Brown Butter Hummingbird Cake
Brown Butter Hummingbird Cake is classic southern hummingbird bundt cake with a brown butter twist and a luscious cream cheese glaze!
I spent this past week soaking up the Scottsdale, Arizona sun with my family, and it was heavenly. What I loved about it was that it was all about relaxation…hanging poolside, watching the kids swim, catching movies, hiking, and eating.
Yes…lots of eating. 🙂
I couldn’t get enough pulled pork and Mexican food — southwestern food is one of my major weaknesses. Now that I’m back, it’s more like spending time gym-side than poolside.
I hit my TRX class bright and early today, and it was such an intense class. It left me feeling really good, because the hiking wasn’t enough considering I was eating vacation-style for 5 days.
Now that I’m back to my workout regiment, I can afford to eat this Hummingbird Cake! See how that works? Eat what you want on vacation, come home, exercise once, and you get to eat cake like you’re on vacation again. 🙂
Truthfully, I’ve really been craving hummingbird cake lately, and I needed to do something about it. One of the most popular recipes on my blog are my Healthier Hummingbird Muffins, and for good reason. They’re moist, delicious, and you wouldn’t know they’re healthy.
If you’re not familiar with hummingbird cake, it’s a cake that originated in the south. I stumbled upon it in one of my cookbooks a few years ago, and was intrigued by the sound of that cake. It sounded like carrot cake without the carrots!
Hummingbird cake is packed with bananas, crushed pineapple, and coconut. The cream cheese icing and pecans are a big hit with me, so I knew I’d love the cake. Funny thing is, I never tried the cake before I went and made a healthy muffin version.
That’s where this cake comes in. 🙂
I researched this cake all over the internet, and realized I just wanted to do a cake that wasn’t a sky high triple layer cake, or one that was laden with tons of sugar and oil. I based this cake off of my muffin recipe, and it came out perfectly.
The biggest change to the recipe? I decided to liven it up with brown butter, because it is a cake, and I thought that nutty, brown butter flavor would be fantastic with the banana, pineapple, and coconut. And it was fantastic. 🙂
When baking with brown butter, it’s important to brown the butter until the milk solids are golden brown, and the butter has a nutty aroma. It’s best to brown butter in a stainless steel pan so you can really see the color of the butter.
Once the butter is brown, put the pan of butter in an ice bath and let stand until the edges of the butter have solidified. Scoop it out into a mixing bowl with a rubber scraper, add the sugars, and you’re ready to cream the butter and sugar. The rest of the recipe is very straightforward. This is one easy cake.
This cake is incredibly moist, as I mentioned, due to all the banana, pineapple, and brown butter. I used brown sugar for flavor and added moisture as well, so this cake is as far away from dry as it gets. Top it with this super simple, luscious cream cheese glaze, and it’s perfection.
This Brown Butter Hummingbird Cake is one of those cakes that you can eat for dessert or breakfast. I mean, it has tons of fruit in it so it makes perfect sense to me.
What is coffee cake besides a cake that tastes great with coffee? This cake tastes great with coffee…trust me. 🙂
More hummingbird cake inspired recipes!
Healthier Hummingbird Bread with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze
Brown Butter Hummingbird Cake
For the cake:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup mashed banana about 3 medium
- ½ cup milk room temperature
- ½ cup crushed pineapple drained well
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Toasted pecans and coconut flakes for garnish (optional)
Prepare the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray a bundt pan generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Prepare an ice bath. In a small, stainless steel pot, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Increase the heat to medium and cook the butter until the milk solids turn golden brown and the butter has a nutty aroma. Place in the ice bath to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place the brown sugar in a large bowl. When the butter has solidified around the edges and is no longer hot, remove from the pan with a rubber scraper and place in the bowl with the sugars. Beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated.
- Add the banana, milk, pineapple, coconut, and vanilla, and beat on low until combined.
- Fold in the dry ingredients just until incorporated, then pour into the prepared bundt pan and spread as evenly as possible.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for about 30 minutes on a wire rack, then run a knife around the edges and center of the cake carefully, and invert onto the wire rack to cool completely out of the pan.
Prepare the glaze:
- Beat the cream cheese on medium high until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until smooth and fluffy, 2 more minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the milk on low speed. Check the consistency — the glaze should pour easily from a spoon. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk if the glaze is not thin enough to pour.
- Place the cooled cake on a serving plate. Pour or spoon the glaze over the top carefully. Top with toasted, chopped pecans and coconut flakes. Enjoy!
- To toast pecans, place them on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, until fragrant.
