Continuing my Southern theme, I made a cake that I was quite certain that no one else would bring, a Hummingbird Cake. It's a traditional layer cake with bananas, crushed pineapple, and spices. Some believe that it's called a Hummingbird Cake because it's so sweet with all the fruit and sugar, but apparently, the inventor of the cake liked to decorate the cake with pecans sliced width-wise, making them look like little hummingbirds in flight. Of course, for an informal, outdoor party, I just baked the batter in a half sheet pan for about 30 minutes, cooled it, plopped the icing on top, sprinkled it with some toasted pecans, and called it good. Easy-peasy! And it was well-received by the partygoers. I just had one corner piece to take home to my invalid roommate.
(Source: Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, January 1999 via My Recipes)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
2 cups chopped bananas
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.