Move Over Carrot Cake, I’m Coming For You! MB Recipe 34 (2024)

Last week I finally treated myself to cake. Yes, cake! I have been avoiding the Cakes chapter of the Magnolia Bakery cookbook for a couple months. But I finally decided to make the cake that most intrigued me: the Hummingbird Cake.

This cake is similar to carrot cake in final texture. But, it is made with bananas, crushed pineapple, and nuts. This combination, though unusual, proves to be very tasty. And I think it’s actually become my favorite cake!

Go to the recipe!

Making It

One of the downsides to making this cake is all the dishes I used during the process. A bowl for the mashed bananas, a bowl for the dry ingredients, a frying pan to toast the pecans, a strainer for the crushed pineapple, another bowl for the crush pineapple, etc. It was a lot and this doesn’t include the the measuring utensils!

This cake recipe starts with mashing 6 (yes, 6!!) overripe bananas. Then you mix your dry ingredients. I placed the wet ingredients in the bowl for my stand mixer. What’s interesting about this cake is it’s an oil cake. There’s no butter in the cake recipe! Per the directions, I decided to mix the flour in by hand. It wasn’t hard but it did take longer than I though it would. Soon it was time to add the nuts and pour the batter into the prepared pans.

  • Move Over Carrot Cake, I’m Coming For You! MB Recipe 34 (1)
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  • Move Over Carrot Cake, I’m Coming For You! MB Recipe 34 (3)
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  • Move Over Carrot Cake, I’m Coming For You! MB Recipe 34 (6)

Baking It

After some previous cake baking disasters, I now own a set of higher-wall cake pans. But I still decided to bake then on cookie sheets just in case there was another overflow. Luckily (and thankfully!) there wasn’t!

While the cake was baking there was a wonderful aroma emitting from the oven. The scent of bananas and warm nuts filled the air. I think the cake layers baked for the exact middle amount of time provided for in the recipe, which seems to be pretty standard for my oven. Upon cutting into it and tasting it, I pulled it from the oven at exactly the right time.

I let the cake layers cool in their pans for an hour. It gave me more than enough time to do all those dishes I used while making it. I also took out the butter and cream cheese that I would need to make the frosting.

Frosting It

Move Over Carrot Cake, I’m Coming For You! MB Recipe 34 (8)

This Hummingbird Cake uses a cream cheese frosting. However, there was some butter in the recipe, too. Six tablespoons of butter was used but there was 16 ounces of cream cheese. I ended up not using all of the frosting and I think I ended up frosting it pretty well. Adding the powered sugar was interesting, as no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it all to incorporate. This is something that never happened to me before.

Frosting the cake started out pretty simply. I didn’t level the layers because I didn’t think it was necessary. I would just fill in the slight the uneven-ness with frosting. It worked well. However, as I was frosting the cake, the frosting itself because warmer and started losing its shape. Eventually it became challenging to frost the cake nicely. Instead of fighting it too much or taking the time to chill the frosting and cake a bit, I opted to just leave the “rustic look.”

Tasting It

Finally, it was time to taste the cake! This cake is dense, but it isn’t dry. There is so much moisture in the cake thanks to the oil and the bananas. The flavors play extremely well together and is definitely the spring/summer cousin to the carrot cake. While I do appreciate a carrot cake every now and then, I do think that Hummingbird Cake is superior. I was hesitant to include nuts in the batter (they are optional) but upon tasting it, I was glad I did. It added the texture that is needed to break up the density of the cake layers.

Though this cream cheese frosting wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t find it overly sweet, but I just found it somewhat bland. Still, subpar frosting aside, this cake is definitely a win-win for me. And it’s become one of my favorites now.

Since this is a cookbook cook-through blog, I do not normally post the recipes I make. I usually refer people to the cookbook or website where I found the recipe. I’ve decided to make an exception this time, however.

The recipe can be found in this post.

