This Hummingbread Bread recipe is reminiscent of the better known southern favorite, Hummingbird Cake. It's smaller, less sweet and topped with cream cheese glaze instead of a thick coating of frosting. The banana, pineapple, coconut and pecan flavors still play prominently.
Hummingbird Bread vs. Hummingbird Cake: What's the difference?
All of the flavors you love in the traditional cake are still here. The ripe bananas, pineapple, coconut and pecans are what the cake is known for and they're the basis for the bread too.
A layer cake is a large dessert that most folks save for a special occasion, or at least a gathering of a good many people. You're not going to make a big cake like that for just the two or three of you, right? This hummingbird loaf cake is the perfect way to get your craving for those flavors satisfied in a smaller way.
It's not quite as sweet as the cake and that fact, coupled with the thin glaze instead of thick cream cheese frosting, even make it suitable (in our opinion) as a breakfast bread. After all, it's got two kinds of fruit plus the pecans. We use the same method for our Hummingbird Muffins, so however you like to eat this breakfast treat, we've got you covered.
If the cake is what you're after you can't go wrong with Southern Living's recipe.
FAQ's about Hummingbird Bread
I feel completely comfortable leaving it at room temperature (as long as your house isn't super hot and humid) for 2 days. After that I'd refrigerate it - if there's any left by then.
Yes, of course! Walnuts would be especially good. Pecans are traditional in Hummingbird Cake, and we love them, but feel free to substitute as you wish.
If you don't have cream cheese and don't want to buy it for just one ounce you could increase the milk in the glaze. Add an extra teaspoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you like.
Yes. If not quite ripe the bananas won't mash smoothly and blend into the batter properly. If ready to make the bread and your bananas aren't ripe yet here are some tips.
We're big believers in this shortcut and use it often. But, if you don't have it on hand you can check our 3 Ingredient Biscuits post for the formula for substituting.
Three Helpful Tips
TIP #1 IS AN EASY, MESS-FREE WAY TO MASH RIPE BANANAS. Did you know that you can put your bananas in a tightly sealed zip-loc baggie and just mash them with your hands? If you need to break them into two or three pieces in order to fit them in the baggie that's fine. Then, just mash away. It's really kind of fun!
We use that same technique for the bananas in our Banana Bread Bundt Cake and Banana Pancakes with Pecans - two other amazing breakfast/brunch classics around these parts. If you have some extra bananas left over, banana pudding is always a hit.
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TIP #2 MEANS YOUR HUMMINGBIRD BREAD WILL NEVER STICK IN THE LOAF PAN AND LIFTS OUT EASILY. Cut a piece of parchment paper the approximate length of the loaf pan with enough to hang over the eges a few inches (photo below). Lay it in the pan, pressing into the bottom. Just for extra stick-free insurance I still spray with a baking spray that has oil and flour like this one.
HELPFUL TIP #3: After glazing let your hummingbird loaf sit out uncovered for a while (1-2 hours) so a light "crust" forms on the glaze. Otherwise, you could end up with gooey glaze.
If you prefer a heavier cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze you can use the recipe from our Blueberry Cupcakes. You will only need half the recipe though.
There is a fun web story of this recipe that you can watch here.
Serve with a cup of White Chocolate Mocha (a Starbucks copycat) for a special treat.
Hummingbird Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze
For the Bread
For the Bread
- Cream butter at low speed of mixer.
- Add sugars and cream about 1 minute.
- Add bananas, egg and vanilla and cream about 1 minute.
- Stir in flour, pineapple and coconut until well blended. Fold in pecans.
- Pour batter in parchment paper lined 9 inch loaf pan which has been oiled and floured or sprayed with baking spray.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or just until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool completely before glazing.
For the Glaze
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Heat in microwave for 20-30 seconds or until pourable.
- Cool slightly and then drizzle over cooled bread.
- Bread should be cooled before glazing and slicing.
If you're a big fan of our favorite cuisine be sure to check out Southern Food: Then and Now. It includes lots of interesting facts.
More Sweet Breads and Cakes to try:
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