Spiced Hummingbird Cake

What’s the best way to travel when you’re drowning under deadlines in your fourth year of university? I’ve found that cake is a pretty good one. I made this hummingbird cake, infused with the flavours of Jamaica, for my work friends and it was completely gone by 12 noon, having been put out at 10am. I certainly can’t stomach cake that early in the morning so I was impressed how quickly the office wolfed it down for their elevenses with a cup of tea!

And yesssss, you caught me… I miiiiight not have posted anything during October. I don’t know why, I had this cake ready to go for you, but I procrastinated my way around writing this post until essay deadline season. Classic. Now all I want to do is write blog posts and bake rather than be stuck on my butt in a hipster independent coffee shop with my black Kenyan blend Americano by my side and my laptop. I’m doing okay though, I’ve churned out 3000 words with 3 days before the deadline to spare, I’ve made cookies to celebrate, and I’ve watched a fair few episodes of Black Mirror and Friends (my housemates are slowly educating me on it, as I’d never seen Friends before) (please don’t shout at me, I live under a rock)

But back to important matters: THE CAKE. It’s got chunks of pineapple littered through the spiced banana sponge which creates a tropical flavour combination to die for. The pecans give it a good amount of crunch and also compliment the cinnamon and mixed spice well. And the lime cream cheese icing? Well. The leftover icing was misplaced so I’m not sure I could tell you… (I ate it with a spoon straight from the bowl, who am I kidding)

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The only thing about lime, or any citrus is that it can begin to curdle your cream cheese, so one word of recommendation is to make the frosting as close to serving as possible. It still tastes fine, but if you look closely at my pictures you might notice that the frosting isn’t the smoothest, to my own annoyance.

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I actually took this cake recipe from the good ole Jamie Oliver this time, which is a rare one for me because I’m usually digging up really unusual or different ways of baking from small time genius bloggers like Chocolate Covered Katie or something. But I do love a bit of Jamie Oliver, so here’s my nod to him for a smashing cake. I would happily devour this whole cake *daydreams*… sorry um, I totally went off on a tangent there, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:
For the cake:
250ml oil, I used sunflower but coconut or olive would work well
350g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
350g golden caster sugar
4 medium very ripe bananas (if not ripe, bake in oven in skins for 10 mins until black)
1x 425g tin of pineapple chunks
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
50g pecans/walnuts
zest of 1 lime/lemon (optional)

For the frosting:
400g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, softened
200g cream cheese
2 limes, zest and juice
Handful of pecans

Directions:
Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350°F. Grease and line two 23cm cake tins with butter and flour and a parchment circle on the bottom. (I didn’t have two tins so I had to do this cake in 2 batches)

Mash the banana into a smooth paste with a fork. Drain and cut up the pineapple chunks into small pieces, before adding to the banana mix. Add in the oil, vanilla, eggs, zest and sugar together and mix well.

Sift in the flour, salt and cinnamon. Fold in gently, making sure to get rid of all pockets of flour in the batter. Finely chop your nuts and add in, before pouring into your tin to bake.

Bake the cakes for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Loosen the cakes from their tins and leave to cool while you make the icing.

For the icing, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Zest and juice one of your limes and add to the mix. Once smooth, sift in your icing sugar 100g at a time and beat with a whisk or electric beaters.

Dollop your frosting onto your cool cake and smooth out. Sprinkle the zest of one lime on top and add your nuts for decoration.

Sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy with friends!

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I know you’ll enjoy this light but indulgent cake, and it’s perfect for getting people together and cheering them up on a Monday morning! Why not try it and see? And feel free to experiment with spices, this cake would be delicious with a pinch of nutmeg or ginger in there too, which ties in nicely with cold November days!

Until next time, keep baking!

Love Sian xxx

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