Skinny Hummingbird Cake
from Emily (who loves food)
Nobody knows why it’s called Hummingbird cake. Because there’s certainly no hummingbirds in it.
The cake originated in the southern states of America in the 1970s, and has been creeping into kitchens ever since. It’s a fantastic cupboard cleaner – gets rid of those brown bananas and that old tin of pineapple, along with anything else you want to throw in. Traditionally the cake had pecans in as well, but I prefer nuts on, not in my cake, so I threw some dried cranberries in instead. Dressed up with light cream cheese frosting, and it’s a winner.
This recipe doesn’t need any butter or oil – the moisture in the bananas and the pineapple do all the work for you. Self-raising flour ensures the cake has plenty of height, and the cranberries provide little pockets of sweetness. And cream cheese frosting… is, well, cream cheese frosting: bloody fantastic. Just a wee bit of reduced-fat spread instead of heaps of butter, and light cream cheese instead of full fat means that your biniki body is still in-tact, but nobody will ever know the difference! (The cake heralds 12 servings, only 285 cal a slice with 2.9g of fat!)
I actually decided to make this 1 hour, 15 mins before I was due to leave for work. And I had 20 mins leeway after it came out of the oven (post 40mins baking). That’s how quick it is to mix up! Perfect for those of you who ‘can’t bake’ – this one is pretty foolproof. Smack everything in the bowl, mix it up, pour it in your cake tin and BOOM. Hummingbird cake out the other end.
The perfect accompaniment to this nice spring sunshine and a cuppa tea.
Skinny Hummingbird Cake - Makes 1 22cm cake, serves 8-10 as a dessert.
Prep time: 5mins Cook time: 40-45mins
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 smallish bananas)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 225g can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 100g light cream cheese
- 30g reduced-fat spread
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbs dessicated coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 180C, and line the sides and base of a 22cm springform cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar. Then add the eggs, banana, pineapple (including the juice), vanilla and cranberries, stirring until there’s no streaks of flour.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 40-45mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the frosting.
Combine the cream cheese, reduced fat spread, vanilla extract and icing sugar in a bowl, and beat with electric beaters (or a whisk) until combined. The frosting should be dense, but still slightly dribbly (this isn’t buttercream!). Slather over the top of the cake, and sprinkle the chopped walnuts and coconut over the top.