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[RECIPE] How to make Jamie Oliver's heavenly Hummingbird Cake

This banana and pineapple sponge from the chef's new book, Jamie's Comfort Food, is a treat for the whole family

Posted: 28 August 2014
by Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver's Hummingbird Cake
This delicious cake is perfect for parties - or just a treat with tea. © Jamie Oliver Enterprises (2014 Jamie’s Comfort Food) Photographer: David Loftus
Jamie Oliver
Jamie's new book ties in with a six-part TV series on Channel 4. © Jamie Oliver Enterprises (2014 Jamie’s Comfort Food) Photographer: David Loftus
Jamie's Comfort Food
This new book brings together 100 ultimate comfort food recipes. © Jamie Oliver Enterprises (2014 Jamie’s Comfort Food) Photographer: David Loftus

Quite simply, this beautiful cake is bloody delicious – bake it, and get it in your gob. Light fluffy sponge with banana and pineapple galore, a crunchy dusting of pecan brittle, and a little reminder that zesty cream cheese icings rock – it’s near perfection. For special occasions, to treat your loved ones, or purely for those moments when you just need a good slice of cake, this hummingbird beauty is guaranteed to hit the spot.

Ingredients (Serves 14)

250ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing

350g self-raising flour

1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon

350g golden caster sugar

4 medium very ripe bananas

1 x 425g tin of pineapple chunks

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

50g pecans

For the icing

400g icing sugar

150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

200g cream cheese

2 limes

For the brittle

100g caster sugar

50g pecans


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/gas 4. Grease and line two 23cm round cake tins.

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and a large pinch of sea salt. Peel the bananas and mash them up with a fork in another bowl.

Drain and finely chop the pineapple and add to the bananas with the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, then fold into the dry mixture until smooth.

Finely chop the pecans and gently fold in, then divide the batter evenly between your prepared tins.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until risen, golden and the sponges spring back when touched lightly in the centre.

Run a knife around the edge of the tins, then leave to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a free-standing electric mixer, add the butter and beat until pale and creamy.

Add the cream cheese, finely grate in the zest of one lime and add a squeeze of juice, then beat until just smooth – it’s really important not to over-mix it. Keep in the fridge until needed.

To make a brittle topping, place the caster sugar and a splash of water in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Shake flat and don’t stir it, just swirl the pan occasionally until dissolved and lightly golden.

Add the pecans and a pinch of salt, spoon around to coat, and when nicely golden, pour onto a sheet of oiled greaseproof paper to set (check out the video on

Once cool, smash up to a dust (you’ll need about half to top the cake – save the rest for sprinkling over ice cream).

To assemble the cake, place one sponge on a cake stand and spread with half the icing. Top with the other sponge, spread over the rest of the icing, then grate over the zest of the remaining lime.

Scatter over the brittle dust and decorate with a few edible flowers, such as violas, borage or herb flowers, if you feel that way inclined.

With a cup of tea on the side, this will make everyone who eats it extremely happy. Serve in a bluebell wood on a fallen tree, as you do.

Jamie’s Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Books, priced at £30. Click here to buy


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Recipe, cake, sponge, Jamie Oliver, Jamie's Comfort Food, TV chef, baking, icing, banana, pineapple, party, birthday, pecan

Discuss this story

about to make this cake today! So will report back

Posted: 16/12/2015 at 02:07

How did it go ?? I'm planning on making it for Christmas and would love to hear how it went!

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