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Recipe for Hummingbird Cake

Recipe for Hummingbird Cake – There is something so deliciously wonderful about this homemade recipe for Hummingbird Cake. The flavor is perfect, the cake is fluffy and moist and the new Salted Caramel Frosting is going to wow you.

What is Hummingbird Cake?

Oh wow… just imagine the most delectable cake — flavored with pineapple, coconut, bananas and pecans. Topped with a delicious brown-sugar-caramel-dream frosting.

In general, if you want to know what a hummingbird cake is — it’s a complex version of the carrot cake without the carrots or raisins. Yes, I make a delicious carrot cake and promise to add it to Clean Cuisine soon.

recipe for hummingbird cake

Making a Healthier Recipe for Hummingbird Cake

A traditional recipe for hummingbird cake would be loaded with wheat flour, refined sugar and lots of unhealthy oils.

In my recipe for Hummingbird Cake, it’s cleaned up to be so healthy that you can serve it to your kids for breakfast without the guilt. Trust me though, once you make this cleaned up version of my hummingbird cake, you are going to never turn back. Just trust me on this.

recipe for hummingbird cake

Make this Hummingbird Cake Your Own

One of the amazing things about this cake is that you can swap out ingredients, add new ones and still have a perfect recipe for hummingbird cake.

For example, if you don’t care for crushed pineapple – then use applesauce instead. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use organic unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil. Not a fan of walnuts, use pecans instead. You really can’t go wrong. If you don’t have enough eggs, or can’t eat eggs — try one of these Egg Substitutes.

TIP: If you love banana flavor, add about 1 teaspoon of banana extract and increase the flavor a little more.

This recipe for hummingbird cake is so versatile. I hope you will print off the recipe card down below and start making swaps. Please do sure them in the comments below.

recipe for hummingbird cake

The Story of How I learned about Hummingbird Cake:

In 2010, I first visited Kathleen Kings Tate’s Bake Shop located in the Hamptons, New York. I remember walking into her shop and drooling over this big gorgeous cake under a cake dome on the counter. I remember asking my mom, “What is Hummingbird Cake?”

My mom ordered 2 — and we sat at a little bistro table swooning over the delectable flavor of this cake. Every single bite was sinfully deliciously.

I immediately bought her book and went home to begin baking my way through it. And boy oh boy, are there some delicious recipes in that cookbook. The downside is that almost every single one is loaded with refined sugar, lots of dairy and plenty of wheat.

Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, My Life Changed

Then, I got really sick and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Soon after, I went gluten free and reduced dairy and refined sugar in order to stave off my inflammation.

Sad to say, I have not had another piece of Tate’s Recipe for Hummingbird Cake… but now I just make my own.

So, this recipe for Hummingbird Cake is lovingly inspired by Kathleen’s little shop on Long Island. Thank you Kathleen!

recipe for hummingbird cake

How to Make a Healthier Recipe for Hummingbird Cake

Instead of wishing I had a delicious recipe for hummingbird cake that isn’t so healthy, I cleaned up the recipe by using nutrient-dense ingredients and a minimal frosting that has just the right amount of sweetness.

  • Use coconut sugar instead of refined sugar.
  • Almond flour (if you’re grain free) or King Arthur’s Whole Grain Gluten Free Mix
  • Coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or the other icky oil-based sadness!
  • Whole foods — pineapple, unsweetened coconut, applesauce, nuts

As I was preparing to share this recipe today, my husband asked when I would be making this recipe for Hummingbird Cake again. I guess it’s time to get out the mixing bowls!

recipe for hummingbird cake

Most Delicious Salted “Caramel” Frosting I’ve Ever Made

This was all a big accident, but my family is in awe… and so am I. Okay, they are in so much awe that they think I should start my own frosting company. haha. Just bear with me.

The Game Changer:

STEP #1: You must add the coconut sugar to a high speed blender or food processor. Hit pulse a few times and let the coconut sugar whirl around until it’s a fine powder.

STEP #2: Make sure your coconut-based cream cheese and unsalted organic butter is at room temperature before beginning.

STEP #3: Use only high quality, pure vanilla — and I just love Himalayan pink sea salt.

So, no, there is no “caramel” in my Salted “Caramel” Frosting — but it tastes JUST like it. Plus, it is the perfect companion to this recipe for Hummingbird Cake.

A Few Quick Notes:

  • If you are vegetarian, opt to replace the butter in the frosting for something you prefer.
  • If you are nut-free, skip the nuts!
  • If you are SCD, use almond flour and not gluten free flour.

Recipe for Hummingbird Cake

Recipe for Hummingbird Cake is full of rich and delicious flavors: pineapple, banana, coconut, pecans. Hummingbird Cake is fluffy and rich.

recipe for hummingbird cake
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  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 812 slices 1x



  • 3 cups almond flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill or use gluten free flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, try Nutiva Organic brand
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup bananas, ripened and mashed
  • 3 pastured eggs
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (substitute: unsweetened applesauce)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, such as Barlean’s, melted and room temperature
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped fine


  • 8 tablespoons coconut-based cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of organic unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • sea salt, to taste



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk together and make a well in the middle of the bowl.
  3. In a classic batter bowl, mash the bananas using a pastry blender or fork. Once well mashed, add the eggs, pineapple, coconut flakes, vanilla and chopped nuts (optional). Mix until well combined. Add in the room temperature coconut oil. Mix again until well combined.
  4. To the large bowl, add the banana mixture. Mix until just well combined, but do not over stir.
  5. Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top starts to darken and the center is set.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once cool, frost the tops of the cakes and stack them.


  1. To a blender or food processor, add the coconut sugar and pulse until a fine powder is made.
  2. Add all ingredients to a bowl and use a hand mixer or stand mixer, blend thoroughly.
  3. You can add more salt, to taste.

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!

© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:

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Aimee Niedosik

Aimee loves to craft delicious, nutrient-dense recipes to share with her family and friends. While in remission from autoimmune diseases and underlying viruses, she still maintains an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging diet. Aimee is a Christian, website designer, autoimmune community leader and lives in North Carolina with her husband, 2 kids and 2 dogs.

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Wednesday 21st of April 2021

What "coconut-based" cream cheese would you suggest? I can't seem to find anything in that realm.

The recipe sounds so delicious - dying to make it! Thank you -

Aimee Harris Niedosik

Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Hi Jodie, If you don't have any dairy issues, you can certainly use low-fat cream cheese -- but for coconut based, look for Kite Hill, Violife or Miyoko's brands. If you have coconut milk handy, you can also make your own using this delicious recipe: -- Keep me posted!!


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