- To toast coconut flakes, place in a 350 degree oven for 3 minutes, keeping a close eye on them as they burn quickly.
- Store leftover hummingbird cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
67 Comments on “Brown Butter Hummingbird Cake”
Hummingbird cake is one of my absolute favorite cakes. So much so that I can’t make one without an occasion to share it because I have no self control when eating it. I didn’t think there was a way to make it better, but a browned butter version sounds like it!
You sound like you love it as much as I do, Nicole! Brown butter makes EVERYTHING better, I think. 🙂
This cake is gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to try a hummingbird cake, but haven’t had a chance. Can’t wait to give this one a try 🙂
Thank you, Megan! This cake is so delicious, and I hope you’re able to give it a try soon. It’s one of my favorite cakes, and is right up there with carrot cake now! 🙂
This looks great Marcie! I keep seeing hummingbird cakes and have not tried one yet, I totally need to soon! Pinning!
Oh boy, you need to try it — it is one awesome cake! Thanks, Chelsea! 🙂
This Hummingbird cake looks amazing Marcie! I’ve never had it before, but the ingredients alone make my mouth water! Sounds like Arizona was so fun! When I was there, I did the same thing – I could not get enough of the pulled pork!!! It was divine! I’m so glad you had a nice, relaxing time!
Thanks, Kristi! You will love hummingbird cake — it’s unbelievably good! So much goodness in one cake, and the brown butter…oh my. 🙂
Hahhah I love the way you think of vacation…Enjoy what you want and come home and work it off!! I’ve never made a hummingbird cake but I love all the flavors in it. This looks amazing. I like that it is just one layer packed with all the wonders!!
I always eat realizing I’m going to have to work it off at some point, so it’s best not to get too crazy. Haha. Hummingbird cake is like the 8th wonder of the world — it’s almost too good to be true.
I have wanted to try making hummingbird cake for so long now … and it has yet to happen even though we now live in the south! haha And this version … with the brown butter… I mean, yes please!
And one solid workout class means you can definitely enjoy some cake : )
As much as I enjoy fitness, I ultimately do workout so I can enjoy food.
It looks lovely and so delicious!
Thank you, Pam!
So glad you had a great time in AZ, your vacation sounded wonderful Marcie! Haha and yes totally justifiable to have cake after a good workout 🙂 Especially a cake that looks this gorgeous! I’ve been seeing a few hummingbird cakes and have yet to try making one but I have to say this brown butter one sounds amazing! I love that you made it in a bundt pan and also that it’s on the lighter side too. The fact that this has toasted coconuts and pecans already has me sold – pinning 🙂
Thank you, Kelly! I sure hope you get to try hummingbird cake soon, because it’s oh so good! Thanks for the pin! 🙂
Mmmm, now that looks scrumptious! I have made hummingbird cake before, but never with brown butter. Will have to try that next time.
Thank you! Brown butter makes everything better! 🙂
Looks beautiful and sounds delicious. Pinning!
Thank you, Jill! 🙂
You would love this cake, and I hope you try it soon! Brown butter makes it extra heavenly.
I’m so glad you had such a nice trip, Marcie! And this cake looks divine- that glaze is calling to me… I only just had Hummingbird Cake for the first time a few months ago, and I LOVED it! This bundt version is just as pretty as can be 😉
Thank you, Allie! This cake is right up there with my favorites. 🙂
I’ve never had Hummingbird Cake before but I must try it soon. We’re doing a potluck at work on Friday, I should make this.
Hummingbird cake is a must and is a real crowd pleaser — I think it would be a hit at your potluck! 🙂
Hummingbird Cake is one of my very favorites Marcie! I love that you kicked it up a notch with brown butter – so smart! Pinned!
Isn’t hummingbird cake the best? Brown butter is always a great way to kick things up, and it did the job here. Thanks, Trish! 🙂
I’ve heard of a hummingbird cake but haven’t had one but by looking at all the ingredients, I know I would love it! Glad you had a nice family vacation Marcie! I always need a ‘vacation’ from my ‘vacation’ and the gym as you mention 🙂
Oh, you’ve got to try this, Deb…I’ll bet you’ll love it. Playing catch-up can be tough, but the vacation is always worth it! Have a great week, my friend. 🙂
I didn’t know what to think of it when I first saw it in my cookbook — such a different name! All I knew was it had to be a cake I would love. This cake is a winner, Carol, and I sure hope you get to try it! And once again, you had me chuckling. 🙂
And I felt like this cake was created just for me…maybe for both of us?! I sure hope you try it, Jamie, because it’s just divine. I like your definitely of science also. 🙂
It sounds like you had a nice vacation, Marcie! I would love a slice of this hummingbird cake to get me through the day 🙂
I’d gladly give you a slice, Ashley…I need it out of here! haha
Everything is better with brown butter! I bet this tastes absolutely incredible. I could really go for a slice right now with my afternoon tea! Delicious!
