Mama’s “Grand Prize” Hummingbird Cake
with Scott’s Cream Cheese Icing
3—9” floured and greased cake pans, bottom lined with parchment paper
1½ cup cooking oil
3 large or extra-large eggs
3 cups flour
2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda (heaping tsp)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 small can crushed pineapple with a little juice
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
2-3 Bubble Tea Straws to keep cake level and from shifting (especially during transport)
Preheat oven to 350°. In large mixing bowl, combine cooking oil, eggs and sugar and beat well.
Sift together flour, salt, soda and cinnamon and add to mixing bowl.
Stir in bananas, pineapples and nuts. Pour mixture into 3 separately greased and floured 9” cake pans.
Bake layers for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set pans on wire racks to cool for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove from pans and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator or freezer for several hours to chill.
For the Icing:
16 oz. (2 pkg.) cream cheese (room temperature)
3 sticks butter or margarine, softened (room temperature)
1-2 tsp. vanilla (use good vanilla and not imitation)
1 tsp. Grand Marnier or Amaretto extract (or your favorite)
8-10 cups (2-2½ lbs.) powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 tsp. milk or cream only if needed to thin icing
Blend room temperature (but slightly cool) cream cheese and butter together for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Once mixed, add salt, vanilla and Grand Marnier (or your favorite). Mix well for a couple of minutes.
Add powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time until mixed. Continue until all is added. Every few additions, stop and scrape down all sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it’s well mixed. After the last cup is added and mixed, slowly add a teaspoon of milk or cream only if mixture is too thick for your taste. If your mixture is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar. Cool cake completely before icing.
Stacking and Icing the Cake:
I always find it’s easier to level the cakes first before stacking. The colder the cakes are, the easier they are to stack and frost. I usually freeze them and begin to thaw them out when I start to make the icing. I begin stacking the cake with a flat bottom of the cake first and the bottom of the cake is always the flattest. I then begin to put between 1-2 cups of frosting on each layer and spread the icing well out to the sides so that some drips over the edge. I add the next flat side down on top of the first iced layer and gently rearrange the sides until they are even all the way around. I repeat the 1-2 cups of frosting on the 2nd layer and spread it out to the sides. I then place the top layer and align it to all sides. Make sure the top layer is especially flat. I rarely have to do this because my cakes bake and rise evenly in my oven. If yours causes a dome, I recommend investing in a cake leveler or I use a long serrated knife and gently slice evenly all the way around until the cake if level and flat. If you have trouble with this, you may flip the bottom of the third layer bottom-side up and use extra frosting to hide any mistakes. My frosting recipe will give you plenty of extra to help disguise any problems.
I recommend using Bubble Tea Straws when lining up the sides of your cake after all three layers have been set and before you frost the top of your cake. (1) Push the straws all the way down inside the cake’s center from the top to the bottom, (2) Place your finger on the spot where the top of the cake meets the top of the straw. Pull it back out about 1/16″ and cut with scissors at that point, (3) Push the straws back in and if done correctly, the straws will disappear about 1/16″ inside the top cake layer. The frosting will hide the holes you made with the straws. This is important only if you will be transporting the cake anywhere or moving the cake around a lot. It keeps it pretty stable.
Once you are happy with your frosting efforts, place inside the refrigerator. I recommend taking it out of the refrigerator about 90 minutes before you are ready to serve. I also put mine on a cake stand and cover to keep people and dust out of your finished cake masterpiece.
Notes: Mama won many “Grand Prize” awards at the Texas State Fair for this recipe. More to follow!
To purchase our “Mama’s Cooking” cookbook, with over 300 recipes from friends and four generations of our family, visit Order Mama’s Cooking Cookbook. You will need to set up an account and then you’ll be able to add the book to your cart and pay for it online. Enjoy!
YouTube is a great place to learn about stacking cakes. Joshua John Russell has many videos using multiple layers and Bubble Tea Straws. You can find these on Amazon or at cake or hobby stores.