Hummingbird Bread

Indulge in the unique charm of Hummingbird Bread, a delightful twist on the traditional Southern dessert known as Hummingbird Cake. This article will guide you through every aspect of creating this scrumptious treat, from its rich history to detailed preparation tips. Perfect for any occasion, Hummingbird Bread combines the tropical flavors of pineapple and banana with the crunchy goodness of nuts and the sweetness of coconut, all topped with a creamy frosting. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this guide aims to equip you with all you need to bake this irresistible bread confidently.

Introduction to Hummingbird Bread

Exploring the Origins and Popularity

Hummingbird Bread isn’t just any sweet treat; it’s a Southern gem that has captivated taste buds with its rich flavors and moist texture. This delightful creation takes inspiration from the much-loved Hummingbird Cake, which has graced Southern tables since the mid-20th century. Traditionally, the cake was a staple during gatherings and celebrations, known for its ability to bring smiles and a bit of sweetness to any occasion.

The bread version offers a simpler, yet equally delicious, experience that maintains the essence of its cake counterpart. Packed with bananas, pineapple, and a hint of coconut, this bread is a tropical treat. The addition of pecans or walnuts provides a satisfying crunch that contrasts beautifully with the bread’s moist, dense texture.

The popularity of Hummingbird Bread stems not only from its delightful taste but also from its storied history and the nostalgia it evokes. It’s a recipe that has passed through generations, each adding their own touch, making it a beloved staple in Southern baking. Its ease of preparation combined with the rich, comforting flavors makes it a favorite for both everyday and special occasions, capturing the essence of Southern hospitality in every slice.

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Hummingbird Bread

Hummingbird Bread

  • Author: Avani
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


Indulge in the irresistible flavors of Hummingbird Bread with heavenly Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! This delightful recipe combines ripe bananas, pineapple, and pecans for a moist and flavorful bread topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting infused with cinnamon. Perfect for cozy evenings or as a sweet breakfast treat, this recipe will surely become a favorite in your baking repertoire.


  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix bananas, sugars, egg, and oil until well combined. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix. Fold in coconut, pineapple, and pecans.
  3. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
  4. For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Spread on cooled bread; sprinkle with pecans.
  5. Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes | Kcal: 316 kcal | Servings: 12
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients and Preparation

Key Ingredients for Hummingbird Bread

Creating the perfect Hummingbird Bread starts with gathering the right ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need for the bread and the creamy topping:

Exact Ingredients List
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour: Provides the structure for the bread.
  • 2 cups sugar: Adds sweetness to balance the tanginess of the pineapple and the flavor of the bananas.
  • 1 tsp. baking soda: A leavening agent that helps the bread rise.
  • 2 large eggs: Bind the ingredients together and add moisture.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor of the bread.
  • 1 – 20 oz can crushed pineapple (with juice): The star ingredient that imparts moisture and a tropical flavor.
  • 1/2 cup butter (for topping): Adds richness to the cream cheese frosting.
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk (for topping): Gives the frosting a creamy texture.
  • 1 cup sugar (for topping): Sweetens the frosting.
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts: Adds a nutty crunch to the bread.
  • 1 cup coconut flakes: Introduces a sweet, chewy texture and enhances the tropical taste.

Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Here’s how to bring your Hummingbird Bread to life:

  1. Preheat and Prep: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  2. Mix the Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, sugars, eggs, and oil until well combined. This mixture forms the base of your bread, ensuring that every slice is moist and flavorful.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: To the banana mixture, sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Stir until just combined to keep the bread tender.
  4. Add Fruits and Nuts: Fold in the coconut flakes, crushed pineapple with its juice, and chopped pecans. These ingredients are essential for that authentic Hummingbird flavor and texture.
  5. Bake the Bread: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The perfect Hummingbird Bread should be golden brown and springy to the touch.
  6. Cool and Frost: Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by beating together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a dash of cinnamon until smooth. Spread the frosting over the cooled bread and sprinkle with pecans for an extra crunch.

By following these steps, you’ll create a Hummingbird Bread that’s not only visually appealing but also irresistibly tasty, perfect for serving at any gathering or enjoying as a special treat at home.

Cooking Tips and Techniques

Ensuring Moisture and Flavor

When baking Hummingbird Bread, achieving the perfect balance of moisture and flavor is key to its success. Here are some expert tips to ensure your bread turns out wonderfully every time:

  • Avoid Overmixing: When combining your wet and dry ingredients, mix just until they are blended. Overmixing the batter can develop the gluten too much, leading to a dense, tough bread. Gentle folding will help maintain a light, tender crumb.
  • Use Ripe Bananas: For the best flavor and natural sweetness, use bananas that are ripe or even slightly overripe. These bananas are softer and sweeter, enhancing the overall taste and texture of the bread.
  • Drain Pineapple (But Save the Juice): If your crushed pineapple seems overly wet, drain it slightly but save the juice. You can adjust the amount of liquid by adding back some juice to get the desired consistency of the batter without making it too wet.
  • Check for Doneness Properly: Because this bread is quite moist, it’s important to check that it’s fully baked. Insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the bread is done. If it’s still wet, give it a few more minutes in the oven.

