Healthier Hummingbird Bread with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze is a lightened up take on classic hummingbird cake without sacrificing flavor or texture. It’s moist and delicious, and perfect for a special brunch or breakfast!
I don’t know about you, but I’d never heard of hummingbird cake when I was growing up, and I feel like I missed out. Hummingbird cake is a classic southern cake that’s like carrot cake without the carrots, if that makes any sense at all. Instead of carrots, it’s got bananas, crushed pineapple, and coconut, with a classic cream cheese frosting and pecans. This Healthier Hummingbird Bread with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze is a healthier take on hummingbird cake without sacrificing any of the flavors.
Which means you can eat it for breakfast. 🙂
I’ve got a few other hummingbird recipes here on the site, including my Healthier Hummingbird Muffins and Brown Butter Hummingbird Cake. I told you I felt like I missed out growing up, so I’m desperately trying to make up for lost time. This recipe is an adaption of my muffin recipe, with a vanilla bean cream cheese glaze as a bonus. Some bonus, right? You’re welcome. 🙂
This bread is whole grain, but still moist as it’s packed with plenty of bananas, crushed pineapple, and Greek yogurt. Healthy doesn’t have to mean dry and cardboard-like. This is anything but!
Along with all of the other flavors, there’s another one that’s completely necessary — vanilla. I love using vanilla in my baking, and in my opinion, there’s no such thing as too much. It’s the perfect compliment to the fruit flavors, coconut, and tangy cream cheese.
Speaking of vanilla, I used high quality vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste from my friends at Rodelle. I wasn’t paid to say that — I just received some Gourmet Baking Essentials from them some months back and I just love them.
I love them so much, in fact, that I’ve teamed up with Rodelle to giveaway the same products I received to one lucky winner! Simply use the rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway. These products are so wonderful for all of your spring baking, and I think you’ll love them as much as I do. Thank you, Rodelle!
As I mentioned, I added vanilla bean paste to the luscious cream cheese glaze that adorns the top of this hummingbird bread. The vanilla bean paste gives this glaze big vanilla flavor, and I love seeing the gorgeous black speckles throughout that tangy, snow white glaze. The thing I love most about vanilla bean paste is that it’s so easy — there’s no splitting vanilla beans, scraping out the seeds, etc. Just scoop out a teaspoon and you’re good to go.
It wouldn’t be a southern cake without pecans would it? That means we have to top our glaze with toasty, nutty pecans and our bread is complete. I tossed a few toasted coconut flakes on top, too, because you know me and my coconut.
This Healthier Hummingbird Bread with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze is just what you need for a lighter breakfast or brunch item, and the best part is that nobody is going to know it’s healthier! It’s perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any spring/summer entertaining that you might need something special for.
And be ready for the question “what’s hummingbird bread?” It’s like carrot cake without the carrots! That’s really all they need to know. 🙂
Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below to enter to win some Rodelle Gourmet Baking Essentials — good luck!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large)
- ¾ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 4 ounces ⅓ less fat neufchatel cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1½- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk*
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the bananas, yogurt, milk, and vanilla until incorporated. Fold in the crushed pineapple and coconut. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
- Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with a handheld mixer on low speed until incorporated, then to medium high speed until smooth. Add the vanilla bean paste and 1½ tablespoons of the milk, and beat till combined. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon milk if you'd like a more pourable glaze.
- Remove the bread from the pan, place on a serving plate. and spread the glaze over the top. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans, slice, and enjoy!
Buy pre-toasted pecan pieces, or toast your own on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
Leftover bread should be refrigerated covered in plastic wrap. I loved the bread heated for 15 seconds in the microwave to take the chill off.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.