Tropical Hummingbird Layer Cake

In this Tropical Hummingbird Layer Cake, we swapped out pecans for macadamia nuts and reconstituted dried apricots in pineapple juice for a unique spin on this timeless treat blanketed in rich, swoopy frosting. Find out the history behind this storied Southern classic here

3.0 from 1 reviews
Tropical Hummingbird Layer Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (128 grams) chopped dried apricots
  • 1 (20-ounce) can (600 grams) pineapple slices, juices reserved
  • 3½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) chopped roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1½ cups (341 grams) mashed ripe banana
  • 1¼ cups (280 grams) canola oil
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped macadamia nuts
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring apricots and reserved pineapple juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Finely dice 4 rings of pineapple; set aside. Reserve remaining pineapple for another use.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour, and line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in macadamia nuts. In a small bowl, stir together banana, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add banana mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in pineapple and apricots. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Press macadamia nuts into sides of cake, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 6 cups
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages (450 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 to 6 cups (600 to 720 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low, and beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to make frosting a spreadable consistency. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.


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  1. Hi – little confused instructions state reserve pineapple juice for another use. Above you state add to cake batter! I’m attempting cake again made last year and it was a little gummy. Want to be clear this time.

    • Hi Kathleen!

      So sorry for the confusion! You will use the reserved pineapple juice to rehydrate the apricots. Then you will fold only the apricots (without the juice) and the diced pineapple (4 rings) into the batter at the end. We hope this helps, and feel free to reach out with any other questions. Happy baking!


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