By following these tips, you’ll enhance the deliciously unique combination of flavors and textures in your Hummingbird Bread, making it a surefire hit whether served at brunch or as a sweet treat.

Nutritional Information

Understanding the Caloric Content

While Hummingbird Bread is undeniably a treat, understanding its nutritional content can help you enjoy it as part of a balanced diet. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect nutritionally from a typical slice:

  • Calories: Each slice of Hummingbird Bread can contain approximately 300-400 calories, depending mainly on the size of the slice and the richness of the ingredients used.
  • Sugars and Fats: Given the sugars from the ripe bananas, pineapple, and added sugars, as well as fats from the nuts and butter, this bread is on the richer side. It’s perfect for occasional indulgence.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Despite its richness, the bread offers nutritional benefits such as fiber from the fruit and nuts, and energy-providing carbohydrates.

Being mindful of portion sizes and how often you enjoy such treats can help maintain a balanced diet while still indulging in delicious baked goods like Hummingbird Bread.

Serving and Presentation

Creative Serving Suggestions

Presentation can make even the simplest recipe feel special, and Hummingbird Bread is no exception. Here are some creative ideas for serving this delightful bread:

  • Dress It Up for Special Occasions: For a more elegant presentation, serve slices of Hummingbird Bread on fine china accompanied by a fork and knife, allowing guests to savor each bite delicately.
  • Casual Serving Suggestions: For a more casual affair, slice the bread and arrange it on a rustic wooden board. Pair it with a pot of fresh coffee or tea to complement the rich flavors of the bread.
  • Add Garnishes: Enhance the visual appeal and texture by sprinkling the cream cheese frosting with toasted coconut flakes or extra chopped pecans before serving.

Whether you’re serving this bread at a formal gathering or as a comforting snack, these tips will help you present it in a way that enhances its homemade charm.

Variations of the Recipe

Customizing Your Bread

Hummingbird Bread is wonderfully versatile, and with a few tweaks, you can make it suit your taste or dietary needs. Here are some creative variations to try:

  • Gluten-Free Version: For those who avoid gluten, replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Be sure to choose a blend that’s meant for baking and includes xanthan gum to help with the texture.
  • Vegan Adaptation: To make vegan Hummingbird Bread, substitute the eggs with flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water per egg) and use vegan butter and a plant-based cream cheese for the frosting.
  • Nut-Free Options: If you’re allergic to nuts, simply omit the pecans or walnuts. You can add extra coconut or perhaps some dried fruit like raisins for added texture and flavor.
  • Reduced Sugar Recipe: To decrease the sugar content, reduce the sugar in both the bread and frosting by up to 25%. You can also use a sugar substitute that is heat stable for baking.

These variations allow you to enjoy Hummingbird Bread in a way that fits your dietary preferences without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Storage and Preservation

Tips for Freshness

Proper storage of Hummingbird Bread can greatly affect its taste and longevity. Here are some tips to ensure your bread stays fresh:

  • Room Temperature Storage: Keep the unfrosted bread wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Avoid storing in the refrigerator, as it can dry out the bread.
  • Refrigerating the Frosted Bread: If your bread is frosted, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese frosting. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container. It should last for up to five days.
  • Freezing for Long-Term Storage: Hummingbird Bread freezes well, both frosted and unfrosted. Wrap the bread or individual slices in plastic wrap followed by foil. Store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your Hummingbird Bread at its best, whether you’re savoring it the next day or weeks later.


Hummingbird Bread often brings up questions regarding its preparation and variations. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

  • Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned? Yes, fresh pineapple can be used, but make sure it’s finely chopped and measure out the same amount as you would use from a can, including the juices.
  • What can I substitute for coconut? If you’re not a fan of coconut, you can simply omit it or replace it with a similar quantity of oats or additional nuts for texture.
  • How can I tell if the bread is fully cooked? The best way to check is by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, the bread is done.
  • Is there a way to make the frosting less sweet? Yes, you can reduce the powdered sugar in the frosting or add a pinch of salt to cut through the sweetness.

These tips and answers should help you tackle any hurdles you face while making Hummingbird Bread, ensuring delicious results every time.


Celebrating Southern Baking Traditions

Baking Hummingbird Bread is more than just creating a delightful treat; it’s about celebrating and continuing the rich traditions of Southern baking. This bread, with its deep flavors and moist texture, carries the essence of hospitality and warmth that is a hallmark of Southern cuisine. Whether you’re sharing it with family or presenting it at a community gathering, Hummingbird Bread is sure to be a hit.

So, tie on your apron, gather your ingredients, and get ready to bake a loaf that promises to fill your kitchen with its enticing aroma and your heart with a little Southern comfort. Enjoy the process and the delicious outcome!

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