By Art Smith

The executive chef and co-owner of Table fifty-two, Art Smith has received the culinary profession’s highest awards and has cooked for some of the world’s most famous celebrities as personal chef to Oprah Winfrey.

Hummingbird Cake



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped ripe bananas
  • 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped pecans
Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans, sprinkle evenly with flour and tap out the excess. (If you wish, butter the pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, then flour the pans and tap out the excess).

Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, stir or whisk the bananas, pineapple, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Do not use an electric mixer. Pour into the dry mixture and fold together with a large spatula just until smooth. Do not beat. Fold in pecans. Spread evenly into the pans.

Bake until cake springs back when pressed in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks (remove the parchment paper now if using). Turn right side up and cool completely.

Icing

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (about 4 ½ cups sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until combined. On low speed, gradually beat in sugar, then vanilla, to make a smooth icing.

Place 1 cake layer upside down on a serving platter. Spread with about 2/3 cup of icing. Top with the second layer, right side up. Spread reaming icing over the top and sides of the cake. The cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and stored, uncovered in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving. 

Makes 12 servings