Celebrating The Everyday With A Hummingbird Cake
photography & words by Hung Quach
“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.”
- Joanne Harris
I’m not alone when I say I love a celebration. Whether it be a large or small celebration, it is a good enough reason to get together with friends and family, a reason to eat cake and indulge. We live in a culture that associates a cake with birthdays, milestones or anniversaries. But do we need a reason or an occasion to eat cake? Life itself should be a celebration every day. We should be celebrating the everyday more often. Allow yourself to indulge without guilt, fear or criticism. We should feel worthy of our indulgences.
The presentation of this delicious, edible combination of ingredients that makes us giddy with delight. It sparks the same reaction in people young and old. It makes you the centre of attention, the reason why your family and friends are present. It is a reminder of our achievements, being a year older, of another year gone by, that time is moving on. Life itself is a huge accomplishment worthy of cake.
A lavish, complicated cake is not necessary. For the everyday, a simple cake will suffice, one that is easy to make with simple ingredients. I share with you a humble hummingbird cake that hails from the Southern United States. The first time I had this cake, the taste left a lasting impression. It reminded me of a carrot cake combined with banana bread. It is moist and deliciously sweet so don’t feel guilty if you decide not to share it. I encourage you to go ahead and celebrate the everyday more often.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
280g can crushed pineapple, undrained
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
FOR THE FROSTING
130g full-fat cream cheese
30g unsalted butter at room temperature
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp lime juice
260g icing sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Sift the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar and salt to the bowl.
Add the eggs and oil to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined but do not over beat the batter.
Mix in the vanilla extract, pineapple, bananas, pecans.
Pour the batter into 2 greased 19 cm cake tins.
Bake for 20-25 mins until cooked.
In the meantime, beat the icing sugar and butter until creamy.
Add the cream cheese, lime juice and zest and beat until smooth.
Spread or pipe the icing on top of the first sponge, place the second sponge on top and add more frosting to the top and side of the cake.
Decorate with chopped pecans.