Lightened Hummingbird Cake recipe
I am not one to make cakes on a regular basis, leave alone a 3 tiered one! But a can of pineapple, leftover banana(s) and some pecans waiting to be used decided that this cake was it. I have lightened this immensely popular cake thanks to one Mrs. L. H. Wiggins of Greensboro North Carolina who submitted it to Southern Living Magazine. Personally I think this cake is out to destroy the will of every dieter. Lightened or not, if you are going to gobble up one piece after another, which you probably will, its still going to be high on calories. I was less guilty for sure, until I reached out for my 3rd piece (the whole 3 layers of it). So trust me, I know!
Lightened Hummingbird Cake recipe
Changes I Made: I thank my stars when I thought to lighten up this recipe cos I possibly saved myself around a 1000 calories in the process! I cut down one one egg and replaced the remaining eggs with just egg whites. I added some pureed bananas to the mix thereby cutting down some sugar and oil in the original recipe. In the Cream cheese frosting instead of using the full fat cream cheese I opted for fat free. I did not miss the former. In spite of these changes, it was a rich tasting cake, moist tender crumbed with a full flavor from banana and pineapple. The pecans added a welcome crunch amidst this rich tasting cake. Will I make this cake again? You bet yes - but only when I have a crowd where this cake will be devoured much before I could even blink an eye and think of taking one piece myself :)
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 8+ people
  • Yields: 16 Servings
      For the Cake
    • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
    • 1 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1-1/2 cups Sugar
    • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
    • 4 large Egg Whites
    • 3/4 cups mashed/pureed Banana
    • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
    • 2 cups chopped Bananas
    • 1-1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed Pineapple, undrained
    • 1 cup chopped Pecans
      For the Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 1 (8-ounce) package fat free/ light Cream Cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup Butter or margarine, softened
    • 1 (16-ounce) package Powdered Sugar, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
    If you want to Bake using Microwave pls refer to these articles
    1) How to Bake in Microwave
    2) How to Bake in Microwave Convection Oven

    For making Substitutions please refer my handy chart
    1) Baking substitutions
    2) Egg Substitutions
    1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl;
    2. Stir them well until combined.
    3. Slightly beat the egg whites. Add it along with the oil, vanilla and pureed banana to the flour.
    4. Fold it gently. Do NOT beat the batter.
    5. Mix until completely blended.
    6. Now stir in the pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and chopped bananas to the batter.
    7. Fold them in until combined.
    8. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
    9. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
    10. For the Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
    11. Gradually add powdered sugar,
    12. beating at low speed until light and fluffy.
    13. Stir in vanilla.
    14. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers
    15. and on top
    16. and sides of cake;
    17. sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top.
    Store in refrigerator. The taste of Banana and pineapple along with the crunch of pecans make this irresistible. Its extremely ADDICTIVE! Lightened Hummingbird Cake recipe

    Recipe Reference

    recipe adapted from southern living magazine

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    2 Member Reviews

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    By Sudha on Jun 16, 2012

    By anupama on Sep 2, 2011

    My buddy Sandhya made this cake from your site & told me about it ,how it tasted too good .That inspired me to make this cake. Made a few  changes to the recipe - added margarine instead of oil , added caramel syrup to get a darker colour, added walnuts instead of pecans & pineapple cooked in sugar syrup instead of canned one  .It tastes great ,my parents loved it .Thank you DK .


    By Jennifer on Apr 3, 2016

    Hi , I was wondering if you have the nutritional info available. especially caloric value per serving and serving size. Thanks

    By Michelle on Nov 19, 2014

    If you need a sugar replacement for a diabetic use coconut palm sugar -- it's low glycemic and good for everyone. We have no diabetics in my household but it is healthier for you because regular sugar is poisonous to the body.

    By Utopia on Jul 4, 2014

    This was fantastic. I used unsweetened applesauce in place of oil, and whole wheat flour. I also did a browned butter buttercream. The cake was very sweet. May reduce sugar by a few TBS next time. The only problem I encountered was a strong baking soda flavor. How do I reduce the salt/baking soda without ruining the recipe? Great cake. Thanks for posting this!

    By sharon on Feb 8, 2014

    Bundt Pan?

    By D. on Jan 3, 2014

    My husband is diabetic what can I subsitute for powered sugar? I have thought about half powered sugar and half Splenda but am not too sure how it would blend. Thanks

    By Maria Rosa on Jun 26, 2013


    By polywog6 on Jun 12, 2013

    I made this cake in a 9 x 11 pan and baked it about 50 minutes. It is so moist and delicious, and my husband loved it. I had lots of extra bananas around and I think I used 7 of them in the cake. I will definitely make this recipe again. Thanks for posting it.

