Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 6, A Cake-A-Day: Art Smith's Hummingbird Cake

Last year I had the fortune to see Chef Art Smith in person at California Adventure's Food and Wine Festival.  Art Smith was the personal chef for Oprah and has also worked with Martha Stewart and served as a special event chef for Martha Stewart Living.


Chef Art Smith
At some point during his presentation, his well-known Hummingbird Cake came up.  He talked about it and I logged it away in my mind as a recipe to try. 

This week a dear friend emailed me a recipe wondering if I'd be interested in trying a cake that was recommended to her.  It was the recipe for Art Smith's Hummingbird Cake.

Today was my first time making Hummingbird Cake.  I would describe it as a blend of moist amazing banana cake gone tropical topped with creamy cream cheese frosting.  Fantastic!

Art Smith's Hummingbird Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped ripe bananas
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter two round 9" cake pans.  Line with round pieces of parchment paper.  Butter parchment.  Lightly flour bottom and sides of pan.

buttered pans

Parchment paper circle

Parchment paper buttered on bottom of pans

Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into bowl.  In another bowl, stir or whisk the bananas, pineapple, oil, eggs, and vanilla until combined.  Do not use an electric mixer, all by hand. Pour into the dry mixture and fold together with a large spatula just until smooth.  Do not beat.  Fold in the pecans.  Spread evenly into the pans.

Getting ready for sifting

Flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda

Sifting commences

Light and fine

Ripe bananas

I mashed some...

and chopped some...

Banana and pineapple

Beaten eggs

Wet ingredients

Ready to whisk

Whisking complete

Adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients



Bake until the cake springs back when pressed in the center, 30-35 minutes.  Transfer the cakes to wire racks and cool 10 minutes.  Invert cakes onto racks, remove parchment.  Turn right side up and cool completely.

Cooling on racks


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar (about 4 1/2 cups sifted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using and electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until combined.  On low speed, gradually beat in the sugar, then vanilla to make a smooth frosting.

Sifting powdered sugar

Beating cream cheese and butter

Place 1 cake layer, upside down on a serving platter.  Spread with about 2/3 cup of the frosting.  Top with the second layer, right side up.  Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.  The cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and stored, uncovered in the refrigerator.  Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

First layer (upside down)

Great tool for spreading frosting

Layer 2, right side up

Finished Cake


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