Salted Caramel Hummingbird Cake


A hummingbird cake is like the ultimate tropical spice cake. It's made with banana, pineapple and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. It's almost like a banana cake crossed with a pineapple upside down cake. You really have to try it to know what it's like. I know many people were confused by the combination of pineapple and banana, but when they ate the cake, they were instant fans.

This past weekend we were invited to a dinner party, so of course I was going to make cake. I made two hummingbird cakes, both pictured above. I got a lot of positive comments from the guests. The stand out in this cake is actually the frosting. You'll remember this frosting from my apple spice cake. It's super smooth, creamy, slightly savoury and slightly sweet. My cream cheese frosting is not like your average. I don't use butter or sugar in mine. I prefer to use a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup in this case. I'm not a fan of gritty frosting that is sickly sweet which is why I usually opt for a liquid sweetener. I don't see the need for butter in a cream cheese frosting so I never use it. To me, my version of cream cheese frosting is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury and turns out many other people agree with me!

Now, I definitely think you should make your own salted caramel for this frosting. It's super easy to make and in my opinion it tastes much better than your store bought variety. But if you couldn't be bothered, you could actually leave it out and use more liquid sweetener instead. I would definitely recommend adding a pinch of salt to your frosting though.

Salted Caramel Hummingbird Cake (Adapted from SBA)
Serves 12-14
370g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mashed banana (4 ripe bananas)
one 285g can crushed pineapple
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (160ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (200g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (150g) caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups walnuts, chopped

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
750g cream cheese (3 blocks)
3/4 cup salted caramel
2/3 cup maple syrup

For the cakes-
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line your 3 baking tins. I used three 25cm tins. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl.
Whisk the rest of the cake ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. Fold in your walnuts.

Evenly divide the batter between your 3 tins. Place in preheated oven and bake for 26-29 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate pans halfway through to ensure even baking.
Once cakes are out of the oven allow them to cool in the tin. Once they are cooled you can remove them from the tins and cut the tops off to make it level.

For the frosting-
In a large bowl place your cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add half of your salted caramel and maple syrup. Beat until well combined. The frosting will thin out with the addition of the caramel and maple. Taste, and if required, add more of the salted caramel and maple until you get a slightly sweet and slightly salty frosting. Once the desired taste is reached, cover it with glad wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Once cakes are cool and frosting is made, it's time to put it all together. Place the bottom layer on your cake board/plate and top with some frosting. Smooth out with a spatula before placing the next layer of cake on top. Repeat the process until your 3 layers are stacked. With the remaining frosting cover your cake as you see fit. This would make a really pretty naked cake too! I stuck with the traditional look and covered the entire cake in frosting.

Decorate as you see fit. Flowers did the trick for cake 1, but cake 2 was decorated with walnuts. If you're planning on doing some piping you will need to make more frosting as the amount specified in the recipe it just enough to cover the cake.



Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted caramel is trending right now. You'll find it in almost everything these days. It's become so popular that you can even get a bottle of it in your local super market. I agree that it's super convenient to buy, but it's actually really easy to make it.

Salted caramel is such a versatile sauce. Whilst I use it mainly in cake frosting, it's also great on pancakes, with ice cream, on chocolate mug cakes, in cheesecakes or simply by itself, out of a jar, with a spoon. I ain't judging. This makes for a great gift as well, if you can bare to part with it that is.

This recipe is one which I got from Cupcake Jemma and it's been my go to recipe for a long time now. I have made this recipe several times over. It's easy and contains just a few ingredients, so you really have no excuse not to try it.

Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes 1 x 300ml jar
1 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp water
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt

In a measuring jug measure out 1 cup of cream. Add your vanilla to it, mix and set aside.

In a heavy bottom saucepan, place your water and sugar and put it on the stove, on medium heat. Now you need to pay attention to the mixture. The sugar will first dissolve into the water, and it bubble as it cooks, that fine. It should never be at a rustling boil. It should gently cook until the colour turns to a deep amber. If using a candy thermometer you're looking for it to hit 175 degrees Celsius. Once it has reached that temperature, remove the pot from the heat and slowly and steadily pour the cream into the pot. Use a spatula to mix in the cream as you pour it. You will get a lot of steam coming of it, don't worry, that's normal. Once you have poured all the cream into it, make sure it fully combined, add in your salt and mix until salt has dissolved.

Allow the sauce to cool at room temperature before putting into a jar and storing in the fridge. The sauce will thicken as it cools. You can then use it in your frosting or just eat like that.