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Hummingbird Breakfast Cake

Hummingbird Breakfast Cake

This classic Southern-style bread is sweet and full of flavor. The batter has bananas, carrots, and crushed pineapple, and there’s a crunchy layer of walnuts and brown sugar running through the middle of each piece. I make this entire cake in one big bowl: All you have to do is make a well in the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients in the middle, and then combine everything. (It’s so simple I actually just use a fork to do all the mixing.)


 To remove this sweet bread from the angel food cake pan without flipping it upside down, you need two things: a well-greased pan and a bottle of wine. After the bread has cooled, run the tip of a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the top of the bread a bit, then set the center of the pan—the part that looks like a tube—on the neck of a wine bottle and carefully pull the side of the pan down. The pan should slide off while the bread stays on the bottle. Then you can use a spatula to loosen the bottom and slide the bread off of the other part of the pan.


Hummingbird Breakfast Cake


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Put the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a very large mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients (just push them up to the sides of the bowl, so there’s a bowl-shaped indentation in the center). Crack the eggs into the well and beat them lightly with a fork. Working with one ingredient at a time, mix in the pineapple, banana, carrot, vegetable oil, and vanilla. When the wet ingredients are well mixed, stir in the dry ingredients until you have a uniform batter.

    3. In a mortar or a small food processor, crush the walnuts into small pieces. Transfer them to a small bowl and mix in the brown sugar.

    4. Using a paper towel, spread some oil into an angel food cake pan, making sure to cover the sides and bottom well. Carefully pour half of the batter into the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the walnut mixture evenly over the batter, then pour in the remaining batter. Sprinkle the remaining nut and brown sugar mixture on top.

    5. Bake the sweet bread until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let the bread cool on a baking rack for about 1 hour, then carefully remove it from the pan. Dust the top with powdered sugar before serving. 

    This recipe was featured in Episode 103 of Ranch To Table on Magnolia Network.

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    Photos: Blakeney Sanford, Brian Skope

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