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Hummingbird cake with pink carnations on a cake stand.

High Altitude Hummingbird Cake

Heather Smoke
A classic hummingbird cake made with bananas, pineapple and pecans, for a cake that's flavorful, moist and dense, frosted with pecan cream cheese buttercream.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment



  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 med/lg bananas)
  • 20 oz canned crushed pineapple in juice (undrained)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped


  • 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 8 oz (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp meringue powder
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped, optional



  • Preheat the oven to 350 F, and spray the bottoms of three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, then whisk until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, mashed bananas, crushed pineapple with the juice, and vanilla extract.
  • Add the dry ingredients and the chopped pecans to the wet ingredients, and fold everything together just until moistened.
  • Divide the batter between the pans. Bake on the center oven rack for about 25-30 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  • Set the pans on a cooling rack, covered with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter for one minute on medium speed until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the sugar mixture by spoonfuls until combined, then add the vanilla.
  • Increase speed to medium and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl several times, until thick and fluffy. Turn down the speed to "stir" and mix for several minutes to get rid of air bubbles.
  • Fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Remove the cooled cakes from the pans. Place one cake layer on a cake board and frost with a layer of buttercream. Repeat stacking and filling the cake layers.
  • Frost the cake all over with a very thin crumb coat of buttercream. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to set the crumb coat. Frost the cake all over with a final coat of buttercream, making it as swirly or smooth as you like.
  • Before serving, decorate the cake with fresh flowers.


  • Leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container or cake carrier for up to 3 days. The cake should be served at room temperature, but you should refrigerate it overnight to keep the cream cheese cool.
Keyword Cream Cheese, High Altitude Cake, Hummingbird Cake
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