This is my first week, and the assigned dish was Paula's Hummingbird Cake.
Now, you all know I'm not much of a baker. I didn't even own a round cake pan until this recipe came up. Several times this year I have come across cake recipes that tempted me, but they always call for at least 2, if not 3, round cake pans and I just didn't feel like making the investment for something I don't use very often. But, I decided that I wanted to make a strong start on my submissions to My Girl,Paula, so I bit the bullet and picked up three cake pans. After all, I recently fell in love with a cake stand (I know, I don't bake, so why do I want a cake stand?) because it was absolutely PERFECT for my kitchen. If you know me, you know I have a fetish for serving dishes, especially white ones, and if they have blue accents, even better. So, this was a great excuse for me to pull it out and put it to good use for the first time!
"Hummingbird Cake" is essentially a spice cake, looking very much like carrot cake (at least my version did) but instead of carrots and raisins, it has pineapple and bananas. The cake was not overly sweet, which was what I was expecting, but it had a nice texture to it and was very flavorful. I really enjoyed the pecans mixed in with both the batter, and then on top of the icing. Speaking of which, the icing was lovely, a simple cream cheese frosting which took care of the "sweet" factor nicely, as you can see here....
Admittedly, I am NOT a good decorator of cakes and especially since I overbeat my frosting and it came out a little thing, but no one at work complained on Friday when I put it out in the lunchroom for the vultures. I also made sure I put wax paper under the layers before I frosted so that my lovely cake stand would remain pristine. (Gotta show off the pretty blue patterns on it!) I also used the recipe directly from the book versus the ones online as they seem to differ somewhat.
So, there you go, one very lovely cake, and my very first entry to My Girl, Paula!
For the cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup mashed bananas
1 (8-ounce) crushed pineapple, with juice
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
1 (8-ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (1 box) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. For the cake, in a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the eggs and oil and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in the banana, pineapple and its juice, the pecans, and the vanilla. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 23 to 28 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake layers in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.While the cake cools, make the frosting:In a bowl, blend together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the pecans, or reserve them to sprinkle over the frosted cake. Fill and frost the cake.Voila!And, the inside: