Hummingbird Roulade

Hummingbird Roulade

The epitome of bright spring flavors, the classic hummingbird cake was due for a roulade riff. For this Hummingbird Roulade, a pecan- and banana-rich cake base receives a brush of Pineapple Simple Syrup before being rolled and blanketed in a browned butter and cream cheese frosting.

Hummingbird Roulade
Makes 10 to 12 servings
  • ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
  • ½ cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (24 grams) ground pecans
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium banana (130 grams), mashed (about ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Pineapple Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Browned Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped toasted pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 15¼×10¼-inch rimmed baking sheet with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; spray parchment.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat granulated sugar and eggs at medium-high speed until pale, fluffy, and doubled in size, about 4 minutes. Beat in extracts.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with banana, beginning and ending with flour mixture, gently folding with a balloon whisk just until combined after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until lightly golden and cake springs back when lightly pressed in center, 9 to 11 minutes. Immediately run a thin knife or a small offset spatula around edges of cake. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust top of cake with confectioners’ sugar. Place a clean kitchen towel on top of cake. Invert cake onto a baking sheet or a large cutting board; discard parchment. Starting with one short side, immediately roll up cake and towel together jelly roll style. Place, seam side down, on a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  5. Carefully unroll cooled cake. Using a pastry brush, brush cake with Pineapple Simple Syrup. (You will have some left over.) Reserve 1 cup (238 grams) Browned Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting. Spread remaining frosting on cake, leaving a ½-inch border on short side that is bottom seam. Gently reroll cake without towel, lifting, laying, and gently tucking roll on top of filling, making sure not to press hard. Using towel as a sling, place roulade, seam side down, on a wire rack or a baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes.
  6. Spread reserved Browned Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting on top of roulade, and garnish with chopped pecans, if desired. Serve immediately.

Pineapple Simple Syrup
Makes ¾ cup
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120 grams) pineapple juice
  1. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and pineapple juice over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and let cool completely before using.

Browned Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 2½ cups
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (113 grams) browned butter (see Note), room temperature
  • 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) heavy whipping cream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter at medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to medium, and add confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup (60 grams) at a time, alternately with cream, beating until combined. Use immediately.
Note: To make browned butter, in a small light-colored saucepan, melt ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter solids are golden brown and nutty in aroma. Measure ½ cup (113 grams) browned butter in a heatproof liquid-measuring cup; let cool until solid and room temperature before using.


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