It really is delicious! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Hope you had a nice vacation! I have a feeling I’m going to be doing a lot more with brown butter — it really does make everything better. 🙂
I’ll be baking a LOT more with brown butter — there’s a reason it’s been such a popular trend! I would gladly trade you some of this cake for your lemon brownie bars…if only we were neighbors! 🙂
I love a Hummingbird Cake and this brown butter version sounds wonderful! Love that you made a Bundt Cake version. Glad to hear you had a wonderful vacation!
Thank you, Christin! I’ve been wanting to make one for a while and yours really put a fire under me. Hope you’re having a good day! 🙂
I’ve never hear of hummingbird cake. It sounds deliciously interesting 😀 With all these tasty ingredients it must be delicious! Plus you just can’t beat the flavor of browned butter. Pinning!!
Hummingbird cake tops the charts for me. I’m a chocolate lover too, but then there’s coconut, carrot and hummingbird not far behind. I hope you give a try, Cindy! 🙂
How much granulated sugar do you use in the cake batter?
Hi Andre. I used brown sugar in this recipe. If you prefer to use granulated, simply use that instead of the brown sugar.
This cake looks divine, Marcie! I love the brown butter- so cool and I bet it was hard to stop at just one slice! 🙂
It sure was hard to stop at one slice, Jessica! I ate one slice a day until it was gone…I could hardly stay away from it. 🙂
This cake looks wonderful. Visiting from Best of the Weekend Party.
Thanks so much, Julie! 🙂
What a great idea to make hummingbird cake with brown butter! I like your regimen of vacation-workout-cake too 🙂
Thank you, Bianca! 🙂
What I wouldn’t give for a big slice of this fantastic cake! I really need to jump on the hummingbird cake wagon! 😉 Pinned!
I would’ve gladly given you a slice, because it was calling my name every single day until it was gone! This cake is a huge weakness for me, and I hope you get on that hummingbird bandwagon soon. 🙂 Thanks for the pin, Jocelyn, and have a great Monday!
I’m so glad the cake worked out for you, Sherri! Next time I don’t have pineapple, I’ll definitely use applesauce. Thanks for the feedback! 🙂
I’m making this as an excuse to eat cake for breakfast 🙂 One of the main reasons I exercise is also so I can eat fabulous looking cakes like this!
Thank you, Laura! It certainly sounds like we’re on the page! 🙂
Hummingbird cake can really be a mystery, and it really is like carrot cake in a way. There’s so much goodness in this cake, and I hope you’re able to give it a try soon, Tashiana! 🙂
This cake looks amazing – I am craving a slice right now!
Thank you, Miriam! 🙂
Oh Gosh, this cake seems to be made in Heaven !
Unfortunately my falmily does not like Coconut, can I replace it with something else ? I really hope so;
I am waitng with bated breath for your answer
Hi, Helene! Simply omit the coconut completely and the cake will be still be amazing! 🙂
Thank you for your prompt replies.
I will let you know how it goes
If ever you find an ItalianCream Cake with no coconut and not too many eggs…….letmeknow
Thanks a million
I actually do know of one! Do a Google search for Italian Cream Cake Cooking Light and you will find one at the top for MyRecipes.com, which is Cooking Light. That’s one of their most popular recipes with only 2 egg yolks in the whole cake.
Hello again, do you happen tohave an Itaian Cream Cake receipe without coconut and not too many eggs ?
It would be great
Thanks a million
I don’t have anything like that — I’m sorry!
Getting ready to make and notice the instructions say add Greek Yogart but it is not listed under ingredients. HELP: what is the quantity?
I’m sorry about the confusion Trisha! I modified the recipe a while back utilizing milk instead of Greek yogurt but forgot to change it in the instructions. I changed it now — there is no Greek yogurt, just milk! I hope you enjoy the cake as much as we do. 🙂
In the instructions it says brown & granulated sugar but in ingredients granulated isn’t listed. Can you clarify?
Hi Shari…sorry for the confusion. Originally the recipe called for half granulated and half brown sugar but I changed it some time back. I just modified the recipe instructions to include just light brown sugar. Hope you enjoy the cake!