This mini hummingbird cake recipe has all the flavor you love in 6-inch form! A fluffy banana-pineapple cake topped with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of nuts.
Easy Mini Hummingbird Cake Recipe
One of my all-time favorite cakes is Hummingbird Cake. The combination of pineapple and banana flavors, plus the perfect amount of spice make this cake pretty darn perfect in my book. Each bite has creamy vanilla frosting and crunchy pecans.
A traditional Hummingbird Cake is a tall, layered cake that can feed a crowd. But for smaller gatherings, this scaled down small batch Hummingbird Cake is just as beautiful and delicious! You don’t need to wait for a special occasion though – mini cakes are ideal for when you feel like baking a cake but don’t want to commit to eating a regular sized cake!
What is Hummingbird Cake?
For those of you unfamiliar with Hummingbird Cake, let me happily introduce you to it and all its glory. It’s an absolutely lovely cake made with bananas, pineapple, pecans, and a hint of cinnamon. And it’s usually topped with cream cheese frosting. And it’s so, so good.
It’s a wonderfully soft, moist cake that’s about 85% cake and 15% banana bread. Somehow, it manages to be soft and sturdy at the same time.
There’s not a clear history of why it’s called Hummingbird Cake. I’ve read things like it’s sweet enough to attract hummingbirds. I’m not sure about the validity of that, but it’s a charming name for a special cake.
If you want to try another version of hummingbird cake, I also have a Hummingbird Bundt Cake and Hummingbird Cupcakes, too!
Tips for Success
This Hummingbird Cake recipe is fairly straightforward, but there are a few simple tips I recommend keeping in mind when you make it:
- Measure accurately. Use a kitchen scale if you can. Otherwise, spoon and sweep.
- Use light-colored metal pans. Darker pans tend to bake the outside edges more quickly, leaving the middle under-baked.
- Line the pans with parchment paper. This may seem like a tedious, needless step, but I assure you it will make removing the cake layers from the pans much easier.
- Don’t toss out the pineapple juice. You’ll want some of that juice for both flavor and moisture in Hummingbird Cake. I most often use canned pineapple for this cake, but you can use fresh if you like. When you’re measuring the pineapple, try spooning it into a measuring cup so that you’re also getting some of the juice. You can add a bit more juice if the batter seems dry or tacky.
- Toast the pecans. While this isn’t a requirement, the flavor of toasted pecans really works well here. To toast them, place them in a single layer on a lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted.
- Divide the batter as evenly as possible. Having equal amounts of batter in each pan will help ensure even baking. I find it’s easiest and most accurate to weigh my mixing bowl when it’s empty and again when the batter is mixed. Subtract the empty weight from the filled weight, and divide by two to determine how much batter to put in each pan. One at a time, place the baking pans on your scale and zero the weight before adding batter to the pan.
- Sift the confectioners’ sugar. To make the smoothest possible frosting, don’t skip the sifting step.
How to Frost this Cake Perfectly
I’m the first to admit that my frosting skills aren’t the greatest. But even with my limited skill (or maybe because of it?), I find that the texture of this Hummingbird Cake can make it a little tough to frost well.
The trick to getting a perfectly frosted cake is to use a crumb coating. This is a thin coat of frosting that is applied and that will get crumbs in it as you smooth the frosting over the cake. Doing this first will help the remaining frosting go onto the cake more smoothly without as much cake crumb working its way into your frosting.
How to Store Hummingbird Cake
Cream cheese frosting doesn’t hold up very well at room temperature for long. You should be able to leave it at room temperature for a couple of hours. Keep any remaining cake tightly covered in the refrigerator, and then bring it to room temperature before serving. If stored well, it should keep for up to a week.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes! For longer storage, you can tightly wrap and freeze this cake. It will keep for up to 3 months when properly wrapped. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator, and then bring to room temperature for serving.
In a dessert world populated with lots of chocolate and vanilla, Hummingbird Cake stands out as a unique treat. And as someone who adores all things chocolate and vanilla, it seems quite the testament that I list this cake among my all-time favorites. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!
Looking for more small batch cakes? Try my scaled-down Spice Cake, Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Frosting, and Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.
29 Comments on “6-Inch Hummingbird Cake”
Can you use a 13x 9 pan instead of two round cake pans?
Hi, Nancee. This isn’t enough batter for a 9×13 pan. The closest you’d get for a single layer would be an 8-inch square (which is slightly too big) or 8-inch round (which is slightly too small). If you double the recipe, it would be roughly the amount you’d need for a 9×13.
Thank you ever so much. I am always looking for 6 inch cakes for just the two of us and this is one of my favorite cake recipes. I know it will be delicious as I’ve made your creations before💕
I hope you enjoy the cake, Joan!
Oh yay! A 6-inch cake recipe. I love it.I’m always on the lookout for small cake recipes. It’s just my husband and I at home. And this is definitely something I will attempt soon. Thank you. Keep ‘em coming pls.
I hope you both enjoy the cake!
I so appreciate small batch cooking….Thanks, from a senior.
I’m so glad! Enjoy!
Can this be baked in a 6 inch Bundt pan?
I’ve not tried it, but I don’t think there’s enough batter for that size pan.
I have a 6-inch springform pan that I use for cheesecakes in the mini Instant Pot. Will this work as a single layer in the springform and what do you recommend for the cook time? I’m excited to try this. I’m getting the ingredients tomorrow.
Hi, Marianne. Because this makes two 6-inch cake layers, there will be too much batter for a single 6-inch springform pan.
Thank you for your response.
How does this cake withstand freezing?
Hi, Meredith. It does freeze well. Wrap it well, and it should keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. The frosting may not look as fresh, but it will still taste good.
I only have one 6in cake pan (I bought it for your chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting recipe) Could this recipe be baked in one pan and then halved? If so, what would the baking time be?
Hi, Lori. I wouldn’t bake all of this batter in one pan. If you just have one pan, then I would make half the recipe. Alternately, you could bake the full recipe in an 8-inch square pan for a one-layer cake.
My friend Debbie made your Hummingbird Cake and I’ve never gotten such an emphatic “You’ve got to make this” which is different than her normally calm demeanor. She was more than spot on with this command. The texture evokes some of what pleases from a double layer, cream cheese frosted carrot cake, but with the yumminess of banana. This is a game changing cake. Moistness, meeting tropical, and being decadently rich from the cream cheese frosting is addictive. A total winner, and huge thanks for sharing this recipe. I followed all weights other than the Pineapple. For that I used volume measure.
I’m so glad you and your friend enjoyed the cake, Jeff! It’s one of my all-time favorite cakes!
This cake is amazing. Have made it twice. It deserves more than five stars!
That’s wonderful to hear, Susan! Thank you!
Do you have other small cake batch recipes ?
Hi, Letty! I do, and I’ll be adding more in the future. You can find all of my small batch recipes in my recipe index.
This sounds absolutely yummy! How many cupcakes would this make?
Hi, Barbara. I think this recipe would make a dozen standard-size cupcakes.
Just made this and am enjoying it with some earl gray tea! I used walnuts instead of pecans and made 12 cupcakes instead of a 6inch cake. Added a few drops of lavender extract to the frosting.
I have lots of leftover frosting, so would cut that in half next time.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake!
Hi Jennifer! I made the hummingbird cake (in cupcake form) for Easter Sunday. It was an absolute delight! Thank you so much for such a delicious recipe! My husband and I absolutely adored it! You have a new subscriber. I am looking forward to all the deliciousness to hit my inbox!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake, Heidi! It’s one of my favorites and a perfect choice for Easter and springtime.