Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Vegan

I must say there is a special place in my heart for southern desserts, the use of seasonal ingredients,  pure simplicity with delicious complex flavors and wonderful techniques  that have been passed down from generation to generation.  I’ve learned so much and still learn everyday by amazing women who have transformed what we eat and what we share from their home kitchens.

I think the first on my list of great American home bakers has to be Mrs. LH Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina and her  famous Hummingbird Cake  first seen in Southern Living Magazine February 1978.  Southern Living Article.   It’s sweet, tender, complex and delicious with over ripened bananas, pineapple and pecans…. And don’t forget about the cream cheese frosting.  Yum!  The components of this cake are very straight forward but the combination of fruits and pecans make it so special.  That’s the best part of Southern recipes they are invented out of necessity, the issue of  what to do with overripe bananas is solved here.

This cake is made in 3 layers with cream cheese frosting, some put pecans on top or add pineapple flowers or dried banana chips but I like mine plain and classic.  Layer cake and frosting.  They do also make fantastic cupcakes or for a grown up cake make a whiskey sauce to drench the cake before frosting. Heavenly.

What I love to do is to take a classic recipe like this one and make it vegan.  I’ve been working on this recipe for a few years now and I think I have it!  I hope you think so too!

PS. American Vegetarian has been nominated for top blog in Bucks County, Bucks Happenings  and I’m tickled pink that a plant based blog made the cut.  I’m really proud to still be a part of the food community even though I’m not in the restaurant business anymore.   Anyone can vote and thank you so much in advance!  Here’s to a very exciting year two for me with lots of wonderful adventures and surprises ahead!

Print Recipe!

Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Your guests will hum with delight. -Mrs. LH Wiggins

Have All Ingredients At Room Temperature

  • 4 Whole Very Ripe Bananas, (Black in Color And Peeled)
  • 1 (10 oz ) Can Crushed Pineapple In Juice
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil, Warm to Make Liquid
  • 1 ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ Cup  Prepared Applesauce, (I use no sugar added)

  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. Powdered Ginger
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 Cups Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 Cup Chopped  Maple Pecans (Recipe To Follow)

  • 1 Recipe For Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe To Follow)

Preheat oven to 350
  1. Grease 3(9 inch) cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add all the wet ingredients blend until smooth with a hand held stick blender.  
  3. Sift over wet ingredient flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered ginger and salt.   Add sugar and stir gently with spatula until just combined.  Careful not to over mix. Fold in pecans.
  4. Pour into the three cake pans making sure to fill them evenly.
  5. Place on middle rack and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Careful not to over cook.
  6. Rest in pans For 10 minutes and then flip over onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

A pantry staple at my house, I use them in salads, entrees and desserts.    I feel if you have to toast the pecans anyway…. Why not add maple syrup?

Maple Pecans

  • 2 Cups Pecans (whole or Chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • Sea Salt to Taste

Preheat oven to 350

  1. In a medium bowl add pecans, oil and maple syrup.  Stir until combined, pour into a ½ sheet pan and spread out in an even layer.  
  2. Place on middle rack in oven and roast 20 minutes, stir after 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, sprinkle with sea salt and scrape onto a cooled ½ sheet.
  4. Store in container with lid in cool, dry place.

Cream Cheese Frosting



  • 2 (8 oz ) Tubs Tofutti Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 1 Stick Earth Balance Buttery Stick, Room Temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups Confectioners Sugar


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add Tofutti and Earth Balance, cream until blended together, smooth and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes with whisk attachment.
  2. Add vanilla and then blend until combined.
  3. Sift confectioners sugar and add to cream cheese mixture.  Cream together until fluffy and smooth.
  4. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. 



Popular Posts