Another year, another birthday, another cake! Today is my birthday and as per tradition I have baked myself a lovely cake. This year is the Hummingbird Cake!

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My recipe inspiration came from Jamie Oliver “Comfort Food” of which I received a beautiful copy signed by Jamie and customised with graffiti art at the book’s launch party last month.

You can see all my photos from #JamiesComfortFood party on my Facebook page.

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During the party at Recipease in Notting Hill, Jamie Oliver’s Executive Pastry Chef Ed Loftus baked this Hummingbird Cake (as well as other cakes) from the cookbook and after tasting a piece I knew I had to make it at home!

Quite simply, this beautiful cake is bloody delicious. Light fluffy sponge with banana and pineapple galore, a crunchy dusting of pecan brittle, and a little reminder that zesty cream cheese icings rock – it’s near perfection. [Jamie Oliver]

Knowing my birthday was coming up in a few weeks, I waited patiently until the right occasion to use the Comfort Food cookbook and taste this lovely banana and pineapple cake with lime frosting again!

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On Sunday I spent a few hours baking the two sponge layers and preparing the cream cheese icing. It’s a simple cake to make and the fun part was decorating the cake with pecan brittle, lemon zest and flowers!

The cake stand and plate are by Sophie Conran (I love her ceramics!) which are available from House of Fraser’s Kitchen and Dining range.

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I have listed here the recipe ingredients in grams, but if you prefer to have them in cups, tbsp and oz (which is how they appear in the cookbook) just leave a comment below or drop me an email.

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Ingredients

  • 250ml light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 4 medium-sized very ripe bananas
  • 1 x 425g tin of pineapple chunks
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g pecans

For the icing

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 2 limes

For the brittle

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g pecans

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 23cm round cake tins.

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and a large pinch of sea salt.

Peel the bananas and mash them up with a fork in another bowl. Drain and finely chop the pineapple and add to the bananas with the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, then fold into the dry mixture until smooth.

Finely chop the pecans and gently fold in, then divide the batter evenly between your prepared tins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until risen, golden and the sponges spring back when touched lightly in the centre. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a free-standing electric mixer, add the butter and beat until pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese, finely grate in the zest of 1 lime and add a squeeze of juice, then beat until just smooth – it’s really important not to over-mix it. Keep in the fridge until needed.

To make a brittle topping, place the caster sugar and a splash of water in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Shake flat and don’t stir it, just swirl the pan occasionally until dissolved and lightly golden. Add the pecans and a pinch of salt, spoon around to coat, and when nicely golden, pour onto a sheet of oiled greaseproof paper to set. Once cool, smash up to small pieces.

To assemble the cake, place one sponge on a cake stand and spread with half the icing. Top with the other sponge, spread over the rest of the icing, then grate over the zest of the remaining lime. Scatter over the brittle dust and decorate with a few edible flowers.

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(To see my birthday cakes from last year and the year before click here and here!)

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary Sophie Conran cake stand from House of Fraser. All opinions are my own.

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