Happiest of Fridays, my friends! I’m very excited to share this Browned Butter Hummingbird Cake with y’all today. I was originally going to make a carrot cake for Easter, but then I thought, You know what? Everyone’s making carrot cakes. Let’s do something different. And that is definitely a hummingbird cake. Which is also a fabulous choice for an Easter cake, in my opinion. Similarly spiced, studded with pecans, and slathered in cream cheese frosting.
Except instead of cream cheese we’re doing browned butter. *chef’s kiss*
I’ve got a couple of hummingbird cake recipes on the blog: this hummingbird banana bread and these cupcakes from the cover of my cookbook!
Hummingbird Cake is one of those classic, iconic Southern cakes. It’s flavored with mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, ground cinnamon, and chopped pecans. This might sound like an unlikely combination of ingredients, but it all totally works. It’s like a fancy banana bread in layer cake form with lots of frosting.
For additional warmth and nutty flavor, I used browned butter in the cake. It’s still melted (but cooled), so it goes right into the cake batter. This also means the batter is one bowl! This is the only way for me these days. One bowl cake is my love language. Less dishes, less energy, delicious results.
browned butter frosting
This recipe has you brown butter twice, but I feel like it’s two thousand percent worth it. This time we let the butter cool completely and solidify, but you still want it to be room temperature when you start to make the frosting. It’s creamed until pale and fluffy and then we add all of our other frosting ingredients to it.
I love browned butter frosting on a cake (or spoon). It’s so flavorful with those toasted little flecks. It could go on anything, honestly. It’s extra good on this cake.
dried pineapple flowers
If you’d like to decorate your cake with dried pineapple flowers, they’re super easy! But a little time consuming. Mostly it’s just waiting while the pineapple slices dry out in the oven.
- All you need is a fresh, whole pineapple. Cut off the top, bottom, and the outside, leaving just the yellow flesh. Make sure to scoop out any seeds.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the pineapple into thin slices. Like as thin as you can get them. You don’t have to do the whole pineapple if you don’t want to. You can cut as many slices as you want and save the rest for later.
- Press the slices with paper towels so absorb as much of the liquid as you can. This helps them dry out faster in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Arrange pineapple slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Flip slices over and bake for 1 more hour.
- At this point, thinner slices might be completely dry while others aren’t quite there yet. Remove the ones that are done and place them in a muffin pan. This will help the “petals” curve up and give it more of a floral look.
- I like to continue in half hour increments, flipping slices as necessary and removing slices that are done, until they’re all dried.
- Let them dry and set completely in the muffin pan. Overnight is best, but at least a couple of hours.
If you’ve never had Hummingbird Cake, I really hope you’ll give this browned butter version a try! It’s such a cozy and comforting treat and so perfect for Easter weekend or just weekend baking in general. Y’all know I do really love cream cheese frosting as well, so I wouldn’t even blame you if you passed on the browned butter and went with the traditional frosting on this one!
Happy baking, friends!
Browned Butter Hummingbird Cake
Browned Butter Hummingbird Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup browned butter still melted but cooled
- 1 cup mashed banana about 2 large, ripe bananas
- 1 8-oz can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
Browned Butter Frosting:
- 1 cup browned butter solid but room temperature
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 tbsp cream or milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- Dried pineapple flowers
- Chopped pecans
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.
- Add eggs, browned butter, mashed banana, drained pineapple, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in pecans.
- Divide batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream browned butter on medium speed until fluffy and lighter in color. Add the shortening and mix until well incorporated.
- Add cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar; mix well. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, mix for 1 additional minute to ensure everything is well incorporated.
- Spread frosting between cake layers and over the outside of the cake. Garnish with chopped pecans and dried pineapple flowers if desired.
- Store cake covered at room temperature.
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Michelle Leach says
Hands down my favorite cake recipe! Each time I make it I love it even more! Thank you!
Oh, that’s great! So glad you’ve enjoyed it!! ❤️