    By Kathie on Apr 29, 2013

    You can substitute the following: for egg - 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise OR half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. You can also substitute applesauce for cooking oil in an equal amount - 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup oil.

    By Dimple on Apr 25, 2013

    What can we put insted of eggs

    By Dimple on Apr 23, 2013

    Cane we replace eggs with something else

    By Monica on Apr 23, 2013

    :wink: I wanna ask how many calories does this have

    By lynn on Mar 5, 2013

    i have tried this recipe it is great! i was wondering if it is okay to have it for a wedding shower? everyone who has tried it loved it, they enjoed every bite!

    By nancy on Jan 6, 2013

    can I do two layers rather than 3 - looks so good

    By cristine ardita on Oct 11, 2012

    it so yummy ☺ ☺ :oops:

    By cristine on Oct 11, 2012

    it so yumy ☺☺ :oops: :-P

    By Karen on Aug 17, 2012

    Looks delish but call me crazy am I the only one who noticed those are walnuts on top not pecans …

    Nope, they ARE pecans :) --DK

    By Suppu on Jul 16, 2012

    Can this cake be made without eggs? In your expert opinion, will it be soft and fluffy? If not, what substitutes can be used? Thanks.

    Please refer "tips" section --DK

    By Harper on Apr 9, 2012

    I am allergic to pineapple so can I substitute it for more chopped bananas? Or substitute it for something else?

    By sana on Jan 23, 2012

    hi,this looks amazing. as all ur recipes. the plus point is that it is low calorie. I am planning to make it today (my anniversary). please tell me can i bake it in a single pan, as I have do not have proper bakeware? i have only one pan. please help!

    By Vivek Dumbre on Dec 29, 2011

    Your photography is really good,and recipes better than that.Good that I came across this site Good Luck and thnx for the recipe

    By Fahad Khan (@PharaohKhan) on Sep 9, 2011

    I absolutely love cream cheese;and banana is one of my favorite fruits!With that said,who does not like cakes? Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe,I liked it so much that I am going to tweet this to my followers too!:-)

    By Veejayne on Sep 2, 2011

    Forgot to click the "notify me" button. This is about subbing applesauce for the banana in the hummingbird cake recipe. Thanx!

    Personally if you ask me, this cake is all about Bananas + Pineapple + Pecan. It is the base for the cake hence subbing these will not be technically "Hummingbird cake". If that's not a issue, you can certainly try with applesauce. I cannot comment on the taste having not tried it myself. :)

    By Veejayne on Sep 2, 2011

    Can I substitute applesauce for the banana? I'm not a big fan of banana cakes/breads/etc.

    By Siri on Aug 30, 2011

    I can practically "drown" in this cake. looks so yummy babes. How are you? It has been sooo long and suddenly I started to miss you and reading probably every post of yours. :(. Things are crazy at my end da.. first in laws came, then parents came and now we are going tmrw. take care and hugs. :-P will catch you on chat sometime soon. Hugs, Siri :-D

    By Sam @ H.V.R. on Aug 25, 2011

    I LOVE CAKES! Especially the low-calorie ones... :) Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe here!

    By kadhyaa on Aug 24, 2011

    :roll: 8-O loos so yummy drooling

    By Poornima on Aug 22, 2011

    Wow...that's a fabulous tall cake! Love the flavors in it!

    By nikita on Aug 22, 2011

    amazing cake! just had a question. did you bake all 3 cakes at the same time? i am always afraid of messing up the cake if i put in more than one pan in the oven at a time. is there something to take care of while baking more than one cake at a time? like the baking time?

    By jolene on Aug 22, 2011

    looks yummy but i don't like cinnamon :(

    By maddy on Aug 21, 2011

    what is pecans, i never heard of this and from where we can purchase them.. :?:

    By kiran singh on Aug 20, 2011

    this cake is so yummy :-P

    By Nishi on Aug 19, 2011

    This cake is a stunner. Looks delicious with all those fruits in it.

    By Vardhini on Aug 19, 2011

    3 tier cake looks yummy. Yeah I would not dare to bake it unless I have a crowd to feed. :)

    By La @ FoodSlice on Aug 19, 2011

    Oh my! That looks delicious. I have never made a layered cake, though have been dreaming of one for a long time. I definitely can see why one cannot stop at one slice :)

    By Shilpa on Aug 19, 2011

    Hi .... Thanks for such a scrumptious recipe. Pls let me know how many banana's will yield 3/4th cup of puree. Thanks