

  21. I love hummingbird cake and yours looks divine!! Yay for coconut! I cracked up at the fake “I’m deathly allergic” list 🙂

  22. What? No quick breads? And no muffins? How is marriage feasible under those conditions? What if you frost the muffin and call it a cupcake? Anyway, I’ve ever had hummingbird cake, and am so glad to find out that it’s not made of roasted hummingbird. Even having never had it, though, I can tell that coconut flat-out belongs in there! I’m eager to try it!

  23. My ball and chain will not touch this type of cake either (but he does love banana bread). If it’s not plain chocolate or vanilla, he won’t eat it. I on the other hand LOVE everything in this cake, especially the addition of coconut! 💛

  24. My god!! How delicious this is! Me and my mommy love the coconut in our home actually. This cake is superb and looks so tempting in your pictures. But is it necessary to use Egg? can I make it without using egg? Looking forward to more recipes, Thanks for sharing this with us. Best wishes and Regards.

    • Yes, unfortunately, you’ll need to use eggs in this recipe. You could try an egg substitute, but I have no experience with those (like applesauce or a flax seed mixture), so unsure if it would work. Eggs provide some lift and structure. If you do give it a go, let me know how it turns out!! Thanks for your sweet comment 🙂

  25. I love the name let alone the ingredients and the look of this beautiful cake!

  26. Janet Woodward says:

    Good morning or whatever it is where you are…from Yorkshire in England. (Yes the home of Yorkshire puddings).
    Just love this recipe….I have made it gluten free….and you really couldnt tell. Sorry, no photos as I had a guest take a knife to it before I thought about the photos. ….says it all…

    Fab cake, moist, flavoursome…easy to make. What more could you want.?

    Have fun..and if in any doubt….twice!!


  27. Such a gorgeous cake, Liz! Love that pretty cream cheese frosting! Glad this was a hit with your girlfriends, I know I would adore this! 🙂

  28. Liz, your Humminbird Cake looks scrumptious – moist, delicious and very elegant! Not surprised that the members of your Book Club raved about it!

    P.S.: For some reason, I am having trouble commenting on your site. It simply won´t post my comments…hope it works this time.

  29. This is one beauty of a cake and one of the most decadent. I have lots of picky eaters also but that won’t deter me from making this. My daughter made one for Easter and I think I’m still wearing it around my hips!

  30. When I want something besides chocolate, I always think of carrot cake. This will be changing soon because this cake sounds divine!

  31. I’m glad the book club ladies loved this cake. You really are a master of layered cakes Liz, so beautiful.

  32. I wish I had a slice now!

  33. This is such a beautiful elegant cake! Never had the chance to make a Hummingbird Cake! I wish I had that slice right now!

  34. The Delicacy of this cake makes me to adore it. Simple but yet very classy for any occasion. The coconut creamy part looks so fabulous . i Feel like eating whole but then keeping it mind that i have to make this cake for my mother as she love coconut cake. Its texture is really nice. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Its definitely in my list.

  35. I’ve been dreaming about this cake for a week now, Liz! It just calls to me! That fluffy frosting, super moist cake texture and the crunch of walnuts and coconut. Dessert perfection.


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