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.
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.
No. The liquid is part of what keeps your Hummingbird Bread moist. If you love that pineapple flavor, try Homemade Pineapple Preserves or a Fresh Pineapple Mojito.
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.
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.
We use that same method with our Buttermilk Bars, Blueberry Orange Bread, and Fresh Peach Bread.
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.
Serve with a cup of White Chocolate Mocha (a Starbucks copycat) for a special treat.
Hummingbird Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze
For the Bread
- ⅓ cup butter at room temperature
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 2 ripe bananas mashed
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1⅔ cup self rising flour
- ½ cup coconut
- ⅔ cup crushed pineapple not drained
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- 1 ounce cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
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.
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.
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:
If you make this or any of our recipes we’d love for you to leave us a comment and star rating. If you’re into sharing your creations, snap a photo and tag us when you post it to Facebook or Instagram.
I’ve never heard of hummingbird bread! Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Hope you love it like we do!
Love hummingbird bread, but the addition of the cream cheese frosting really takes it to a new level! Yum!
Thanks, Michelle. It’s really just a light glaze.
Claudia Lamascolo says
We are huge fans of the cake and the bread was so easy and moist we just loved it that frosting was the perfect added flavors the whole bread is a winner for sure!
So yummy! I love that you made it in a loaf and that glaze is 😍😍😍
Thanks so much, Michelle!
What size loaf pan? 8” or 9”?
I’m making this tomorrow!
Hi Daryl, We use a 9 inch loaf pan for this recipe.
This bread looks so delicious and so yummy. Everyone is going to love this recipe especially my husband. I can’t wait to make this later this week! Excited to give this a try!
I’m positive you’ll love it!
Can I leave the coconut out?
I think that would be fine, Jane.
Theresa p says
When do you add the pecans?
Theresa, They are the last ingredient to be added. Fold them in after the pineapple and coconut. Thanks for the heads up that we missed that. The recipe has been modified now.
I’m not a huge fan of thick frosting and this glaze sounds absolutely delightful! And I love that it is small enough to enjoy with just the family.
Exactly! Thanks, Heather!
Claudia Lamascolo says
I actually made this twice now its super moist and did it in a cupcake tin perfect!
Amanda Dixon says
This bread was beyond delicious! It was so moist, and the pineapple and coconut flavors turned out beautifully.
Love this twist on a traditional hummingbird cake! It was easy to make, perfectly sweet, moist and delicious!
Just absolutely delicious and so yummy! Flavors are well combined and so addicting. My hubby and I loved this, and I’ll definitely be making this again soon!
I made the bread and it was delicious. The only thing was that it was super crumbly when cutting. Any tips to rectify?
Thanks Crystal. I don’t recall having that issue but we cut it in pretty big slices:) Maybe if you chill it…
Thanks will try that next time!
Turned out great! Moist and the flavors are wonderful!
Thank you, Lorna!
Hii any substitute for eggs
Sorry, but we have never tested using an egg substitute.
Beautiful! Made it non dairy with Crisco no butter no other that no other alterations took about 15 minutes longer in my oven to bake. My husband says it is a keeper!
Yay! Thanks so letting us know and leaving a 5 star rating, Libby!