Hummingbird cake is a traditional Southern dessert that goes back to the late 1970s. The origins of the recipe are murky but lore has it that the first recorded version of the recipe appeared in Southern Living magazine in 1978. Since then, the cake has taken a life of its own and become part of the Southern dessert repertoire. So when Melina of Sugary & Buttery presented us with a pumpkin version of this beloved recipe, we couldn’t wait to share! We love seeing how traditions can be updated and this Pumpkin Hummingbird Cake is the perfect example!
Pumpkin Hummingbird Cake with Maple Buttercream
For the Cake:
Unsalted butter, for greasing
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (about half a can), drained
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
For the maple buttercream frosting:
6 sticks butter, room temperature
1 package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 6-inch round cake pans and dust with flour. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then roughly chop. Add the pumpkin puree and the crushed pineapple and mix well.
– Whisk the flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Beat the eggs and granulated sugar in a separate bowl with a mixer on high speed until thick and light, 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the vegetable oil. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture, then gently fold to make a thick batter. Fold in the pecan-fruit mixture, then transfer the batter to the prepared pans.
– Bake until the cakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pans on a rack and then invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely.
Make the buttercream: Beat the butter in your electric mixer on medium high speed for about 5 minutes. Add the maple syrup and keep whisking. Scrape down sides if necessary. Add the cream cheese and the powdered sugar and keep beating for at least 5 minutes, or until buttercream has desired consistency.
– Once the cakes are cooled down completely (preferably over night), cut the tops off and cut each cake in 2 layers. Assemble and frost the cake and decorate with chopped pecans, if desired.
And be sure to share your traditions during our #BeHomeTogether campaign! Upload your photos to Instagram, tag with @PotteryBarn and use the hashtag #behometogether to be entered to win a $2500 shopping spree. Please see our complete rules for eligibility.
Looking for something specific? Flip through our recipe archives for additional inspiration for your Thanksgiving dinner!
Photography: Sugary & Buttery