Move Over Carrot Cake, I’m Coming For You! MB Recipe 34 (2024)


Why did my carrot cake flop? ›

If the temperature is too low, the batter rises, but won't set so the structure of the batter collapses before it does set. Cake structure is delicate. Its easily disturbed and can collapse from things like vibration caused by noise.

Why is my carrot cake thick? ›

Carrot cakes tend to be a little more dense than other cakes. It has to do with the carrots and nuts in the recipe. These additions to what is essentially a slice cake make for a denser final product.

Why did my carrot cake cupcakes sink? ›

If your oven is running high it will cause the cupcakes to rise too rapidly, and the middle won't be baked, which will cause the cupcakes to sink. Most home ovens are not accurate at keeping the temperature you set it to. Which is why you should have an oven thermometer in your oven.

How do you keep a carrot cake from falling or collapsing in the middle? ›

You can keep a carrot cake from falling in the middle by altering your cooking process and the recipe.
  1. Lower the cooking temperature by 50 degrees F. ...
  2. Preheat your oven before baking the cake. ...
  3. Decrease the amount of oil in the batter by 2 tbsp.

Why did my carrots turn black in my carrot cake? ›

Carrots contain pigments that are sensitive to changes in pH balance. When the shreds of carrot come into contact with the alkaline baking soda, a chemical reaction takes place that causes the pigments to change color.

Why does carrot cake taste weird? ›

There are a few reasons why your carrot cake might taste bitter. Too much baking soda: Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps to make cakes rise. However, too much baking soda can give a cake a bitter taste. If you are using a recipe that calls for baking soda, be sure to measure it carefully.

How do you make a cake fluffier? ›

The most crucial tip? Instead of buying an entire box of cake flour, simply incorporate two tablespoons of cornstarch into 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. This blocks the formation of gluten in the flour, which produces a lighter, fluffier cake.

Why is my carrot cake moist but crumbly? ›

Overmixing: Overmixing the batter can develop excess gluten, resulting in a crumbly texture. Mix until just combined to avoid this. Incorrect Measurements: Accurate measurements are crucial for baking.

Why is my carrot cake not cooked in the middle? ›

The most common reasons a cake sinks in the middle include the following: The pan is too small. There's too much liquid. Opening the oven or moving pans during baking.

Why does carrot cake take so long to cook? ›

* The cake pan could be overfull. A full cake pan takes a lot longer to cook, and you can very easily end up with a cake that is both under, and over cooked.

What is the toothpick test on carrot cake? ›

The idea behind this test is you can insert a toothpick or paring knife into the center of the cake to see if the crumb has set. If the tester comes out clean, it's done. If it comes out gummy or with crumbs clinging to it, the cake needs more time in the oven.

What temp is carrot cake done? ›

Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.

Can you eat a cake that has sunk in the middle? ›

If your cake was cooked to the proper temperature, chances are it is still edible even if it sunk in the center. Check that it's baked through the middle, then try a small piece of your cake. It might not taste good if the ingredient measurements were off. Notice the texture to make sure it's not too dense or spongy.

How do you fix a flopped cake? ›

How to Fix Sunken Cake
  1. Step 1: Cut the outer ring of cake. Take your fallen cake and cut the ridge from around the sunken middle, so the top of the cake is level. ...
  2. Step 2: Fill in the gap in the cake. Using the excess cake, fill the sunken middle in and smooth it out. ...
  3. Step 3: Cover with frosting.

Why did my cake collapse after baking? ›

Incorporate too little air and your cake won't rise enough. Too much air and your cake will collapse because it simply can't hold onto all that air. Overbeating can add too much additional air and/or large air bubbles which the cake can't support, causing it to collapse in the oven.

Why is my cake floppy? ›

If the temperature of your oven is too high, your cake will not cook properly. While the outside of your cake will be done and may even start to burn, the middle will remain liquid. Once you turn this cake out of the oven, the center may sink, or the uncooked batter may spill out when you cut the cake. This situ.


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