Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake. A very traditional Southern cake – you can’t go wrong with good ol’ down home southern desserts! Did you know that the Humming Bird cake didn’t originate in the South?

Recent evidence suggests this confection descended from Jamaican roots. The hummingbird (aka Dr. Bird) is one of the national symbols.”When it comes to cake, the Dr. Bird or Hummingbird Cake recipe has been one of the most popular through the years. Originally the recipe came to me during the late `60`s, as I recall, from the Jamaican airlines…Ruth Threat of Matthews even sent a picture of a Dr. Bird, a national symbol of Jamaica “
—“HUMMINGBIRD CAKE FROM JAMAICA REMAINS POPULAR,” Helen Moore, Charlotte Observer, November 23, 1986. Hmmm we learn something new everyday don’t we!

I first had my taste of a hummingbird cake in the form of a cupcake from The Cupcake Truck when it had it’s very first visit to Quinnipiac University for a fundraiser. It was delicious! Usually, I am not a huge fan of nuts in my cakes but the combination of flavors just couldn’t be beat! Traditionally it is paired with Cream Cheese frosting but The Cupcake Truck allowed me to have it with Vanilla Buttercream because I’m not a huge cream cheese fan. I have found a great, easy Hummingbird cake recipe that is sure to be delicious!!

Hummingbird Cake

Don’t want to make a huge cake? No problem! Just pour the batter into to cupcake tins lined with your favorite cupcake liners!

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 3 cups gluten free flour (Better Batter or your favorite gluten free flour blend)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, crushed
  • 2 cups roasted banana, mashed (approximately 4 large or 6 medium-small bananas with peel left on)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Parchment paper to line bottom of the cake pan
  • 3 – 9 inch round baking pans

For the Cream Cheese Frosting: (NOTE: This frosting is NOT dairy free. You can choose to use this frosting or you can use a the frosting I made for my Coconut Snowball cake – the frosting recipe is on the bottom)

  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, chilled
  • 3-8 ounce packages of cream cheese, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º F.
  2. First roast your bananas. Place bananas on a cookie sheet with peels left on.  Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until the skins are black (the bananas may leak- don’t worry! It’s OK!).  Remove and let cool because they will be HOT! Peel bananas, place in a small mixing bowl and mash.  Set aside.  Leave the oven heated to 350ºF.
  3. Butter (use Earth Balance Vegan Butter) and flour 3 9 inch round baking pans.  Trace the bottom of the pan (for all three pans) onto parchment paper, cut out circle and place in the bottom of each pan.
  4. In a sifter over a large mixing bowl combine the gluten free flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Sift into the bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a second large mixing bowl combine the granulated and brown sugar; stir to combine.  Add the eggs and stir briskly by hand to combine all ingredients into a smooth mixture.
  6. Whisk the oil and vanilla into the sugar and egg mixture until combined and smooth.
  7. Add the flour mixture all at once and hand stir (do not beat) to combine the mixture fully.
  8. To crush the pineapple, place 1 cup of finely diced fresh pineapple in a medium mixing bowl and using a potato masher, (or if you don’t have a potato masher (because I do not – take your time and use a fork or a whisk (I’m a big improvisor when it comes to baking tools) ) crush the pineapple.
  9. Add the fruit and juice to the batter.  Also add the mashed banana and the pecans.  Stir just until combined. Be careful not to over stir.
  10. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans.  Tap the pans on the countertop to release any air bubbles and place in the 350º F oven for 25-30 minutes until cake bounces back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool in pans on racks for 5 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks to fully cool before frosting.

Time to whip up some frosting!!

  1. Cut sticks of chilled butter into 1 inch pieces and place in the bowl of a standing mixer (can use a hand held mixer if needed).  Beat on low speed, gradually increasing speed to medium until the butter is still cool but has softened together (about 3 minutes).
  2. Cut the cream cheese into 1 inch strips and add to the butter.  Mix at medium speed until fully combined, and smooth.
  3. Add the pure vanilla extract and slowly add the sifted powdered sugar.  Beat until well blended, increasing speed to beat on medium-high for 3 minutes or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Fold in pecans by hand.

Finally time to build your cake!

  1. Place the first layer of cake upside down (the bottom of the cake will be frosted) on the serving plate. Cover with 2/3 cup of frosting.  This will be a thin covering.
  2. Place the second layer of cake right side up (flat cake bottom onto the frosting) and frost the top of this layer with 2/3 cup again or a little bit more.
  3. Place the last cake layer with cake right side up and use the remaining frosting to cover top of cake and the sides.
  4. Allow cake to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving and store any uneaten cake in the refrigerator.
Cake best when made the day prior to serving!
There you go!! This is a GREAT cake (or lots of cupcakes) for a outdoor party! Pair with a great drink and good friends!!
ENJOY!!
Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Cozy Weekend Brunch

We’ve made it over Hump Day. Today is Thursday which mean we are so close to the weekend! Brunch is a great part of the weekend. Sleeping in that extra hour, spending time with family and/or friends. The weekend was made for brunch! Here are some brunch recipes that will keep you smiling all the way to Monday morning.

Banana Bread

Using Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free yellow cake mix, this banana bread is more like a pound cake. Definitely a brunch treat. Add nuts or leave them out – it’s your choice! Save some bananas until they are nice and ripe and get mashing!

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (Earth Balance Vegan Butter)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch loaf pan with shortening. (Earth Balance has a great vegan shortening)
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, mashed bananas, butter, eggs and vanilla extract with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake 9-inch loaf 55 to 60 minutes, 8-inch loaf 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Place sheet of foil over loaf to prevent overbrowning.) Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool about 1 hour before slicing.

Bananas Foster French Toast

French toast gets a tasty twist with the addition of bananas, rum extract and pecans. The use of cinnamon raisin bread makes it even better!  This recipe is made the day before your planned brunch.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 2 1/2 cups real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread cubes in baking dish. In large bowl, beat eggs, milk and 1/2 cup of the maple syrup with wire whisk. Pour over bread in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown along edges. Let stand 7 to 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 2 cups maple syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until warm. Stir in rum and vanilla extract.
  4. Sprinkle banana slices and pecans evenly over bread; drizzle with warmed syrup mixture. Serve immediately.

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Caramel Fondue

I am quite fond of caramel. So caramel fondue is right up my ally. Fondue is a fun and easy way to have a dessert! So many dipping options, the dessert possibilities are really endless!

Caramel Fondue

Rich, creamy caramel tastes delicious with just about anything! Sweet and luscious, you won’t be able to resist dipping in your favorites!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or buttery spread, such as Earth Balance, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dippers: apple slices (Fuji apples are the BEST!), banana, 1-inch cubes of gluten free pound cake (recipe coming soon!), large marshmallows, whole strawberries, gluten free graham crackers or your favorite dipper!
  1. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil, swirling the pan occasionally without stirring, until the caramel sauce turns a deep amber color, about 7 minutes. As the mixture boils, wipe down sides of pan frequently with a wet pastry brush to prevent the crystallization of the sugar.
  2. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the rice milk with a long-handled spoon, carefully avoiding the splatters as it bubbles up. Add the buttery spread, reduce the heat to low and return the pan to the heat, stirring until the buttery spread melts and the caramel is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and the salt.
  3. Place the mixture in a fondue pot. Arrange your dippers on a platter and make sure you have enough forts or bamboo skewers for your guests to dunk their favorites in the warm caramel. Now if the caramel starts to firm up, add a tablespoon of corn syrup and transfer it from the fondue pot to a microwave-safe bowl and reheat it in the microwave. Return to the fondue pot and continue to dip away!

ENJOY!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.