My Happy Hummingbird Cake

IMG_1256Humming Bird Cake

Do you have something you turn to when life just ain’t going quite the way you planned? When your day is crappy, is there a particular food that you turn to that cheers you up and makes you happy?….. what am I talking about.. most food makes me happy! What I am trying to say is, is there a certain food that comforts you and gives you a big loving hug when you need it….

For me it is the humble hummingbird cake. I don’t know what it is about it.. The overload of fresh banana and pineapple mixed with subtle spices, the crunch of pecans and the generous amounts of smooth cream cheese icing.. oh its heaven in a cake! I have been known on a couple of occasions when my day was too crappy for words, to escape to one of my favourite cafe and sit and indulge in a slice of blissful hummingbird cake. I know it is possibly not the best way to deal with my emotions, but hey, for those 10 minutes as my cake fork connects from my plate to my mouth… the world is magically ok again.

As with pretty much all cakes, the origins of the hummingbird’s name is often debated. I particularly like the idea that the name came from the fact that the hummingbird cake simply makes you hum with happiness with each bite you take.. oh isn’t that sweet… (I think the real origin actually has something to do with Jamaica and an actual bird… but never mind!)

Now the other reason for this pretty little post is that I happened to stumble into my local Salvo’s store last week. I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, and to tell you the truth I have never stepped foot into the store before. However I had some time to kill and I am always interested in looking for any pretty additions to my kitchen. Between the many racks of abandoned clothes and toys that have seen better days, on the back wall sat this beautiful pink glass plate and for the steep price of $1.50 (one dollar and fifty cents!!!) it is now the latest pretty addition to my cake plates and stands (I also picked up another great bargain at the Salvo’s that I will share with you all later during the week).

Oh isn’t it just beautiful!!

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So with a pretty new cake plate in my possession, and a bit of a crappy week on the emotional front.. there was only one logical thing to do today… whip up the prettiest happy hummingbird cake I could possibly make and share it with you all.

So here it is…

“My Happy Hummingbird Cake”

with Pineapple Caramel Sauce

IMG_1223Humming Bird Cake

For this  particular cake I used a recipe from the queen of all things pretty and sweet Martha Stewart. It really is the prefect hummingbird recipe and so incredibly simple to make. You can access the full recipe here.

As Martha’s recipe is in imperial measurements, I thought I would save any of you metric readers some time and do the converting for you.

_MG_1192Humming Bird Cake

For The Cake

  • Nonstick vegetable spray
  • Plain flour, for pans
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 very large bananas, mashed
  • 250g canned pineapple, with juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

This recipe really is so simple all you need to do is add all the ingredients into a large bowl and then give it a good stir. I divided my mixture between 3 prepared 8 inch cake pans and allowed them to cook for 30 minutes at 180°C.

*For Martha Stewart’s full recipe click here

For The Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 225g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or more if needed

Beat all ingredients in an electric mixer until smooth and pale.

*For Martha Stewart’s full recipe click here

For The Pineapple Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream

Bring to the boil over a medium heat the pineapple juice and sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring and allow to boil for 15- 20 minutes or until it begins to turn a rich toffee colour (I used a wet pasty brush to brush down sides of saucepan every couple of minutes to stop it from catching and to ensure a smooth caramel). When desired colour is reached, remove from heat and stir in butter and thickened cream. yummm!!

I trimmed the tops of my beautiful cakes with a serrated knife so they were even and stacked them with layers of cream cheese icing. A sprinkle of chopped pecans on top and a good drizzle of home-made pineapple caramel sauce and you have my idea of the perfect cake! (A scoop of ice cream is also a good idea but sshhhhh I didn’t say it!)

I am going to be sharing this one with my loved ones, over a large cup of tea and with very big smile one my face.. Hope you enjoy!

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Hummingbird cake Humming Bird CakeIMG_1254Humming Bird Cake  Humming bird cakeHumming Bird Cake

P.s How pretty are my David Austin Roses!! I picked them up from Verdaflore in Oatley.. Such a pretty and rare find!

Tell me beautiful people, what is your favourite “happy” food?

 

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