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Published: · Modified: by Angela Allison · This post may contain affiliate links.
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Delicious Hummingbird Bread is made with mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans, and is topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. With all of these incredible flavors, this Southern staple is sure to be your new favorite treat.
What is Hummingbird Bread?
Nope, this is definitely not bird food. Named after the island’s national bird, Hummingbird cake originated from Jamaica. It’s recipe, along with other traditional Jamaican recipes, were sent to America as a tourism promotion in the late 1970s. Laced with traditional island flavors, it’s no surprise that it quickly became and remains so popular.
The original cake ran in Southern Living Magazine in 1978 and has been one of the most requested recipes to date. Moreover, my version of Hummingbird Bread has all of the delicious flavors of the original, with less calories and fat, and is super easy to make in a loaf pan.
How to Make Hummingbird Bread
What I love about this recipe is how simple it is to make ahead! You can make Hummingbird Bread up to three days in advance and refrigerate with excellent results; and the bread takes up much less room than a whole cake!
Because I wanted a more tropical flavor, note that I did update one of the flavors from the original recipe. By adding sweetened coconut flakes, I was able to intensive that tropical flavor in this Hummingbird Bread recipe.
This recipe is actually very similar to my Tropical Muffins with the flavors and textures.
Moreover, Hummingbird Bread is a great recipe to use up those overly ripe bananas too! A fun update to your classic banana bread, this recipe has pineapple, coconut, and pecans, plus a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. YUM!
Tips for Making Hummingbird Bread
- Overly ripe bananas are great for this dish. To ensure a smooth texture, be sure to mash well before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- As for the pineapple, fresh or canned work great. Either way, just try to squeeze out as much of the excess moisture as possible before incorporating the pineapple into the batter.
- Also, if you don’t have pecans on hand, chopped walnuts would be fine substitution.
- Make-ahead tip: Make the bread up to a month in advance and freeze in an airtight container. However, don’t make the cream cheese frosting until ready to serve because it will not hold up in the freezer.
- You can refrigerate frosted Hummingbird Bread for up to three days.
Hummingbird Bread Cream Cheese Frosting
Delicious and moist Hummingbird Bread made with pineapple, coconut, bananas, and pecans.
5 from 25 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Angela Allison
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup pineapple, diced and patted dry
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the mashed banana, sugars, egg, and oil. Beat with an handheld mixer until well combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined. Fold in the coconut, pineapple, and chopped pecans.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool completely on wire baking rack before adding frosting.
To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until combined. Spread evenly over top of the cooled loaf and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Make-ahead tip: The Hummingbird Bread loaf can be made and frozen for up to a month in an airtight container. Apply the frosting prior to serving.
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This looks devine BUT I hate banana bread…..could I sub the banana with something else please?
I am not a fan of pineapple can it be omitted?
I made this for a neighbor and it turned out perfectly! First recipe that baked in the time recipe alloted that I have tried for banana bread. I did make a couple adjustments just because of preference or what I has on hand…I subbed 2/3 c butter for the 1/2 cup oil as we like the flavor butter adds to the bread, but it needs slightly more than oil to have that same mistress oil provides IMO. I did not have chunk pineapple so used 1 c. Slightly drained shreddedpineapple. Some recipes using shredded pineapple I noticed did not drain at all, for moisture and flavor, and their flour and dry ingredients were equivalent, but you insisted to pat dry…so I only retained part of the juice for flavor and moisture. I agree that completely dry shredded pineapple does not have much flavor….I DOUBLED THE RECIPE if you are wondering about my measurements…also, I used 6 small bananas..maybe a couple were medium, but barely…and completely blended they made 3 cups of puree for 2 loaves ( so a single recipe would have 1.5 cups pureed banana).
This smelled HEAVENLY baking, looked beautiful even without the cream cheese frosting ( which I did add….buy next time I am going to make a cream cheese Glaze instead so it is not so heavy, and make a pretty drizzle over the cake and sprinkle with a bit of toasted coconut and chopped pecans. Then it can be for tea or a snack and not feel like such a heavy “dessert” type bread due to the frosting. Overall, a great recipe and thanks for sharing so much!
Made this in my Bundt cake pan and all the yumminess was a delight to my taste buds!!! Nice change from banana bread! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the comment. So happy you loved it!
I am making this today, but I don’t have bananas so I’m trying it with applesauce and cut back the oil a little since the applesauce is a little thinner (I think). But here’s my question, how long should I leave it in the pan cooling before I turn it out on a rack to cool completely? Or should it cool completely in the pan? I’ll do what I think will work, but that would be a nice add in the instructions. I’ll post again when we try the bread — the batter tasted great! A tad of cinnamon from the applesauce.
Hope this worked out for you! I usually cool the bread in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before adding the frosting.
Wondering what size your bananas were. The ones we usually have are small to medium…any idea what the measurement would be in cups? I’m thinking if you are using large bananas I would need to use 4 or more of mine.
I use medium bananas. The total mashed bananas should yield about a cup of mash total.
Thanks for this info!
Is fresh pineapple recommended or is canned diced pineapple OK?
Canned pineapple works! Just be sure to drain it first. Enjoy!
An 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan??
I would use a 9 x 5 inch pan if you have one. You could go 8 x 4, but it will take longer to bake.
Could you bake this recipe in small loaf pans. Maybe mini-loafs?
Yes, absolutely! Just fill the loaf pans about 2/3rds full and bake for a shorter amount of time. Check for doneness using a toothpick. Let me know how it turns out.
my family hates coconut, can i leave it out ?
Absolutely! This recipe works without the coconut as well. Comment and let me know how it goes…
Looks so delicious and perfect for the season! Can’t wait to try this recipe ♥
This is really a delicious variation on the large hummingbird cake. It’s so easy to make with those tropical additions.
Heidy L. McCallum
Humming Bird Cake is one of my favorite Southern recipes–so I am betting your bread is going to be a sure-fire hit with me and the kids.
This looks absolutely delicious and I love all the different flavors in it.
That frosting looks amazing. I would eat it out of the bowl.
This cake was DIVINE! I loved all the flavor in each bite!