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Hummingbird Cake

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

Since appearing in Southern Living magazine in February 1978 as the recipe of a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, Hummingbird Cake has become the magazine's most requested recipe of all time. While this beloved Southern classic is chock full o' goodies like bananas, pineapple, and pecans, it's not a fussy to prepare, making it a favorite for picnics and barbecues.

Mrs. L.H. Wiggins' original recipe clocked in with 1 1/2 cups of oil in the cake and 2 pounds of sugar in the frosting and this recipe has been adapted to be a bit lighter than her her original which can be found at The Food Timeline. Southern Living has since lightened the original recipe in addition to creating a "light" version that uses applesauce in place of most of the oil. You can find four variations of the cake on Southern Living's site.

Note: For those who prefer to use butter instead of oil, I've tested the cake with 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter. It works, but produces a somewhat denser cake.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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